“The Storm” by Kate Chopin
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The essay of “The Storm”, written by Kate Chopin, illustrates a story of one woman and one man drawn to each other by lust. Situated together by a storm, Calixta, the woman in this essay and “very married woman” has no choice but to let in an old friend and once loved companion out of the pouring rain. As a result, old flames spark a maybe-new relationship between the two. This essay is an alternative twist to many other stories dealing with unfaithfulness and infidelity, given that men are more prone to being accused of committing adultery with regard to women. This essay shows, no matter what the variables are “when the cat’s away the mice will play”.
Chopin’s essay begins with Calixta’s better-half and husband Boinot and there four-year-old son Bibi, away at a local grocery store retrieving a few items. Noticing a few somber clouds filed with a tempest intention, Boinot and Bibi are strained to stay out of the rain and insist on taking cover at the grocery store. This storm is ultimately the cause and reason for Calixta’s infidelity. The storm is Calixta’s way to keep husband and son away while she is secretly having an affair. There’s no way on earth that Calixta could have planed any of this out. It just so happened, that everything fell right into place. Even Sylvie, Calixta’s maid and helper happen to be away while the affair was going on.
Back at home, Calixta had no idea what was about to happen. I believe that the last thing she had on her mind was cheating on her very much loved husband. Although, who knows what she was thinking. As she waited patiently sewing on her sewing machine, like most wives did during that time, she noticed that a storm was slowly approaching. She hurried to close all windows and doors that might have been open, and remembers that some of Bobinot’s Sunday clothes were hanging out to dry. As she stepped out side to gather Bibinot clothes a very familiar foe slowly approached. This would be the beginning of a “secret” long time relationship.
Alcee Laballiere a long ago friend of Calixta rode in just as the rain was beginning to shower. Calixta hadn’t seen him very much every since she had gotten married, and if she did he or she for that matter were never alone. I would assume that if they were ever to see each other out-and-about without their significant other, that maybe they would flirt with each-other but nothing more. I know that if I were to see an ex-girlfriend at a local grocery store and an opportunity presented its self for flirtation I would definitely pursue the opportunity, especially with my more attractive ex-girlfriends, but nothing more. Now that I am happily married, I don’t think I could have more than one relationship’s, unless I was absolutely certain that I wouldn’t be caught and I could continue to get-away with it. At this point in the story Calixta is probable still not thinking about having an affair, maybe the idea of it is starting to surface but is still in the deep end of her conscience.
As the rain proceeded to descend, Alcee politely ask his once-beloved, to come in out of the rain into her gallery until the dismissal of the storm. Not wanting to be rude, Calixta politely says yes. Alcee’s intensions were to stay right out side her doorway not wanting to actually enter the house. Calixta notices “that he might as well have been out in the open” (Chopin pg. 184). The story then switches over from a different view point to acknowledge Alcee recognition of the story. He notices how much things change over the years and how some things never seem to change. He notices a much fuller of a figure than five years before she was married, but that she had lost none of her vivacity. Alcee also notices something much more enticing besides the beautiful woman standing before him, a bedroom.
As they stand in the living area together conversing between each other the storm gradually moves closer and closer, convening along with it a series of flashes and rumbles. Calixta moves toward the window looking outward into the storm with disturbed look on her face, as if she felt uncomfortable with the idea of her and an old-time lover being present together during perfect conditions for menace and possibility. Out in the far field a bolt of lighting struck a chinaberry tree seemed to “invade the very boards they stood upon”(Chopin pg.185). Calixta jumped with a cry and Alcee cunningly took advantage of the situation, grabbing Calixta and pulling her close within his arms to protect her from any other jolt that might alarm her.
With that close encounter, Alcee “aroused all the old-time infatuation and desire for her flesh” (Chopin pg.185). And with this the all mighty domino effect will take place, beginning with old stories with sexual encounters and kisses from neck to breast, let-the-games-begin. After all is said and done, the rumbles of the storm slowly pass and light rain drops fall upon the shingles inviting the experienced couple to lethargy. Now that the storm has passed Alcee knows best to leave the scene before anybody would suspect anything. Calixta watched with relief as Alcee rode away turning and smiling.
Once again the perspective of the story changes and illustrates the trip home with Bobinot and Bibi. Bibi obviously covered from head-to-toe in mud and dirt is greatly concerned about Calixta’s reaction. Bobinot was also concerned with Calixta’s reaction with them due to her over-scrupulous-housewife attitude. Bobinot cautiously entered the house not knowing what had just gone on between his wife and Alcee and instead, expecting a overactive wife yelling at the top of her lungs, being very disappointed at the both of them. Instead Calixta, with a very cheerful attitude on-hand greets him with excitement and happiness.
This essay illustrates a story of a woman drawn to a man with lust. Situated together by a storm, Calixta has no choice but to let in an old friend and once loved companion in out of the pouring rain. As result, old flames spark a maybe-new relationship between the two. This essay is an alternative twist to many other stories dealing with unfaithfulness and infidelity, given that men are more prone to being accused of committing adultery with regard to women. This essay shows, no matter what the variables are “when the cat’s away the mice will play”.
Book: Patterns for College Writing, 9th EDITION
Chopin, Kate. The Storm (Fiction).
Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s. 2004.