Inner Struggle For Freedom In Kate Chopin's 'The Storm'

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"The Storm," a short story by Kate Chopin, is about the affair between a woman named Calixta and a stable boy named Alcee during a violent thunderstorm. Her husband Bobinot and son Bibi, who trek through the storm to get home, are oblivious to these events. In the end, the family is happily at home with Calixta writing to her other husband about how her vacation is going wonderfully. There seems to be a lot at play underneath these events. By using severe weather as natural imagery, the nature of secrets in a cyclical nature, and contrasting gender issues with inner struggle, Kate Chopin's "The Storm" illustrates the longing for freedom in the Antebellum South. Chopin sets a violent thunderstorm as the backdrop for these series of events…show more content…
There are a lot of secrets that are withheld from at least a few parties here. There is a feeling of distance between Calixta and Bobinot. The letters written by Calixta and Alcee both signify even more going on outside of this lone house in a field. Infidelity has been playing a huge role in the character's actions, or at the very least is a focal point for our judgement of their actions. The affair between Calixta and Alcee is done without a hint of shame or dwelling thought of consequence. On top of that, Calixta has another husband, maybe even another entire family elsewhere while she is with Bobinot and Bibi under the guise of a vacation. Now, let's think past the story and wonder how this would all crumble in the future for these characters. Just imagine how these secrets would tear this family apart and shatter the illusion Bobinot and Bibi have of Calixta. Bibi would probably be scarred for life from all of this foul play, at least emotionally. Talk about family…show more content…
Calixta's position is a clear illustration of these issues. The Antebellum era didn't have a found outlook for women's roles in society. Most women, like Calixta, were expected to become mothers and live out their lives working at home and raising a family. Now, let's look again at the storm and its relation to what Calixta is going through here. With this roadblock in the way, the Calixta and Alcee share a temptation to initiate the affair. The gray fogginess of the storm could be a visualization of the mother's clouded judgement when high emotions take over. Calixta's character arc interestingly isn't one of change, but of irony. For once in what seems like a long while, she gets a taste of freedom and genuine happiness. She ultimately gets away with the affair without consequence or remorse. However, Calixta is still stuck where she is, and has a hefty amount of baggage to drag behind for a long time to come. Kate Chopin's "The Storm" is a grounded and interesting meditation on what true happiness is and deals with the dangers of temptation and dirty secrets. The longing for freedom where oppression lies may be too good for the faint of heart, especially when a certain opportunity opens up for that little taste. The storm will probably linger over this family for the rest of their lives, continuously raining
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