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The Storm Essay, Research Paper

The Storm

In Kate Chopin’s short story “The Storm,” the narrative

surrounds the brief affair of two individuals, Calixta and Alcee.

Many people don’t see the story as a condemnation of

infidelity, but rather as an act of human sexuality. This essay

argues that “The Storm” may be interpreted as a specific act

of sexuality and passion joined with a condemnation of its

repression by society. If one is to attempt to interpret “The

Storm,” it becomes necessary to examine the conditions of

the surroundings.

The title of “The Storm,” with its sexual energy and

passion, is of course critical to any interpretation of the

narrative. The title refers to nature, so the storm can

therefore he seen as symbolic of sexuality and passion. And

the image of the storm will be returned to again and again

throughout the story.

At the beginning of the story Bobinot and his young son,

Bibi decide to wait out a rapidly approaching storm at the

store. Bobinot’s wife, Calixta, is home alone, tending to the

household chores. Calixta’s is not aware of the storm

approaching, although she is married and has a child, she is

unaware of the sexuality and passion within her.

As Calixta is gathering up the laundry, Alcee Laballiere

enters the yard, seeking shelter from the coming storm. My

first impression of Alcee is that he is pretty well off in the

world. Although I see Bobinot as a simple man. There is a

mutual attraction between Calixta and Alcee, and this

attraction is not new. Calixta has not seen Alcee very often

since her marriage, and never alone. The attraction between

Calixta and Alcee is only briefly explored. With Alcee’s arrival

comes the beginning of the rain, and he asks to wait out the

storm on the front gallery.

Calixta is startled from her sudden awareness that she is

still sexually attracted to Alcee, even though both are married.

The storm increases quickly and drives Alcee inside.

Calixta’s appearance is described as “she is a little fuller of

figure than five years before she married; but she had not lost

nothing of her vivacity.”

The storm outside continues to increase, reflecting the

sexual tension inside. Calixta is becoming as unsettled as the

elements outside, the passion of the storm echoing her inner

emotions. Calixta and Alcee move to a window to watch the

storm, and when lightning strikes nearby, Calixta staggers

backward into Alcee’s arms, and for a moment he draws her

“close and Spasmodically to him.”

I don’t think Alcee sensed the passion that Calixta feels

in the beginning of the story. “the contact of her warm,

palpitating body when he had unthinkingly drawn her into his

arms, had aroused all the old-time infatuation, and desire for

her flesh.” Calixta and Alcee embrace, giving into the storm

of passion that is now present in both of them. Calixta and

Alcee cast aside the constraints of society and the boundaries

of their respective marriages. Neither has found passion of

this depth in their respective marriages. Then the storm

passes and Alcee leaves.

In the end of the story Calixta’s passion is seen to be

natural, experienced without guilt or shame. Bobinot and Bibi

returned home after the storm, and brought his wife (Calixta)

some shrimp. Calixta greeted them with nothing but

happiness and satisfaction of their safe return. For Calixta

the story ends with her renewal of her marital duties, and is

now aware of her natural, passionate, sexual nature. Alcee

like Calixta, is newly aware of the depths of the passion within

himself, and is not satisfied within the boundaries of his

marriage. And so the storm passed and everyone was


The story presented sexuality through the imagery of the

storm. Calixta was unaware of the sexuality within herself,

and it is only by putting aside her marriage, was she able to

know her true sexuality. One cannot assume that a brief and

limited awakening that passes like a storm will be enough to

make one happy, sexually, the storm will eventually return


The Storm

English 102

The Storm is interpreted as a specific act of

sexuality and passion. The Storm is not only an act

of nature, but of passion inside both Calixta and

Alcee. The storm comes along with the arrival of

Alcee, and leaves as he leaves Calixta.

I. The way of nature and human emotions.

A. Calixta’s emotions are mixed up when Alcee

arrives in the story.

B. Calixta remembers forgotten feelings toward


II. The storm gets more vigorous.

A. The storm becomes more violent as Calixta

feels the attraction for Alcee.

B. Alcee draws Calixta close to him.

III.Alcee unleashes his feelings for Calixta.

A. The storm reveals itself as Calixta and Alcee

are sexually drawn together.

B. Alcee and Calixta see a different side of


English 102

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