Marriage According To Kate Chopin Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

Kate Chopin is an experienced short story writer from the beginning of the 1900s, who was ahead of her time due to her amazing ability to take such complex characters that are easy to identify with and create amazing short stories in such a small amount of space. Marriage is a common theme in her stories, because a "wife" was a defining role in women's lives back then. The only thing is, marriage is not always shown to be flowery and romantic like writings before her. She looked at the painfully real side of how marriage can be good and bad, notably in The Story of an Hour and The Storm. Kate Chopin's attitude towards marriage is primarily negative because it can become dull and it can repress women, yet at the same time her attitude is positive due to the companionship it provides.

Marriage has passion in the initial stages, but that passion starts to diminish after time. The once magnificent, exciting new lover can start to become regular and conventional after a while. This is a problem that Kate Chopin's protagonist character had in The Storm. Alcee was a man who attracted the main female character, Calixta. The seduction of the rainstorm pulled the two together, because that seems to be the only seduction Calixta has had in a while. Calixta probably hasn't had an outlet in which to fully release her passionate urges because she seems to have a lot of passion to give in the description "The generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous nature that had never yet been reached" (Chopin, The Storm 25). These two had obviously had some sexual tension for a while, but now they finally got the chance to set it free. She had passion in ready supply to give him which was "penetrated and received" through this man, who was not her husband. The two adulterers had a previous brief romance in a town called Assumption that could never be mentioned or finished. However, the romance and passion wasn't just lacking in Calixta's relationship. It was also lacking in her lover's relationship with his wife, Clarisse. From Clarisse's point of view, she loves her husband, but "their intimate conjugal like was something which she was more than willing to forgo for a while" (Chopin, The Storm 38). No one in this story explicitly says that they are happy or unhappy with their sex life; they all love each other but seem to lack desire. Any person who is around another person for too long will eventually get tired of the other. The couples still love each other, but no one is missing the sexual relationship, or lack there of. Passion, not love, in a sexual relationship will diminish over time. Passion is a hard emotion to conjure up, especially in a time of such repression of women.

The second negative aspect of marriage, according to Kate Chopin's stories, is the repression of women through marriage. In The Storm, Calixta's...

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