The Passion's Storm

Essay by topgun117University, Master'sA+, May 2004

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Love and marriage have been bound tightly together by traditions and cultures across the world and throughout history. However, we often find that such binding is not as veritable in reality. Like Kate Chopin bravely expressed more than a century ago in her short story "The Storm," that love and sexual passions like storms hit us unprepared every so often. On the other hand, marriage is a constitution and a set of rules that governs people's behavior, and makes them function as a family, while love and sexuality is a passion that is not bounded by the contract of marriage. Kate addresses her inspiration through well-planned story settings, breath-taking sexual images, and her implicit use of signs.

The settings are well staged to lead the readers into the mood of her story. The tale begins with an unsettling atmosphere: the leaves are still, and the "somber clouds" rolling in from the west like "a sullen, threatening roar."

The images of "somber clouds" and "sullen roar" render the air with gloomy and unsettling feeling, and sets up the stage for the passionate episode what waits to happen. Calixta is sewing inside her house and unaware of what is happening outside as the storm approaches, yet, she feels unbearable warmth arise inside, as if the author is implying that Calixta is unaware of her passionate nature, which is soon going to surface. It is the passion that seeds deep side of her longing to bloom with a thirst of nourishment from the rain. After Calixta let Alcee into her house for sheltering, the bedroom's door "stood open" in front of him, showing the "white, monumental bed" which "looked dim and mysterious." The bedroom is another well-staged setting the author uses to draw the readers' attention. The bed is noticeably white...