The first paragraph of the paper presents the speaker and the texts and highlights the key focus of the narrative underscored in the thesis statement.
This is captured in the second paragraph of the paper and offers a concise description of the life and career of Kate Chopin.
This is the third paragraph of the novel, focusing mostly on the key characters of the story, as well as on their big problems and ambitions, which then develop the main themes of the story. This section dwells on the main themes of the story.
iv). Analysis of the text
This section dwells of the main themes of the story as developed through the actions and challenges of the major characters. The theme of feminism is predominates the discussion in this section.
Kate Chopin is one of the world renowned short story writers. In The Storm, she explores themes that were not much in the public domain like sexuality, marital passions and many other minor topics related to sexuality. The short story dwells on the marital relationship between Calixta and Alicee. The imagery of the storm is used by the author to foreshadow many of the later events in the marriage because Calixta sexuality is very much tied to the storm. The setting of the story is Louisiana among predominantly Catholic society neighborhoods. Kate Chopin recurring characters are often revolting feminists trapped in queer situations as a result of societal constraints. In this critical autobiographical appraisal of The Storm, a posthumously published works of the author, one may pose the questions regarding the very nature of Chopin marital situations (Stein 55). The narration in the storm reflects a marriage that troubled by both internal and external influences and the characters merely try to survive and thrive in the face of extended challenges.
Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis, Missouri and upon marriage moved with her husband to New Orleans went through certain ordinary challenges of the time like most progressively enlightened young women of her time. Between the years 1892 to 1895, she wrote a lot of stories for local publications and by the early 1900s, she was one of the most famous and most accomplished writers in the country. She died in 1904 after accomplishing an exemplary literary career. During the years 1980 to 1899, Kate Chopin wrote some of her most memorable collections of short stories. In these years, the titles The Story of an Hour and The Awakening were published among other popular titles. All the works by Chopin reflect a deep commitment to the experiences of her subjects and how they made sense of their plight through the mouthpiece of a critic and an observer. In The Storm, Chopin writes very passionately about the relationships as they develop and change through experiences (Inge & Grant 20). The particular piece is very entertaining but at the same time gripping with awe at the immensity of occasional emotional trauma that the characters have to endure.
In the short story, the characters Bobinot and the son Bibi are at the store of the Friedheimer. Within no time a very heavy storm occurs and the four year old son is deeply terrified. As the storm abates, Bobinot walks into the store to buy a can of Shrimps to the wife, Calixta while they both wait for the storm to end. Back at home, the wife Calixta was doing some sewing work that was intensely engrossing, she did not notice the thunder or the ominous clouds of the storm (Kirby102). When she realizes it is getting dark, she collects the husbands and sons cloths from the line and returns to the house. Alcee, a close friend of Calixta joins her to collect the remaining clothes from the line. As the storm grows worse, Alcee persisted to wait outside for a while but eventually went into the house. The short story is a masterpiece of satire because the author presents a comparison between the norms of society and their truly naturalistic prototypes in the human natural state.
As Alcee settles down into a rocker, Calixta collects up the cotton she had been sewing. Meanwhile, she stops briefly to check the intensity of the storm outside and worries gravely about the husband and don trapped out and about away from home. She is comforted by Alcee and a brief reminiscence engulfs the two about the passions they once shared. With the increasing storm outside, their affectionate feelings fan their passions for each other during an earlier time. Eventually, they indulge in a sexual encounter that ends at the same time with the storm outside. Afterwards, Alcee and Calixta part ways as they had done many years before but inwardly they are left with a feeling of renewed passion and rejuvenated fondness. In a short interlude, Bobinot and Bibi return home and they are warmly embraced by Calixta who had been in the house. As husband hands the can of shrimps to the wife, they both rejuvenate affection and Calixta remarks that they shall feast during the night.
On another end, Alcee writes his wife a letter promising her to stay longer in Biloxi. When she receives the letter, she feels a sense of freedom and is happy once more about the feeling of being a maiden again freed from the rigid obligations of womanhood. Alcee notes that he cares more about their well-being and is not troubled by the anxiety of the separation. The immediate response is that Clarisse feels she is deeply intimate with the husband but at the same time she feels relieved of the bond and can forgo the intimacy for a period. In the end, Chopin makes a concluding line that is grotesquely satirical that So the storm passed and everyone was happy. Chopin depicts that the society norms were somewhat lifted by the stormy period and immediately the storm was gone, everything that was stark and rigid in the name of culture and society resettled into its prominent state in the hearts and minds of the people.
The most prominently embodied theme in the short story is that of feminism and the plight of women in male dominated worldview of patriarchy. The author, an ardent social critic makes comment about the society through highly satirical and intensive narration. Many commentators have regarded the extent of the narration and their vividness as marked with a unique element of genius. According to an incisive study of literary writing by Flower and Hayes, the writings of Chopin reflect intense metaphor of discovery because every element she employs embody the discovery of useful styles and combinations to leave a lasting effect on her readers (Flower & Hayes 30). The use of imagery is superfluous in most of Chopin writings because she deeply leaves an impression among the readers regardless of their station in life.
The author talks about the theme of family and marriage through the dispositions of the characters. Both Bobinot and Calixta represent innocently married couples raising a family but at the same time Calixta makes time to spend intimate sexual time with the former lover who makes a stopover during the storm (Beer 40). In essence, the storm avails the opportunity for Calixta and her former lover to indulge and the Alcee also discovers that it is possible to suspend intimacy with her beloved wife Clarisse who is away on some business. As it turns out, Clarisse is also relieved of the persistent feeling of affection proscribed by marriage.
The short story The Storm simply presents an imagery albeit with a high intensity about the naturalism of human experience. Influenced by Darwinist ideals of seeing through society with the spectacles of struggle, Chopin embodies the commitment in marriage like a fairy tale and an unnecessary servitude in the models of characters presented. Although the two families are not visibly involved in any overt acts, they are painted as detached at a particularly crucial nexus. In the event that marriage lacks the lifelong preoccupation with passion, the relationship is opaque and blind in its mission. However, Chopin presents to us characters that are void and hollow as far as marital affection is concerned. Although very entertaining, the short story is disruptive and presents ideals of individualism, Ayn Rand queer objectivism and diverse philosophies that sees society as a hoax and individuals as prisoners of norms and tradition.
Beer, Janet. Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Studies in Short Fiction. Springer, 2016.
Flower, Linda, and John R. Hayes. “The cognition of discovery: Defining a rhetorical problem.” College composition and communication 31.1 (2012): 21-32.
Inge, Tonette Bond, and William E. Grant. “Katherine Chopin.” American Short-Story Writers, 1880-1910, edited by Bobby Ellen Kimbel and William E. Grant, Gale, 1989. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 78. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 1 Mar. 2017.
Kirby, Lisa A. “So the Storm Passed: Interrogating Race, Class, and Gender in Chopin At the Cadian Ball and The Storm.” Short Story Criticism, edited by Lawrence J. Trudeau, vol. 211, Gale, 2015. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 1 Mar. 2017. Originally published in Kate Chopin in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Heather Ostman, Cambridge Scholars, 2008, pp. 91-104.
Stein, Allen. “The Kaleidoscope of Truth: A New Look at Chopin’s ‘The Storm.’.” Short Story Criticism, edited by Jelena Krstovic, vol. 110, Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 1 Mar. 2017. Originally published in American Literary Realism, 1870-1910, vol. 36, no. 1, Fall 2003, pp. 51-64.