Use of Imagery in Chopin’s Storm and Steinbeck’s Chrysanthemums
A pattern of repeated words or phrases can have a significant impact in conveying a particular impression about a character or situation, or the theme of a story. In the story "The Storm," by Kate Chopin, and "The Chrysanthemums," by John Steinbeck, imagery is an integral element in the development of the characters and situation, as well as the development of theme.
In the story "The Storm," Kate Chopin uses imagery throughout as a powerful instrument to convey the new sexual feelings that Calixta and Alcee are experiencing. In this story, words such as "thrust beneath the crack," and "her lips were as red and moist as pomegranate seed" are very good uses of imagery to show the sexuality of the characters. Throughout the story the description of the beauty of Calixta is repeated. At the beginning of the story Calixta is shown to be a caring wife and mother and there is no anger shown toward her husband. For example, she "hastened out to get them before the rain fell," she picked up Bobinot's Sunday clothes before the rain fell. If she was angry with Bobinot she would have left the clothes outside(147). Single words and phrases are very important when looking at the situation. The word "hastened" shows that she cared about her husband. If the word in that sentence was not "hastened," but "went," it would change the whole meaning of the sentence&emdash;"she went out to get them before the rain fell" does not indicate that she cared whether the clothes got wet or not.
In this story Chopin uses vivid description to show the situation the characters are involved in. In the sentence "the rain was coming down in sheets obscuring the view of far-off cabi...
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...inds at the end of the story that she had been taken advantage of, she" turned up her coat collar so he could not see that she was crying weakly&emdash;like an old woman"(Steinbeck 334). This story seems to give the impression that being a good person does not stop bad things from happening to you, and that the world is really survival of the most fit.
Due to the development of characters, situation, and the theme, imagery can help to convey a particular impression and is mandatory in any story.
Chopin, Kate."The Storm." Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 3rd ed. Ed. Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace. 1997. 146-50.