Kate Chopin, born as Kate O'Flaherty, was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the third of five children, and was the only child in her family to live past the age of twenty five. Because Chopin grew up during the Civil War, she was separated from her one friend Kitty Garesche, who she had met at the Sacred Heart Academy. Chopin's family held slaves and supported the South. Since St. Louis was a pro-North city, the Gareshe's were forced to move. In 1870, Chopin married Oscar Chopin, who was the son of a wealthy cotton-growing family in Louisiana. By all accounts, Oscar loved Chopin. He “admired her independence and intelligence, and "allowed" her unheard of freedom” (Wyatt). After their marriage, they lived in New Orleans where she had five boys and two girls. Oscar died of swamp fever there in 1882 and Chopin took over the running of his general store and plantation for over a year.
Chopin wrote two published novels, and one hundred short stories in the 1890's. “Most of her fiction is set in Louisiana, and her best known work focuses on the lives of sensitive intelligent women” (Clark). One of my favorite stories by Chopin is “The Storm.” The story was written July 19, 1898, and was published in The Complete Works of Kate Chopin in 1969. The setting of “The Storm” takes place in the late nineteenth century at a Friedheimer's store in Louisiana, and the house nearby of Calixta and Bobinot. Throughout the story, Chopin uses multiple conflicts to reveal her belief that nature can sometimes bring happiness in our lives.
When beginning the story, readers instantly hit the conflict of man vs nature. Characters Bibi and Bobinot are out at Friedheimer's store when they notice “sombre clouds rolling with sinister
intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar” (Chopin 300). Because they know a dangerous storm is on the way, they decide to stay at the store until the storm passes. This decision forces Calixta to remain at home alone and fend for her self. Calixta is so busy working at home that she is unaware of the upcoming storm. When it suddenly begins to grow dark, Calixta stops her work and prepares the house for the storm. When she goes outside, she sees her former lover Alcee. Despite Alcee's intentions to stay outside, he is forced to enter the house as the storm gains strength. The rain beats so hard on the house “with a force and clatter that threaten to break an entrance and deluge them there” (Chopin 301). Nature plays a big role in the development of the story because the storm is what brings Alcee and Calixta together in the first place. If there was no storm, Alcee wouldn't have a reason to enter Calixta's house. The conflict is resolved towards the end of the story when Alcee...