Use of Subtle Details in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay

Use of Subtle Details in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay

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Use of Subtle Details in The Storm

 

Effectively describing the relationships between characters is one vital component to a great piece of literature.  Without a fundamental understanding of what the characters are feeling and a sense of where they are coming from, a literary work is a puzzle with missing pieces.  A variety of tools exist for authors to accomplish this goal.  Such information can be provided outright, as in a flashback, or an author may chose to rely more heavily on subtle tactics.  In Kate Chopin’s The Storm the preferred forms of relationship development are subtle.  By making good use of tone, small details like dialect and an overarching metaphor, Chopin skillfully incorporates a great deal of emotional depth.

 

    The first device with which Chopin subtly builds the characters' relationships is tone.  Chopin uses tone as a tool to shape the

reader's attitude.  By addressing the actions of Calixta and Alcee with a favorable tone, both characters seem to have done something natural and inevitable.  In fact, Calixta and Alcee both commit adultery, yet it is presented to the reader in such a way that both characters escape any kind of negative judgment.  If Chopin had merely written down the course of events in The Storm one might expect a likely response of disapproval from the reader.

 

    Evidence of this use of tone is not hard to find in the text.  One clear example is found as the love scene develops.  Chopin describes

Calixta?s flesh as ?knowing for the first time its birthright.?  The word ?birthright? suggests that Calixta is entitled to this affair.  At the same time th...


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...nbsp; Finally, the storm ends restoring peace and calm to the countryside just as Alcee and Calixta leave each other with smiles and Bobinot and Bibi return none the wiser.

 

    It is through this metaphor that the reader can best relate to the path the story takes.  This descriptive tool can be overlooked and the story can continue on its own. However, when the reader recognizes and considers this metaphor?s meaning, a much more complete and vivid descriptionis present.

 

    In conclusion,  it can be seen that Chopin?s use of subtle hints and small suggestive details add considerable meaning to the work as a whole.  Without these small pieces such a vivid picture could not be painted and a narrative with the potential to be a classic would have remained a puzzle with missing pieces.   

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