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The short story “The Storm” by Kate Chopin, deals with the subject of adultery. The story takes place in the early 1900’s. There are two main characters, Calixta (the wife) and Alcee (the former lover). Alcee must take refuge from a passing storm in Calixta’s house, while he is there the two end up making love while Calixta’s husband and son have to wait out the storm at the local store. By doing this Chopin implies the theme that is, adultery is natural and does not necessarily have negative consequences. Through out the story the constant changing of imagery plays a great role in the development of characters and their ability to demonstrate the theme.
The subject of adultery was first introduced soon after Alcee asked Calixta if he may take refuge from the approaching storm within her house. That was also the first point when the author lets us know that Calixta “may” still have feelings for Alcee. This was shown clearly in the story when it says, “ His voice and her own startled her as if from a trance…” Immediately after this the description of the setting changed from a outdoor relax feel to an indoor tense feel. This also lead to the feelings of both characters towards each other, which was shown when the room was described, “ The door stood open, and the room with its white, monumental bed, its closed shutters, looked dim and mysterious.”
Soon after this, Calixta who is then feeling the situation gets up to look outside the window, as not to keep looking at Alcee for she knows what may come of it. Alcee then also gets up to look out the window so that he may stand close to Calixta, which shows how Alcee wants to be with her. While Calixta is looking out the window she sees that it is raining hard and there is strong winds and lightning, which clearly signifies how mixed up Calixta’s feelings for Alcee are at that moment. After this Alcee grabs Calixta close to him as she staggers back, she then retreats and immediately asks where her son may be. This also shows that Calixta is having mixed feelings with the situation. Which is the reason she gets loose but does not tell Alcee to control himself but yet like nothing had happened wonders where her son may be, “ Bonte! She cried, releasing herself from his arms encircling arms and retreating to the window… If I only knew were Bibi was!”
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Soon after with out any doubt in and of the characters minds Calixta and Alcee make love. Calixta is described to be having no problem with he fact that she is cheating on her husband, “ The generous abundance of her passion…” . This sense of Calixta having no regret is seen in more detail as the story comes to a close. As they finish making love, the imagery and descriptions change once again. The rain comes to a stop and the sun comes out to signify that everything is back to normal.
The fact that everything is normal once again does not only lie in the fact of sun coming back out, but also in the attitudes of both Calixta and Alcee. He leaves the house and they both are described with smiles on their faces. Then finally, Calixtas husband and son come home and she is happy to see them again and has already put supper on the table, and they continued the night as they always do. Which implies once again what had just happened was perfectly normal to her. Alcee then also goes home and writes a letter to his wife telling her of how he is enjoying himself and telling his wife and kids to enjoy themselves on their vacation.
As the story came to an end, you could see clearly how the author brilliantly implied that adultery is not always negative and does not necessarily have negative consequences. Kate Chopin used imagery as the main element to deliver her theme and also through the changing of descriptions of scenes, and the changes in the characters development.