March 31, 2015
The setting of the short story “The Storm” by Kate Chopin impacts the relationship between the two main characters, Calixa, the wife of Bobinot and Alcee, Calixa’s former lover. This is conveyed through Chopin’s use of metaphorical relationships of building the climax and simulating possible actions of an affair. The setting plays a role in the story which helps the audience to understand the three symbolic points that make the setting interesting, which are the physical storm, love passion and the possible impact of their relationships. “The Storm” by Kate Chopin takes place in Southern Louisiana where all the characters live. A small portion of the story takes place at Fredheimer’s store, but majority takes place at Calixa and Bobinot Home. From the beginning of the story we see that Chopin uses the physical storm to move the story forward. As the storm approaches Calixta is at home working while her husband Bobinot and son Bibi are out at the store. Bobinot points out the storm to Bibi by calling his attention to “certain somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar.” This description makes it obvious that this is a threatening, dangerous storm. The clouds are portrayed with a sort of consciousness; it is as though the storm is alive, rolling in with “sinister intention … accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar.” It is like a growling animal stalking its prey. With Calixa waiting at home for her husband and son to return, she does not notice the approaching storm. As she goes outside she sees Alcee and the raindrops begin to fall. The storm represents a symbolic meaning through Chopin’s short story because even though there is a physical storm going on outside, the author uses the storm to simulate the internal feeling in Calixa and Alcee. Even though Calixa and Alcee were former lovers, they still had feeling towards one another that lead to an affair. Not only does the physical storm take place, but also the sultry sensation Calixa and Alcee hold for each other takes over them.
The subject of adultery is first introduced in the story as Alcee asked Calixa if he could come inside before the storm gets any worse. That is also a turning point where Chopin lets the readers know that Calixa still have feelings for Alcee. This is shown in the story as it states, “His voice and her own startled her as if from a trance.” (Chopin pg.178). After that performance, the story changes from an outdoor storm to an inner storm between the two characters Calixa and Alcee. According to Christopher Baker from “The Explicator” he uses her womanly aggressive fulfillment as a flower. As a floral calyx unfolds its protective sepals to present the flower, Calixa has opened to receive sexual and emotional fulfillment "for the first time" in an atmosphere of natural fecundity. Her name suggests that in her moment of love, "at the borderland of life's mystery", her identity becomes one with the unfolding reproductive power of nature itself and part of the "glistening green world" which, by the story's close, the sun had made "a place of gems" ( Baker pg.598). This also leads both main characters towards one another, which was illustrated “The door stood open, and the room with its white, monumental bed, its closed shutters, looked dim and mysterious.” (Chopin pg. 177). Soon after, Calixa and Alcee make love to each other. Calixa is portrayed as not having a problem with the jeopardy it can cause to her and her family. Alcee then goes home and writes a letter to his wife telling her how he is enjoying himself and notifies his family to enjoy their vacation. The fact everything is back to normal again does not lie in the fact the sun is coming back out, but also the attitudes of both Calixa and Alcee. Even