Female Sexuality In The Storm By Kate Chopin

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In Chopin 's “The Storm,” female sexuality is explored in a creole woman of the late 1800’s. The short story begins on a scene of an incoming storm, a plot device used by the author to propel the story. This short story describes an encounter leading to an affair between a woman, Calixta, and a man, Alcee. Rather than pass judgment on the characters by condemning the morality of their actions, Chopin simply tells their tale. The author explores this female sexuality by refraining from judgment, meticulously recording the couple’s encounter through allegory and creates a peaceful ending for every character, who, seemingly, are all better off than they were before the affair. During the late 1800s, women in the southern United States did…show more content…
I expected Calixta to be guilty after her affair, or to act uneasy around her husband, but instead she seems jubilant, giving her husband a, “...smacking kiss on the cheek that resounded” (547). She seems as though she is rejuvenated, ready to fulfill the task of being a mother and a wife. It is as though through fulfilling a need of hers, she can fulfill the needs of her family. Even Alcee takes time to write to his wife, Clarisse. The author even describes that he misses his wife and children. Alcee, rather than being selfish, wanting to keep his wife and children away for the purpose of an affair, instead was, “...willing to bear the separation a while longer - realizing that their health and pleasure were the first things to be considered” (548). Even for Clarisse, there is a happy ending. Clarisse, being away from her husband for a short while, feels free - comparable to her, “...maiden days” (548). Of course, these maiden days would refer to the time she would have some form of independence, rather than solely be a wife and…show more content…
I find her candor on the affair to be novel for her day, and provides a fresh look on what marriage should be, and whether an affair is really a terrible event that will ultimately cause harm to one’s family. According to Shurbutt, “Chopin presents revised portraits of women achieving fulfillment in roles other than marriage and of women evincing a passionate nature considered inappropriate… (go.galegroup.com)” I would have to say, I completely agree. However, later within Shurbutt’s artical she makes the claim that Calexta is an, “...example of a woman bent on fulfilling her complete sexual potential. (go.galegroup.com)” I would have to disagree that Calixta is a bent on fulfilling such a task. When Alcee arrives at Calixta 's home, she attempts to distract herself of his presence by looking out the window, looking off into the distance. Alcee was the one that seduced her by wrapping his arms around her as he, “...drew her close…” (546). Also, if she was bent on this task, she would continue the affair, however, according to the last line, one can infer that such an encounter is unlikely to happen again because the author writes, “So the storm passed and everyone was happy. (548)” There would be no point for her to continue the affair for the objective of the affair was complete, she was
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