The Storm by Kate Chopin

The Storm by Kate Chopin

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The Storm by Kate Chopin


"The Storm" is a story that was written in 1898 by Kate Chopin. This short story focuses on two different places with the background atmosphere of a dynamic thunderstorm. A father and son, Bobinot and Bibi, encounter the storm while shopping at Friedheimer's store. Calixta, the wife and mother, is at home during the storm. Alcee, Calixta's friend, stays with her until the storm passes. In Kate Chopin's "The Storm" the description of weather, place and time help create a significant setting.

First, in the exposition, weather plays a very important role in the plot development this story. The plot revolves around a thunderstorm that takes place throughout the story. The storm is fierce and powerful as it "shook the wooden store and seemed to be ripping great furrows in the distant field." Descriptions of incessant lightning and depictions of bolts striking a chinaberry tree near Calixta's house give the setting a dangerous quality. Calixta becomes frightened and worries that the house will be struck by lightning. A dramatic situation results when Alcee tries to comfort and reassure Calixta that Bobinot and Bibi are safe at the store and she is safe from the storm's fury.

Secondly, two main places make up the setting in "The Storm." Friedheimer's store, where Bobinot and Bibi ride out the storm, is only briefly described. The store was made of wood and the reader gives an illusion of ordinary surroundings. Bobinot and Bibi sat on empty wooden kegs while they wait for the storm to pass. The house, in which Calixta and Alcee wait out the storm is in the country. Examples such as these give a mundane portrayal to the setting. The characters' names are of French origin, indicating that and the story takes place in Louisiana. Calixa and Alcee give the reader more clues on location when they mention Assumption, a parish near New Orleans. The descriptions of "far-off cabins and distant wood" create a feeling of loneliness and isolation. The house has a front gallery where Bobinot's Sunday clothes are hanging. While referring to all the other rooms in the house, the bedroom is described in detail. The bedroom door is open directing the focus toward the "white monumental bed, its closed shutters, looked dim and mysterious." This graphic description of the bedroom foreshadows the encounter between Calixta and Alcee.

Lastly, the time of day in "The Storm" is set in the evening.

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Bobinot mentions this to Bibi in conversation in the exposition. Although the storm is savage, it blows over rather quickly and the sun appears "turning the glistening green world into a place of gems." This statement also indicates summertime, because the depictions of green vegetation and a reference to warm weather that exists. Written in 1898, the story probably takes place around the author's time period. For example, this is evident by the fact that the characters travel by horseback and Calixta cooks supper on an open fire.

Details of environment, place, time and give Kate Chopin's "The Storm" a setting with personality. The atmosphere of the story is specific as a result of the effective use of setting. In this story, the setting is closely connected with the theme. This cohesiveness along with a special attention to detail provides a creative literary backdrop in "The Storm."
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