Use of Setting in Kate Chopin's The Storm Essay

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Use of Setting in Kate Chopin “The Storm”
By: Marissa Green

Marissa Green
Composition II
09 June 2014
Word Count: Green Page1

Marissa Green
Mrs. Mata
ENGL 1302, Section 16403
09 June 2014

Use of setting “The Storm” “The Storm” by Kate Chopin, focuses on the subject of adultery. “The Storm” is a

difficult web between two former lovers and the emotions they once felt for each other. The

story is short just a few pages in length but great in detail when relaying the relationship that a

woman and the two men have. Kate Chopin uses the storm as an emotion that is later expressed

within the characters. The story is set in the late nineteenth century at Friedheimer's store in

Louisiana, and, at the nearby house of Calixta and Bobinot where the affair happens. During this

time marriage is held in very high regards and adultery is looked upon as extremely sinful. The

two main characters Calixta (the wife) and Alcee (former lover) are the main focus of the

adultery. The storm is approaching quickly while the husband (Bobinot) and the son (Bibi) are

at the store and forced to stay there to keep safe from the storm. As the storm gets closer

Bobinot points out to his son Bibi that “certain somber clouds that were rolling with sinister

intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar” (Chopin). This expressing to

the son that it is a dangerous storm that could cause some damage. The clouds and storm having

a sinister intention is like Alcee preying on Calixta. Calixta is at home working and not paying attention to the storm that is approaching almost blinded by the work that she is performing in her home. When Calixta finally realizes how dark it has become outside she goes out onto the porch then she notices Alcee and”the big rain drops began to fall” (Chopin). Alcee is forced to take shelter in Calixta home and the
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adultery happens during that time as the storm continues. It seems ironic that the storm that forces her family to stay out from home forces someone into her home. It is apparent the outcome from Alcee having to be forced into the home just as the husband cannot make it home; Alcee seemed to have very distinct intention to come into the home and seduce Calixta. Calixta does not appear to care that Alcee is in her home and it is apparent that she is alright with the adultery taking place. "For what they want, what they need, what for them is life itself, their
'birthright'--not selfishly, not unaware of the risks and costs, not with the intention of hurting anybody, but with a lust for life itself, with an ecstatic acceptance of what the moment is offering them, with trust and peace and hope." (Koloski)
Calixta being married does not come across as a factor it seems to give the affair more passion. Whether or not marriage is even respected is to be questioned. There are two people that don’t seem to care about the affair or the marriage that they are ruining no shame or guilt is expressed. “The water beat in upon the boards in driving sheets” making it “necessary to put something beneath the door to keep the water out” (Chopin). This is expression that they know they are not caring about the wrong doing but at the same time don’t want to be caught. The strength of the storm beating at the windows and doors cannot sustain their passion. “Before long the two are in each other’s arms and in bed, with their passionate lovemaking, paralleling the storms surging, seems to them fitting consummation to the limited intimacy they had shared years before.” (Stein). The storm represents Alcee breaking up the marriage like the storm that can’t be kept out neither can Alcee. Alcee is not looking to give up on causing damage to the life that Calixta and Bobinot have together. The whirlwind effect of a