The Setting of Chopin’s “The Storm”
In “The Storm” Kate Chopin makes the setting an essential and entwined part of her action and ideas. The story focuses on the two main characters, Calixta and Alcee and their short love affair. The action is taking place in a small town in Louisiana where all of the characters live. The story is set in the late nineteenth century when adultery was not expected from anyone, as woman were considered to be innocent and faithful. The integration of setting and story can be followed in details about the storm itself, setting of the atmosphere/mood, and also the complexities of married status in the society.
“The Storm” is not only the title of the short story, but it is also part of the main setting that is directly tied to the passion between Calixta and Alcee. As the storm gets stronger and louder, the two main characters begin to remember vivid physical flashbacks. The memories escalate into a sexual encounter. While the adultery was taking place ...view middle of the document...
Calixta was described as having beautiful blue eyes, yellow hair, pomegranate red lips, and white neck. She is "as white as the couch she lay upon," and her passion is described as a "white flame" (Chopin). The bedroom in the house contained a white bed and appeared “dim and mysterious” (Chopin).
Story takes place within a society which morally cannot allow sharing of this type of an encounter with others. Both of the main characters are expected to continue their marital life and remain faithful to each owns family. In the story, the writer addresses the theme of womanhood and the complexities of the holy matrimony. The story is drawn to a close by this sentence, “So the storm passed and everyone was happy” (Chopin). This sentence reflects the relationship that Calixta and Bobinot share and provides us with a glimpse of the emotional bond the two of them have. The writer’s view is that a woman’s sexuality and her desires are suppressed by marriage, although sometimes that desire can be fulfilled without placing any type of damage on the relationship.
Along with this story, writers use setting to create meaning. The description of characters and locations allows the reader to feel as if they are present within the story. Setting is essential to the story. The realism of the locations and objects in this story gives it credibility with the reader. The storm is the symbol for the driving force behind the story and the love affair. Without this main setting in the story the two characters would not have had an opportunity to be in presence of one another. The storm brings the two characters together. It blocks them in and forces them to act on their desires, and finally ends their affair. Chopin is able to convey feelings through the use of her language without ever describing the characters’ emotions. Through the use of imagery, the change of the locations and the character’s development the theme of the story is presented. Because of this and all the other details mentioned, it is easily understood that Chopin’s setting and her story are completely integrated and intertwined.
Chopin, Kate. “The Storm.” Kate Chopin International Society. kathehopin.org. 1 July 2012.
Web. 5 July 2012.