The storm sets in motion the chain of events that leads to the characters adultery. Do you think the storm excuses the characters in any way from responsibility for their actions?In her short story The Storm, Kate Chopin creates a situation where two people give in to their sexual desire with the help of the outside setting. Although the threatening appearance of the storm does incite the deep rooted emotion; the couple is not excused from their treacherous act since they are well aware of their sin.
As the story begins, Bobinot and Bibi are sitting inside of a store watching the approaching storm, worrying about Calixta at home. However at home, Calixta is not aware of the coming downpour or her wicked act about to take place. It is not until it grows dark that she realizes the situation and closes the windows and gathers the laundry. That is when Alcee comes along riding on his horse, which exposes Calixta to a decision: to let this man in for shelter during the storm, or let him drench in the rain. Eventhough Calixta and Alcee were old lovers they are now married to other people. They had not seen each other very often since her marriage, and never alone. Her decision to let the man in is the beginning of the rising storm foretells the events that are to come. Once she chooses to allow him to enter her house, she begins to panic and worry, not only that what she was getting herself into was wrong, but also about her family who was still stuck out in the storm.
The storm caused each person to make a quick decision, for Bibi and Bobin the quick decision was where to go once the storm had begun, for Alcee the quick decision to ask his married ex lover for shelter, and Calixta was given the most complex decision, which was whether or not to let Alcee come in. Another factor that attributes to the symbolism in this story is that as the storm grows more intense, so do the actions of Calixta. The fact that at first when she let Alcee in, she was worried for her husband and son only adds to her immorality. She cares about her family, and they worry for her; her marriage may not e perfect but also not a failure. When Calixta and Alcee encounter their betrayal act, it is their sexual desire that drives them, the natural force just like the storm. As more tension in the storm builds up, more tension increases between the two inside the house. The storm does not only destroy the characters property, but it also destroys the trust and faith on which their marriages are based on.
When they finish, Calixta watched Alcce ride away, He turned and smiled at her with a beaming face; and she lifted her pretty chin in the air and laughed aloud. They do not feel ashamed of their action; they even feel glad with their physical satisfaction. After Bobinot and Bibi come home she is pleased that they return safely but she does not show any regret on what she has done. She appears cheerful and full of energy. Bobinot thought she would be worried because of the storm and had brought her a can of shrimps to make her feel better, however they laughed so much and so loud that anyone might have heard them as far away as Laballieres.
Only a liar and betrayer could do such deceitful action and then laugh as if nothing happens. As for Alcee, he comes home and writes his wife a loving letter telling her not to hurry back, and says he misses her and their kid. He also is a liar but in his case, his wife also enjoys being away from him. Since the marriage does not seem to be a success, it is understandable how he would cheat on his wife. But for Calixta, she has a loving husband and a caring son; she could not have committed this crime without shame.
In some cases the environment makes extraordinary things happen, whereas in normal circumstances people would not act the same way. However, it is in the human will that they choose to make a decision; it is their heart which is whether weak or strong to refuse a temptation. Unlike the natural forces that are uncontrollable, peoples minds are of their own and thus they should be considerate of their moral and wrong doings.
Chopin, Kate. The Storm. Rpt. in Compact Literature ReadingReacting Writing. By Kirszner and Mandell. 6th ed. 2007.
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Topic: Journal on “The Storm” by Kate Chopin
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