Foreshadowing in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay

Foreshadowing in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay

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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. The two lovers ultimately consummate their relationship. Alcée then departs once the storm subsides, at which time the father and son return home. No repercussions of the extramarital affair take place within the story.


    Perhaps the clearest examples of foreshadowing in "The Storm" are the made when Chopin introduces the storm, writes that Calixta and Alcée had never been alone together since her marriage, calls attention to Calixta unbuttoning her garment because of the heat, mentions the distance separating Calixta from her husband and son and describes Calixta's physical appearance. These areas of foreshadowing maintain the reader's interest in the story and prepare the readers for the turn of events.


    The first such signal given to the reader is found in the opening paragraph of the story. The atmosphere and the approaching storm are described and contrasted. The opening atmosphere's tranquility is apparent because "[t]he leaves were so still that even Bibi thought it was going to rain" (665). This stillness prior to the storm ...

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...anate seed. Her white neck and a glimpse of her full, firm bosom disturbed him powerfully" (667). This passion leads to physical touching, congering up past passionate feelings towards one another, ultimately leading to their intercourse.


    As seen in "The Storm," Chopin makes good use of foreshadowing throughout the short story. Had Chopin omitted her foreshadowing, the story would have lost much of its believability. It also would create an irrational storyline in which the extramarital affair occurs without any explanation or rationale. This would more than likely cause the reader to discount the story as unrealistic. Therefore, it is crucial that one notices the vital role foreshadowing plays in literature. Chopin did an excellent job in convincingly describing the turn of events in "The Storm" by using foreshadowing to do so.


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