Calixta As the Ideal Woman of the 1800's in At The Cadian Ball by Kate Chopin

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Calixta As the Ideal Woman of the 1800's in At The Cadian Ball by Kate Chopin

“Calixta would be there… That little Spanish vixen.” No matter what the age, there are certain types of women who seem to capture the attention of every man in the room. In the story At the ‘Cadian Ball by Kate Chopin, the protagonist Calixta is precisely that kind of a girl. She is an atypical female of her time. The ideal woman of the late 1800’s was demure, prim and restrained. She was the paragon of prudery, modesty personified. Then there was Calixta. Calixta was everything that the idealized ‘Madonna’ of her time was not. She was boldly flirtatious, impulsive, sensuous and altogether outrageous. For all these anomalous characteristics, she is admired in
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By this standard, Calixta is seen as slightly inferior to the rest of the girls. Of course no matter how much leeway her Spanish blood may give her, Calixta still had scandalous stories told about her. Calixta’s cheerful nature drives her to have a hedonistic outlook. She is effortlessly popular, and her pleasure-seeking attitude is inappropriately uninhibited. At the same time, she has a need to be admired. There is no profound seriousness in her; her flirtations are merely pleasant diversions. She does, however have a manipulative edge with her friendships with Bobinot and Alcee. It almost seems as though she took her charisma for granted. She was absolutely certain that Bonito was infatuated with her. Kate Chopin make that very clear in the opening paragraph, and elaborates in the second: “Her eyes… the drowsiest, most tantalizing that ever looked into a man’s… He thought of her eyes and weakened....” Evidently, Calixta values her ability to entrance men as her worth.
Calixta is presumably of marriageable age, as evidenced by her agreement to marry Bobinot in the end. She is crushed by Alcee’s silent and abrupt departure. For Calixta, this was reason enough to doubt herself after all. Since Calixta bases her ego on men’s reactions towards her, this was a humbling experience. Fortunately for Bobinot, he happened to encounter her when she was confused. Since Calixta is

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