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The Misleading Message of Chopin's The Storm Essay

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The Misleading Message of Chopin's The Storm



Kate Chopin's "The Storm" focuses on two simultaneous and related storms, one a fierce tempest of the natural world with the expected rain, wind, lightening, and thunder, the other a cyclone of the mind and heart which results in an short love affair between the two main characters. With her husband Bobinot and her son Bibi stranded in town by the storm, Calixta finds herself at home alone when an old lover, Alcee, rides up. The storm, the worst in two years, drives the two indoors, where, though they have not met in five years, they soon are embracing each other. As the storm outside reaches a climax, the emotions in the house spike to a fever pitch, and, though not directly
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Most literature and my own life experiences bear this out, and I would challenge the reader to find an instance where the outcome of adultery did not fall into one of the above-mentioned broad categories.



Chopin, however, does not fit her story into either pattern. Instead, she makes it clear that the affair has at least a short-term beneficial effect on all those touched by it. Calixta seemed much lighter of spirit because of it, thus causing her not to scold Bobinot and Bibi for coming home muddy; Alcee is happy to stay in town without his wife Clarisse and (as is insinuated) continue the relationship with Calixta; and Clarisse iss relieved not to have to leave her friends in Biloxi. As Chopin said The storm passed and everyone was happy. (p.669)



One might argue that the author is being ironic in this last sentence. The happiness described is intended by Chopin to by an illusion that will not last long, but instead the adulterers actions will
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