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The Storm Essay

1289 words - 6 pages

A Symbolic Storm
Cheating is a destructive act that periodically results in a termination of a relationship. In this case, Kate Chopin’s short story “The Storm” features a symbolic storm which forces a passionate and married woman in encountering her past love. She is left in an extraordinary situation which could potentially terminate her relationship with her family. The storm functions as a mean to an end, as it deliberately build the situation to set a tension between the two protagonists. Also, as the tension grows, both characters succumb to their overwhelming desire for each other, and thus resulting in an act of passion. The departing of the storm reflects the implicit scheme of itself in the incident. Furthermore, the storm operates as imagery and foreshadowing to represent the sexual tension of the two characters. The raging storm serves as the key symbolic element in relation to the two unfaithful characters, namely Calixta and Alcée, in their act of lovemaking.
The unrelenting fierceness of the storm forces a barrier between Calixta and her family from getting in contact as they are in different location. This barrier is shown in: “[…] to certain somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar. They were at Friedheimer’s store and decided to remain there till the storm had passed” (Chopin page 1, 2-6). The storm begins initiating its mission in maintaining the distance between Calixta and her family. By obstructing Calixta from being with her family, she starts worrying about them while exhibiting a feeling of unease. Alcée, who is revealed to be Calixta’s past lover, suddenly arrives at her house when the storm began to intensify. Rather than being a coincidence, as evidenced by the exceptionally accurate timing, the storm deliberately forced them to be together. This timeliness is evident in the following passage:”As she stepped outside Alcée Laballière rode in at the gate. […] She stood there with Bobinôt’s coat in her hands, and the big rain drops began to fall” (. As the storm is performing its frightening spectacle outside the windows, Calixta demonstrates a sense of unease. This anxiety is expressed in her “greatly disturbed look on her face” as she fears for both her family and her security. Consequently, a great tension is built between Calixta and Alcée, as she will need to be comforted and nurtured. This tension is further enhanced and reaches its peak at the sight of incessant lightning play by the storm, as described in the passage, “A bolt struck a tall chinaberry tree at the edge of the field. It filled all visible space with a blinding glare and the crash seemed to invade the very boards they stood upon.” Calixta’s distressing level had overloaded and gone beyond her tolerance’s limit due to her astraphobia. This feeling of distress is expressed in, “Calixta put her hands to her eyes, and with a cry, staggered backward”, as her concern for both...

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