Analytical Essay on 'The Storm' by Kate Chopin

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Kate Chopin was an American author and her stories are based on nineteenth-century culture and society. She is known for her duplicity of effect, the limited perspective of nineteenth-century society, on women. The stories, “The Story of an Hour” and “The Storm” are based on marriage and adultery. In these stories, Chopin indicates that all marriages even the kindest ones filled with love and respect, can be essentially bitter. This essay will prove the morality and ethics related to marriage and adultery. In the story, “The Story of an Hour”; Chopin shows how Mrs. Mallard is happy about her husband’s death, but in the story “The Storm” Chopin shows how Calixta has hidden desires that cannot be fulfilled by her husband. In both the stories Chopin is trying to indicate that during that era marriage and commitment were more important than women’s happiness. Both the characters, Mrs. Mallard and Calixta are trapped in a marriage with a husband they are not entirely happy with.

In the story “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard has a heart disease and she finds out that her husband, Brently Mallard died in a train accident. But later she finds out that he is still alive, and she dies due to her heart disease. When Mrs. Mallard finds out that her husband is dead, at first she has this uneasy feeling, she is sad and anxious. But a few minutes later she realizes that she feels a little different and that is the scene of freedom. The weather outside Mrs. Mallard’s house is pleasant as the author states’ “She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air.” (Chopin 543). The pleasant spring weather portrays the sense of freedom and the rebirth of women. Chopin discusses a woman’s need of self- personality, opportunity, and the confinement she encounters in a marriage. The heart disease in the story to a degree demonstrates the amount of burden she has in her marriage. When Mrs. Mallard has a little scene of happiness, she realizes that she is free from the marriage and this also shows that she was not very happy in this marriage, as the author states, “When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” ” (Chopin 543). This also shows that Mrs. Mallard is a person who likes her own space and likes to do things her way. For instance, Chopin states, “Men and women believe they have the right to impose a private will upon fellow-creature.” This shows that Mrs. Mallard has a different mindset about marriage, she has a little modern mindset of marriage that the couple should also have the freedom to do what they want to while they are married, instead of imposing rules on each other. This also shows that Mrs. Mallard loved her husband but just wanted some space and freedom. When Mrs. Mallard died, the author states that “she had died of heart disease --- of joy that kills.” (Chopin 544) this to a certain extent demonstrates the mindset of society, the doctor thinks that she died because she was happy with her husband. But she may have died due to the shock of thinking that she cannot have her freedom and independence back.

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In contrast, in the story “The Storm”, Calixta, is a mom and a wife yet she commits adultery with a man named Alcee who was her lover before she got married. In this story, Chopin uses the weather storm, can demonstrate the desires Calixta has, and the end of the storm demonstrates that when Calixta performed adultery no one found out and her husband and son are back home and the marriage continues to be how it used to be. This story addresses a very important issue during that era, it shows the sexual desire Calixta has which is not fulfilled by her marriage, She is unhappy in her marriage and her only duty is to take care of her family. This can be seen when the author states, “She sat at a window sewing furiously on a sewing machine.” (Chopin 545) this demonstrates that her only job is to take care of the house and household. During the storm when Alcee came to her house and when they committed adultery, she did not hesitate to do it, which shows the unhappiness in her marriage. After the storm passes everything is normal Calixta never acts like anything happened during the storm, the author states, “Bobinot and Bibi began to relax and enjoy themselves, and when the three seated themselves at the table they laughed much and so loud that anyone might have heard them as far away as Laballiere’s.” (547). Chopin by this story demonstrated that in a marriage, a woman's needs and desires were not very important during that era, It shows there was dishonesty in the marriage even after the adultery was performed, it was not very usual to perform adultery in that era either.

These stories were based in New Orleans in the nineteenth century. Kate Chopin shows the local colors in both stories. She demonstrates the perception of things like the start of spring, patches of blue sky through mists, the twittering of sparrows, and the smell of coming rain as Mrs. Mallard's mindfulness about the genuine idea of her opportunity, she now will be able to pursue her dreams to carry on with her life as she wishes. Whereas in “The Storm” Chopin addresses the issue of love and desire of women, it exhibits sexual standards and limits in nineteenth-century. Chopin uses the word “Storm” to show Calixta’s sexuality and energy which is subdued by the requirement of her marriage. In both the story women are not happy in their marriage, but they choose their family and husband over their own needs and freedom. Chopin also indicates how rules forced by the society around them on women influenced them to disregard their own temperament.

In conclusion, Chopin speaking to diverse parts of women in the previously mentioned stories is attempting to unfurl about the state of women and about their needs and freedom which were generally suppressed at her time. These stories also show that women were forced into a marriage or had arranged marriages, it was not important to know how women felt about anything. Women did not have any opinion, and there was no such thing as divorce during that era, women had to be in a committed relationship regardless of their own feelings. Through Chopin’s stories, she does not exclusively address the circumstances of women during their era but she additionally communicates her own thinking about marriage and adultery during that era.

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Analytical Essay on ‘The Storm’ by Kate Chopin. (2024, January 04). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
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