Symbolism of “The Storm" Essay

Symbolism of “The Storm" Essay

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Kate Chopin wrote the short story “The Storm” one of her most bold stories and did not even intention to publish it (Cutter 191). The two main characters in the story are Calixta and Alcee. They both used to be attracted to one another in previous years, but now they are both married to someone else. After Alcee arrives to Calixta’s house looking for shelter they are driven into a passionate moment. In the story “The Storm” the storm has a significant meaning; without it the affair of Calixta and Alcee performed would not have been as powerful as it was between them. “The Storm” has a great deal of symbolism throughout the story: the clouds, the use of color white, the storm relative to the affair, the after effects of the affair, Calixta, Bibi the son, and the husband Bobinot.
Starting off, the son Bibi, and father Bobinot are waiting at the store for the storm to pass. Bobinot then points out to the son “the clouds were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by the sullen, threatening, roar” (Chopin 531). The threatening roar of Alcee seduces Calixta to have a passionate moment with him. Lawrence I. Berkove stated “The mood for the entire story is set by the section’s description of the storm clouds rolling in with ‘sinister intention’” (225). Chopin uses “the clouds” to symbolize Alcee coming with an evil intention into Bobinot’s home, accompanied by his gloomy mind. Their affair is as strong as a big roar in the sky.
Chopin uses the color white again and again in “The Storm” symbolizing the purity and innocence. Chopin states that Calixta “unfastened her white sacque at the throat,” showing us how she was releasing herself, like if she was being unleashed from a chain (531). Chopin describes the house...


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...orton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2007. Print.
Cutter, Martha J. “Losing the Battle but Winning the War: Resistance to Patriarchal Discourse in Kate Chopin’s Short Fiction.” Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 11.1 (1994): 253-68. Reprinted in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 68. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 182-93.
Holtman, Janet. “Failing Fictions: The Conflicting and Shifting Social Emphases of Kate Chopin’s “Local Color” Stories.” Southern Quarterly. 42.2 (winter 2004): 73-88. Reprinted in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 110. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 69-78.
Stein, Allen. “The Kaleidoscope of Truth: A New Look at Chopin’s “The Storm.”” American Literary Realism. 36.1 (fall 2003): 51-64. Reprint in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 110. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 54-61.

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