`` The Chrysanthemums `` By Kate Chopin

Decent Essays

Here in the 21st century, infidelity has become the new norm. Statistics show that about 60 percent, that is more than half, of committed couples have reported acts of infidelity (Stafford). However, back in the 19th century, there was a social stigma surrounding infidelity; more often than not its participants were ostracized by the community. Times have certainly changed. In Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” and John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums”, both written approximately during the 19th century, the characters of both stories depict unfaithfulness in their marriages. Through the use of the plot, imagery, and the 19th century time period, “The Chrysanthemums” and “The Storm” depict a revolutionary era in which women not accept their sexual …show more content…

The color black has been known to be associated with seduction and sexiness that stems from the allusion to the color of lingerie. Consequently, after her sexually charged encounter with the tinker, Elisa’s whole demeanor changes. She is no longer hiding her sexual desires but acting on them. She put on her “newest underclothing and her nicest stockings and the dress which was a symbol of her prettiness” (Steinbeck 213). Bonding over the chrysanthemums and the wandering life suddenly left Elisa burning with sexual desire for another man. Immediately, changing her daily routine by wearing new underclothing made Elisa feel like a new woman; sexy and bold. Similarly, Kate Chopin’s use of imagery in “The Storm” describes Calixta as a married woman who is confident and sexy but only in the presence of her former flame, Alcee. Chopin illustrates Calixta as a woman with a fuller figure but with “lips as red and moist as a pomegranate seed” (107). The pomegranate fruit has always been considered a sexy, exotic fruit. It is an aphrodisiac, with a tempting red color that delivers passion and increases libido. Calixta, emanated sexual desire and promiscuity by painting her lips. She definitely feels comfortable in displaying her femininity as well as her beauty. Back at home, Calixta peers out the window just as a bolt of lightning strikes a nearby tree, causing her to stumble backwards. Alcee quickly catches her in his arms; the

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