Kate Chopin's "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour"
'The Storm' and 'The Story of an Hour' expresses the attitudes of two women's rebirth and liberation. These two stories are alike in several ways. Natures plays a major role in both of these women's lives. Calixta and Mrs. Louise Mallard struggle to find their independence and in doing so the endings are triumphant and tragic.
'The Storm' begins on a stormy spring day, with the protagonist Calixta at her sewing machine. She is alone, her husband Bobinot and son Bibi have gone to the store. Calixta seems to be a bored woman, confined to her duties as a housewife and mother. As the distant storm approaches she is unaware of what the storm brings, her former lover Alcee. Calixta allows Alcee into her home and opens her whole world to him. There is a connection between the storm that is going on outside and the storm of emotions going on in Calixta and Alcee. The weather sends Calixta into Alcee?s arms, he wraps his arms around her, and they can no longer hide their feelings for one another. They gave into their raging emotions and made love. Outside the weather was subsiding and Calixta and Alcee?s bodies felt relaxed and calmed. ?The rain was over; and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems.? (1614) His face beamed with light like the sun. The storm inside of her was satisfied and for a brief instant Calixta felt liberated from her ordinary dull life.
Unlike Calixta, Louise Mallard is a fragile woman afflicted with heart trouble. It comes to her attention through a trustworthy friend that her husband, Brently Mallard has been killed in a railroad disaster. She is overcome with intense grief and instantly weeps over the loss of her husband. Mrs. Mallard retreats to the solitude of her bedroom to
mourn the death of her husband. Suddenly she feels a sense of liberation. Nature also plays a part in Mrs. Mallard feeling the way she does, just as it did with Calixta in ?The Storm.? Mrs. Mallard has just learned of a horrible death but yet she could not help but see that the trees were blooming with new spring life; there was new fallen rain, and birds were singing. The rain, as it did in ?The Storm,? replenished and allowed nature to grow just as the news would allow Mrs. Mallard to grow as a reborn, liberated women, free from bondage. ?And yet she loved him ? sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter!? (21) It seems as if she is trying to convince herself there is nothing wrong with her feeling this way. There was something about the thought of living for herself, she would no longer have anyone to answer to, she was free to be herself, and most of all free to love again. ?Free! Body and soul free!? (21) Mrs. Mallard was not making herself ill as her sister had thought. She was taking in an elixir of life. It was almost as is her body had been healed. The heavy weight that was once on her chest and heart had...