Essay on Comparing Awakenings in Chopin's The Storm and The Story of an Hour

Essay on Comparing Awakenings in Chopin's The Storm and The Story of an Hour

Length: 1244 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Comparing Awakenings in Chopin's The Storm and The Story of an Hour


As a forerunner of the modern feminist movement, Kate Chopin explored bold new characterizations of her female subjects. Chopin is famous for her progressive depiction of the female characters in her stories. Two such stories, 'The Storm' and 'The Story of an Hour,' examine and refute the long held ideal of the subservient wife. 'The Storm,' written in 1898 but not published until later because of its provocative content, describes the passionate extramarital affair between Calixta and Alcee, a former lover. 'The Story of an Hour' follows Louise Mallard as she deals with the death of her husband. Chopin uses the extraordinary events in the characters' lives to bring them out of the coma of submissive living. In both stories, the female protagonist awakens from a marriage-induced trance and into a state of self-awareness as a person separate from her husband.

Up until the early twentieth century, the accepted role of a woman was that of a housewife and mother. In the opening of ?The Storm,? Calixta exemplifies this homemaker image perfectly; the first time the reader sees Calixta she is ?sewing furiously on a sewing machine? (858). When the storm approaches, her first priority is not her own protection; rather, she gets up ?hurriedly and [goes] about closing windows and doors? and gathering Bobinot?s Sunday clothes, which she had hung out to dry (958). By showing Calixta as a selfless extension of her house and family and not as an individual person, Chopin reiterates the stereotypical inferior image of a woman. After setting up Calixta in this manner, Chopin quickly moves to awaken her with the arrival of her former lover, Alcee Laballiere. Hi...


... middle of paper ...


...t from the societal constraints placed on them and never to revert from this freedom. Through the Calixta?s and Louise?s awakenings, Chopin describes two different ways to accomplish the same goal. Both characters make choices to hold onto their newfound freedom, although on the surface it seems as though neither gets to enjoy her freedom fully. Chopin cleverly uses the endings to show that both characters find a freedom that endures, and both make choices to hold onto this happiness.

Works Cited

Chopin, Kate. ?The Storm.? Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. 2nd ed. Ed. John Schlib and John Clifford. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin?s, 2003. 858-61.

Chopin, Kate. ?The Story of an Hour.? Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. 2nd ed. Ed. John Schlib and John Clifford. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin?s, 2003. 862-63.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Symbolism Of An Hour And The Yellow Wallpaper

- Historically, the term feminism and its revolutionary nature are attributed to a majority of the twentieth century.1 While the epicenter of feminism for women, indeed, had its place during that time, certain female writers from the nineteenth century shed the roots of the movements through the pages of their fiction tales. By opposing to the expectations of womanhood and implicitly rebelling against the phallocentrism of literature in the portrayal of females, Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman utilize symbolism to criticize the injustices of their time....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Feminism, Emotion, Woman]

Strong Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Kate Chopin's The Storm and The Story of an Hour Essay

- Kate Chopin's "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour" 'The Storm' and 'The Story of an Hour' expresses the attitudes of two women's rebirth and liberation. These two stories are alike in several ways. Natures plays a major role in both of these women's lives. Calixta and Mrs. Louise Mallard struggle to find their independence and in doing so the endings are triumphant and tragic. 'The Storm' begins on a stormy spring day, with the protagonist Calixta at her sewing machine. She is alone, her husband Bobinot and son Bibi have gone to the store....   [tags: Papers Chopin Storm Story Hour Essays]

Strong Essays
1085 words (3.1 pages)

The Story of an Hour, by Kate Chopin Essay

- “The Story of an Hour” is a stark display of female rejection of the norms of society. This work, by Kate Chopin, begins with a woman going through the stages of grief for her husband’s death. For the wife, Louise Mallard, this was an awakening of a new life. This new life is cut short as the information that led her to believe this news turns our false. Kate Chopin reveals that even the desire for love is trumped by the need for freedom and independence, through her use of precise diction and syntax, and symbolism....   [tags: the story of an hour, kate chopin]

Strong Essays
1182 words (3.4 pages)

