Calixta’s Presentation in The Storm by Kate Chopin !
Calixta is the protagonist in Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” who appears to feel
disconnected with her husband which triggers her to commit adultery. While she is with another man she feels no sense of guilt which causes a controversy amongst readers.
Some readers believe what she is doing is wrong or selfish while others wonder whether it would be more acceptable if it was Calixta’s husband having an affair. !
Readers are first introduced to Calixta when her son and father discuss whether
she’ll be okay handling the soon to come storm by herself. While her husband was afraid she was at home not questioning a storm or the whereabouts of her family. As the storm continues to approach an old friend of Calixta, Alce, asks if she will give him shelter during the storm. He innocently helps her with a few chores and while the rain hardens their desire to further a relationship escalates. !
Readers will assume that she holds a sensual appearance when Kate Chopin
describes her as… “… a little fuller of a figure than five years before when she married; but she had lost nothing of her vivacity. Her blue eyes still retained their melting quality; and her yellow hair, disheveled by the wind and rain, kinked more stubbornly than ever about her ears and temples.” which is enough to tempt any man alone in a room with her. After a bolt of lightning sears through the roof and Calixta becomes more afraid,
Acle gets closer to her she furthers herself away and begins mentioning her son, Bibi.
What’s interesting is how she does not seem to worry about her husband’s whereabouts nor does she mention him, but her son remains the only important safety factor to her thoughts. Alce consoles her and holds her in a sensual way which then initiates the affair. !
The harder the rain pours the more rough they become with each other and once
the storm comes to a close they continue to lay down and cuddle together. Clarixt’s sensuous nature is later described during the affair as “a revelation in that dim, mysterious chamber; as white as the couch she lay upon. Her firm, elastic flesh that was knowing for the first time its birthright, was like a creamy lily that the sun invites to contribute its breath and perfume to the undying life of the world. The generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous nature that had never yet been reached.” Once the rain stopped Alce left and Calixta’s family approaches their home. When Calixta’s son enter the house she shows no sign of regret, instead her excitement rises knowing that her son is in good shape and home safe. She takes a while to adjust and speak to her husband properly, when she does she only talks about
Bibi, her son. !
While Calixta rejoiced with her husband, Alce wrote his wife, Calrrisse, a letter
claiming his devoted love her. Not once did he mention the affair. He also suggested
Clarrisse to not hurry back home as he wishes them to be safe. Chopin mentions the description of the letter as “… a loving letter, full of tender solicitude. He told her not to hurry back, but if she and the babies like it at Biloxi, to stay a month longer. He was getting on…