Analysis of Kate Chopin’s “The Storm”

Back in her day, sexual desires ere rarely recognized, let alone publicized. “For her time period, Kate Chopin wrote about sexuality very explicitly” (Krause). This story had a large impact on women and feminism. “By not only admitting to the possibility that women have strong sexual needs of their own, but stating it as pure reality, Chopin crossed a threshold in both literature and life that opened new portals of exploration and communication for both men and women” (Krause). In “The Storm,” Kate Chopin uses the storm as a symbol of a woman torn between two men and sexual desires that she faces.

At the beginning of the story, Calcite remains at home while her son Bibb and husband Bonito go to town. Bonito notices that there is a storm approaching and makes it known to Bibb that the “certain somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar” (p. 224). His description of the coming storm makes it clear that it’s going to be dangerous and aggressive. The clouds are shown with a certain awareness, it’s almost like the storm is alive, progressing with “sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar. It’s like the storm is showing Bonito what “sinister” acts Alice is about to perform with his wife. Calcite is avidly sewing at home, so she is unaware of the oncoming dark clouds. She senses perspiration gathered on her face, and occasionally wipes it off. Calcite hasn’t yet noticed the storm approaching, but she senses it and is aware of her own perspiration and heat. When she notices that it’s beginning to grow darker, she runs about the house closing windows and goes outside to retrieve the clothes that were hung out to dry. She goes outside and sees Alice and then “the big rain drops began to fall” (p. 24). By “big rain drops” she means more perspiration because she grows anxious when she sees him. It’s no twist of fate that the storm and Alice arrive at the same time. The rain came down so hard that they had to put something in front of the door in order to keep the water out. That signifies that Alice can’t be kept out. The rain is coming down on the roof “with a force and clatter that threatens to break an entrance and deluge them there” (p. 225). The storm, Alice, was so menacing that t threatened to ruin the house, and life, that Bonito and Calcite have constructed together.

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Calcite stumbles back into Allele’s arms when a bolt of lightning strikes a tree outside the house. The storm is inevitable, the pounding rain is inevitable, and the utter desire and colliding emotions between Alice and Calcite are inevitable. “They did not heed the crashing torrents and the roar of the elements made her laugh as she lay in his arms” (p. 226). Calcite and Alice give into their sexual desires. She feels happy and safe in his arms. The storm begins to pass, signifying that the threat is now over.

Alice rides off and Bonito and Bibb journey home, unaware of the dishonorable acts that had just taken place. When Bonito and Bibb arrive at home, Bonito gives Calcite a can of shrimp, which she loves. You can tell that he is a caring husband, but Calcite doesn’t deserve him after the disrespectful deed she had just done. Seemingly happy family enjoys dinner together” (Blooms). In the end, the affair is forgotten and everything goes back to normal. “The final line of the story absolves the lovers of any guilt: “So the storm passed and everyone was happy” (Blooms).

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