Contextual analysis on The storm
Contextual Analysis of Storm by Chopin
The primary hallmark that many writers employ in their work is the ability to ensure readers empathize with the characters in the story. This aspect entrenches even beyond the reader’s connection with the characters as well as their understanding of characters. It is because when users get involved in empathizing with the characters, they tend to relate to them. Ideally, when readers can feel the same pain, the characters in the story feel then it is true that the author or poet has attained something special in their work. Looking at the short story “the storm” written by Kate Chopin, one can conceptualize outrageous emotional conflict that get conveyed in few words. In a story of few pages long, Kate is in a position to tell an interesting story of a woman wavering between two men. The author employs the use of storm as her primary symbol and possesses great language use to describe vividly the characters emotions. The author displays her ability to explain her characters feelings through language rather than employing emotions.
SETTING AND CULTURAL CONTEXT
The short story takes place precisely in a comparatively small town within Louisiana. This place is where all the characters reside (Krauss and Chopin 234). A small portion of the story is carried out at Friedheimer’s store; this is Alcée’s house, as well as the place where Clarisse is residing. In the story, the vital setting is the Calixta and Bobinôt’s homestead (Werlock and James 619). This time is when Bobinôt is not present at home. Interestingly, another man popped into his private domestic space and replaced his role in the bedroom by having sex with his wife. Alcée and Calixta are seen during the storm to push each other’s arms and eventually enters the bed. The home is not described in details, but a reader can conceptualize that it is composed of the small front gallery, general utility room, dining room, and the sitting room. Interestingly, the room is said to have looked dim and mysterious. It provides Alcée and Calixta with a conducive shelter during the storm and allows them to enjoy the conjugal right (Menke 237). Surprisingly, the storm, in this case, is seen to have happened at the time when both parties engage themselves in a sexual scene. This aspect eliminates the presence of Bobinôt and Bibi while placing into the picture the presence of Alcée and Calixta. When the storm stops both the parties must now go their way, and Bobinôt is not aware of the sexual scene that happened in the process of the storm. Notably the setting of this short story reminds the readers of the characters position in the world. It gets depicted that there is the existence of social stratification in this society as portrayed in the story. In as much as they share same French ancestry, Creoles and Acadians displayed social class boundaries and differences through this time. To be price, Creoles, Alcée and Clarisse get depicted as being of high class as compared to Acadians, Calixta, and Bobinôt. Though of low class, Calixta and Bobinôt can still afford their resident. Clarisse and Alcée’s, on the other hand, are seen to make money and can afford to employ a maid. Ideally, Chopin’s characters portray their social class each time they open up and talk.
Feminism and social context: In the context of Chopin’s storm, one gets to understand vividly the character of one woman known as Calixta, who tends to rekindle a long-gone romance by engaging the former lover in the process of a storm. The author contemplates the lost love and the essence of an unwanted relationship in the story. There are varied hidden meaning in this short story told behind the curtain that are characterized by a lot of symbolism (Kirszner 343). The storm gives an insight into the sexual standards especially the restraints of the nineteenth century. The wind made the Bobinot and Bibi get stuck in the market and wait for the storm. The housewife Calixta sits alone, and she is not aware that the storm is brewing. When she eventually realizes the brewing storm, she rushes to close the window and matches outside to grasp a laundry before the wind carries it away. She then asks for shelter soon after the storm. In Chopin’s story, the central climax gets depicted by the scene of romance that to some extent projects pain. A little tension also gets illustrated when the author says that the thunder was distance and passed away. The rain beats quietly inviting the sleep and drowsiness. However, they dared not (Chopin 33). At this moment, Bobinot and Bibi are on their way home and, in this case, the storm rise where Bobinot and Bibi could find Calixta and Alcee asleep (Stein 126). Bobinot and Bibi then come back home and joined a worried woman Calixta as they take their supper. Everyone seems happy, and Bobinot is not aware that his wife had just cheated on him. The author also put it clear that Alcee is a married man, but he get happier when his wife is far apart as depicted in his letter to his wife(Chopin 123). This fact projects that his marriage becomes one of the storms and convenience. Ideally, the story can result in many culminated conceptions about varied characters of the play as it is the character driven the plot. For instance, I firmly believe that Bobinot loves Calixta very much (Chopin 120). Calixta plays a fundamental feminism role as a housewife who stays at home doing the family chores. Back in the modern time women were supposed to play the vital role of feminism. Calixta is depicted to have stayed at home involving herself on the housework. Calixta’s love of sewing and doing the house chores describes his role in marriage that involve her and Bobinot. Additionally, Calixta is in a position to save Bobinot’s pants from being carried by the winds. The use of symbolism like the title itself plays a vital role in depicting the social construction of the story. Despite projecting the turmoil among the characters, it also tells more about the passion the two characters have towards each other in the midst of the storm. The central theme of the story is based on the sexual reservation of Chopin’s particular period. Interesting, after their sexual engagement Alcee and Calixta, feels way much satisfied and possess no guilt (Kirby, 435). Ideally, in the Chopin’s short story, the title the storm portrays a brief extramarital affair between two main characters Alcee and Calixta. Rather than seen the story as the condemnation of infidelity, many readers usually attributes it to an affirmation of human sexuality. The story about the storm can get interpreted as the outstanding affirmation of the feminine sexuality as well as it domination by the entire community. It is, therefore, true that one should have a comprehensive contextual analysis of this story to plot its cultural and social facets.
Chopin, Kate, and Emily Toth. A Vocation and a Voice: Stories. New York, N.Y., U.S.A: Penguin Books, 1991. Internet resource.
Chopin, Kate, and Helen Taylor. Kate Chopin Portraits: Short Stories. London: Women’s, 1979. Print.
Chopin, Kate. The Storm, and Other Stories: With the Awakening. Old Westbury, N.Y.: Feminist, 1974. Print.
Kirby, Lisa A. “‘So the Storm Passed…’: Interrogating Race, Class, and Gender in Chopin’s ‘At the ‘Cadian Ball’ and ‘The Storm’.” Kate Chopin in the Twenty-First Century: New Critical Essays. 91-104. Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars, 2008.
Kirszner, Laurie G, and Stephen R. Mandell. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Boston, Mass: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Menke, Pamela Glenn. ” ‘I Almost Live Here’: Gender and Ethnicity in The Awakening and ‘The Storm.’ ” Southern Studies 8 (1997): 73-81.
Seyersted, Per. “Introduction.” ‘The Storm’ and Other Stories by Kate Chopin: With ‘The Awakening New York: Feminist Press, 1974.
Stein, Allen. “The Kaleidoscope of Truth: A New Look at Chopin’s ‘The Storm.’ “ American Literary Realism 36 (2003): 51-64.
Werlock, Abby H. P, and James P. Werlock. The Facts on File Companion to the American Short Story. New York NY: Facts On File, Inc, 2010. Internet resource.
Krauss, Kerstin. Kate Chopin: The Storm of “the Storm”; [seminar Paper]. München: GRIN, 2008. Internet resource.
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