“The storm” by Kate Chopin is a story of sense and sensibility; love and sex within marriage. This story seems take place in the early 19th century (1898) in a small county of the United States. The characters on the scene are Calixta, mother of a son Bibi and spouse of Bobinot, and Alcee, a married man whose wife is on a journey at Biloxi, Ms. Do extremes circumstances impact people’s attitudes and behaviors? Or are we taking advantage of them to fulfill our infatuation covet and desires?
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In fact, the narrator raises the issues of two old flames whose life ended up into two different marriages due to life circumstances. In the 1900s for example, marriage was the expectation of every family but under certain conditions. So that socioeconomic factors and family ties, values and culture and class were barriers that true lovers needed to fight in order to get together. And the relationship between Calixta and Alcee appears to be one of these forbidden unions in the society which bear awful consequences leading to unhappiness, covet and adultery within marriage. Alicee himself emphasizes that point in paragraph 24 of the text, explaining the reasons why he gave up the love he had for Calixta: “Do you remember – in Assumption, Calixta?”; “for in Assumption, he had kissed her”, “and to save her he would resort to a desperate flight. If she was not an immaculate dove in those days, she was still inviolate; a passionate creature whose very defenselessness had made her defense, against which his honor forbade to prevail”. In other words, Calixta and Alcee was in love but did not get the chance to materialize that love because of social circumstances. Alcee might come from a high social class and Calixta from a poor background family. Even the section two reveals that he has a “horse”, metaphoric meaning of power and money that allow him to pay and extend a trip to his wife Clarisse and the babies. On the other hand Calixta husband is presented as belonging to a poor class group as well. He buys a can of shrimps to his wife in a small store. But he loves his wife despite his humble conditions. However Calixta and Alcee whose union got compromised by social circumstances, are going to break the rule of marriage under another circumstances: the storm.
The storm symbolizes in this story trials and temptations along the road of marriage between two lovers. No matter how long or how much you have loved someone, once you engage with another, you need to stick on him for the rest of your life. All is about choices. No one can take two roads at the same time and no one would like to share his wife or husband if he does love him or her. So the storm has come to test the marriage and love of Calixta and Alicee and has found that both don’t love but lust for one another. All was about fantasy, passion and lust, but not love. Love is not only sex but more than sex. Besides, sex is the last step in the process of love. Love means care, attention, and protection first in good and bad times till death. The true love is ready to fight for his lover till death. And he can’t survive without him or her. He does not go away. In this story, although social circumstances have move Alcee away from Calixta, he did not stand for love. He stands for material riches and social positions. But he was coveting that defenseless and innocent girl that he did not have the opportunity to know sexually, except some kiss. Now, taking advantage of the bad weather, he has the opportunity to fulfill “the old-time infatuation and desire for her flesh” (Line 6 of paragraph 21). Also, expressions and words such as: “she cried, releasing herself from his encircling”, “Alicee clasped her shoulders and looked into her face”. “The contact of her warm, palpitating body…..drawn her into his arms”, “He pushed her hair back from her face”, corroborate the idea of lust and covet that Alicee was entertaining about Calixta. Like the devil, he waited to the right time, in the right moment based on the old-time feeling she had to possess her and break her marriage. For Calixta, even if she is not innocent in this adventure, is presented as vulnerable and a pure creature. The narrator uses the repetition of the word white in “white, monumental bed”, “white neck”, “white throat” and “whither breast” to expose her naïve attitude and blind reaction to the old love and sensation she had. In addition to that she does not speak academic English. She use sometimes French language in her conversation such as M’sieur Alcee” and “Bonte” to convey her thought. This shows also the reason why she is impressed by Alcee.
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