The Misleading Message of Chopin's The Storm Essay

- The Misleading Message of Chopin's The Storm Kate Chopin's "The Storm" focuses on two simultaneous and related storms, one a fierce tempest of the natural world with the expected rain, wind, lightening, and thunder, the other a cyclone of the mind and heart which results in an short love affair between the two main characters. With her husband Bobinot and her son Bibi stranded in town by the storm, Calixta finds herself at home alone when an old lover, Alcee, rides up. The storm, the worst in two years, drives the two indoors, where, though they have not met in five years, they soon are embracing each other....   [tags: Chopin Storm Essays]

Strong Essays
1128 words (3.2 pages)

A Storm of Emotion in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay

- The Storm of Emotion Usually a storm creeps upon us, hits a luminous climax, and then fades away into nothingness.  In The Storm, Kate Chopin develops a parallel between a rainstorm and an emotional storm in a woman’s life.  Chopin uses symbolism to depict the feelings of relationships that are as unpredictable as that of a raging storm.     In the time frame that this story is set, many major life decisions things are made taking into account one’s duty to family - including the selection of a husband or wife.  It is possible that each of these couples may not have been in love,  when their vows were stated.  They have a duty to society; they must not marry outside of their social c...   [tags: Chopin Storm Essays]

Strong Essays
801 words (2.3 pages)

Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour Essay

- Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" In “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, the author depicts how someone can be trapped in an unproductive and unsatisfying reality because of other’s thoughtlessness, exploitation, and domination. When combined with the contemporary society’s belief, presumably the later half of the 19th century, a further understanding of Chopin’s thoughts and feelings can be realized. Mrs. Louise Mallard, the victim and messenger of this story, is the image of such a person....   [tags: Kate Chopin Story Hour Essays]

Strong Essays
664 words (1.9 pages)

Analysis of Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour Essay

- Back in 1894, the American writer Kate Chopin wrote the short-story "The Story of an Hour". Chopin, born O'Flaherty, wasn't renowned as a writer during her time, but she has achieved recognition in the 20th century especially with her 1899 novel "The Awakening". Her stories about strong women have really been paid attention to in relation to this century's sexual liberation debate. This short-story revolves around what goes through a person's head when informed that a close family member has perished....   [tags: Kate Chopin Story Hour]

Strong Essays
1331 words (3.8 pages)

Foreshadowing in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay

- Foreshadowing in The Storm Effectively using foreshadowing in a piece of literature enhances the reader's curiosity. One clear example of such usage is seen in Kate Chopin's writing. Her use of foreshadowing in the short story "The Storm" adds an element of intrigue, holding the reader's interest throughout. In this story a father and son, Bobinôt and Bibi, are forced to remain in the store where they were shopping, waiting for an approaching storm to pass. Meanwhile, the wife and mother, Calixta, remaining at home, receives an unexpected visit from a former lover of hers, Alcée....   [tags: Chopin Storm Essays]

Strong Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Criticism of The Storm by Kate Chopin Essay

- Criticism of The Storm by Kate Chopin While it has traditionally been men who have attached the "ball and chain" philosophy to marriage, Kate Chopin gave readers a woman’s view of how repressive and confining marriage can be for a woman, both spiritually and sexually. While many of her works incorporated the notion of women as repressed beings ready to erupt into a sexual a hurricane, none were as tempestuous as The Storm. Kate Chopin was a woman whose feminist viewpoints were far ahead of her time, which of course garnered her more than her share of criticism....   [tags: Kate Chopin Storm Sexuality Essays]

Strong Essays
651 words (1.9 pages)

Comparison of Ripe Figs, The Story of an Hour, and The Storm by Kate Chopin

- Comparison of Ripe Figs, The Story of an Hour, and The Storm by Kate Chopin In the three short works, "Ripe Figs," "The Story of an Hour," and "The Storm," Kate Chopin has woven into each an element of nature over which no one has control. She uses short time spans to heighten impact and bring her stories to quick conclusions. She displays attitudes in her characters in two of her stories which may have been very controversial at the time they were written. "Ripe Figs" is the shorter of the three, covering a summer in a young girl's life....   [tags: Kate Chopin Literature Element Nature Essays]

Strong Essays
1076 words (3.1 pages)