Empathizing with the Characters in The Storm by Kate Chopin

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One of my favorite things an author can do is to make the reader empathize with the characters. This is far more than just making a connection with one or more of the characters or even understanding the characters. Making a reader empathize with a character to me is the best involvement a reader can have while reading. In the short story The Storm by Kate Chopin, she conveys conflict and connects it with nature making it seem un-sinful and just a part of natural existence. Using a storm to symbolize the connection and passion between her and a lover. The storm outside matching the storm of emotions raging inside the house.
She sets the scene with the storm approaching and Calixta at home working while her husband and her son, unbenounced to the storm that is brewing inside the house, are out at the store. He husband shows his sin the storm talking about its sinister intention. Making it obvious to us readers that it is a threatening and dangerous storm. This also gives the storm a human like trait, a consciousness if you will add to that the threatening roar and now the storm takes on a more animalist feel, like a lion roaring when its hunting to make its presence known.
Calixta at home does not notice the approaching storm but yet she “…felt very warm and often stopped to mop her face on which the perspiration gathered in beads…” To me this conveys a message that she was subconsciously aware of the brewing storm. Not noticing the storm’s approach but noticing the heat that is making her perspire. It suddenly began to grow dark and she begins to realize the situation. She quickly gets up and starts to prepare for the storm. The moment she steps foot outside, there she sees Alcee and coincidentally ...

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...e home even though earlier her passions for her lover ripped through her marriage’s vows like the raging storm ripped through the town. But just like the passing storm, no matter the ferocity, all is calm once it is past and returns to its normal routine.
It is through Chopin’s rich description of the storms raging outside and inside that she is able to convey to the readers the feeling that each of her characters feel. Not only do we understand Calixta’s emotional turmoil but we can also feel it as most of us have experience a strong storm and can feel the storms strength. This storm, rolling through with its “sinister intention.” We can feel the passion that Calixta and Alcee feel. As the storm builds chaotically to its climax, we join Alcee and Calixta on their journey to climax and then back down into their calm goodbye and their return to their simple life.

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