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Empathizing With The Characters In The Storm By Kate Chopin

1002 words - 5 pages

One of my favorite things an author can do is to make the reader empathize with the characters. This is far more than just making a connection with one or more of the characters or even understanding the characters. Making a reader empathize with a character to me is the best involvement a reader can have while reading. In the short story The Storm by Kate Chopin, she conveys conflict and connects it with nature making it seem un-sinful and just a part of natural existence. Using a storm to symbolize the connection and passion between her and a lover. The storm outside matching the storm of emotions raging inside the house.
She sets the scene with the storm approaching and Calixta at home working while her husband and her son, unbenounced to the storm that is brewing inside the house, are out at the store. He husband shows his sin the storm talking about its sinister intention. Making it obvious to us readers that it is a threatening and dangerous storm. This also gives the storm a human like trait, a consciousness if you will add to that the threatening roar and now the storm takes on a more animalist feel, like a lion roaring when its hunting to make its presence known.
Calixta at home does not notice the approaching storm but yet she “…felt very warm and often stopped to mop her face on which the perspiration gathered in beads…” To me this conveys a message that she was subconsciously aware of the brewing storm. Not noticing the storm’s approach but noticing the heat that is making her perspire. It suddenly began to grow dark and she begins to realize the situation. She quickly gets up and starts to prepare for the storm. The moment she steps foot outside, there she sees Alcee and coincidentally the rain begins to fall.
But it is no coincidence that the Chopin writes Alcee’s and the storm’s arrival to be at the same time. With the storm getting stronger, he must go inside for shelter. “The water beat in upon the boards in driving sheets” making it “necessary to put something beneath the door to keep the water out” show how the storm forces Alcee to take his surprise visit indoors. The storm threatens to break apart the house and Alcee and Clixta’s storm threaten to break apart the life she has built together with Bobinot, her husband.
Chopin writes the storm as “stiflingly hot” like a mixture of heat and water that causes humidity to drape window panes. But the real storm that is “stiflingly hot” and fogging up the windows is the storm that is brewing between Calixta and Alcee. She stands by the window wiping away the moisture and he joins her but as they look out the window the rain comes down blurring the view of neighbors and cabins; “enveloping the distant wood in a gray mist.” To me this is the...

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