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The Storm Essay, Research Paper

i titled mine “Nature’s Passion” but you do what you will with it…it hasn’t been graded or i’d give you the grade. good luck…………..:)

Kate Chopin wrote her fictional short story “The Storm” in the late nineteenth century. During this time, women were looked down upon as being merely housewives; their needs and desires weren’t considered in every day living. This story refutes that idea by showing how the necessities of nature coincide with the needs of personal satisfaction. Chopin’s use of symbolism models how the requirements of nature and the needs of people must and will be satisfied in order to sustain life. The title of this story suggests a metaphorical connection between the invading thunderstorm outside and the storm of emotions fired within the individuals Calixta and Alcee. The intensity of their affair follows the patterns of the storm that occurs outside.

The approaching storm has been brewing for some time, just as the relationship between Calixta and Alcee has. The story speaks of her appearance to him five years before, and expressed some of her old qualities that still remained. Alcee asks, “Do you remember—in Assumption, Calixta”(Chopin 109), alluding to a passionate encounter years ago. The emotional storm has been building for years, and the storm could be seen for miles before it got there; however Calixta does not recognize either of the storms until Alcee approaches her home.

The wind begins to blow as Alcee arrives on his horse. When he speaks to her, there are gusts of wind that try to carry the clothes from the porch, and gusts of memories that carry Calixta back in time. As Alcee decides to stand on the porch, the weather forbids him and the rain forces him inside. He stares at her longingly as the rain clatters upon the shingled roof with a force that threatens to enter and deluge them there (109). Just as the heavy rain and wind tries to break down the barriers of the house to expose the lovers to the elements outside, the barriers between Alcee and Calixta are eroding to expose their inner feelings to the surface and their actions. The barriers they had built within themselves to resist such temptation were slowly being worn down as the storm strengthened.

“The playing of lightning was incessant. A bolt struck a tall chinaberry tree at the edge of the field. It filled all visible space with a blinding glare and the crash seemed to invade the very boards they stood upon”(109). The flash that jolted the floor below them symbolizes the electricity and emotion felt between Calixta and Alcee. The drama of the jolt sends her staggering into his arms, and the desire can no further be denied. They no longer ran from the internal storm of passion, but embraced it as Calixta’s worries of the thundershower were overlooked. “They did not heed the crashing torrents, and the roar of the elements made her laugh as she lay in his arms”(110). Calixta is only concerned with fulfilling the storm raging inside of them. The thunder and lightning are roaring on the outside as they consummate their lustful affair. Nature’s storm leads them into pleasure and then to relaxation as it passes.

“The growl of the thunder was distant and passing away. The rain beat softly upon the shingles, inviting them to drowsiness and sleep. The rain was over; and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems”(110). The storm diminishes bringing their raging passion to a calming resolution. Each storm leaves the needs and desires of both the earth and the individuals relaxed and satisfied. “He turned and smiled at her with a beaming face”(110). He beamed like the sun breaking through the thick, somber clouds of a passing rain. Just as the shower feeds the desires of nature and allows it to grow, the passionate encounter leaves both Alcee and Calixta feeling whole and replenished. The relationships between they and their families are reinforced and begin to develop.

The same night of the encounter with Alcee, Calixta’s family strengthened their bond. “…When the three of them (Calixta, her husband Bobinot, and Bibi, her son) seated themselves at the table they laughed much and so loud that anyone might have heard them as far away as Laballiere’s”(111). The burden of desire was also lifted from Alcee’s shoulders, and the storm sparked a new light within Alcee for his wife. “Alcee Laballiere wrote to his wife, Clarisse, that night. It was a loving letter, full of tender solicitude”(111). Chopin even mentions that he now realizes his family’s health and pleasure should be considered foremost. “So the storm passed and every one was happy”(111).

“The Storm,” written by Kate Chopin, opposes the ideas of the late nineteenth century by introducing the fulfillment of a woman’s desires by a man in her position. It shows how the needs and requirements of nature, as well as people, must be satisfied in order to maintain life. Chopin’s use of symbolism displays a connection between an emerging rainstorm and the storm of emotions growing within the two characters. The intensity of their encounter mirrors the pattern of the rainstorm as it builds to a climax of thundering sheets of rain, and then reduces to a mere breeze.

Chopin, Kate. “The Storm”. Literature and the Writing Process, 5th ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 1999. 108-111.

you may want to add a thesaurus or something with this, but this is really all i used

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