Kate Chopin was not regarded as an important writer as it is today. Her stories and novels shocked many especially the readers of the nineteenth century. Her viewpoint concerning the roles of women in marriage and feminine identity was highly opposed but later appreciated with the rise of feminist movements.
The Storm is one of her short story which was written in the early 1900s and mostly revolves around adultery. There two main protagonists in the book are Calixta and Alcee. A storm approaches where Alcee has to take refuge in Calixta's house and eventually the two ends up making love while her husband and son are forced by the storm to take refuge at a local store. When a reader is emotionally affected by this story, the characters have achieved something special. Therefore, Kate Chopin is able to express complex emotional conflict between the woman who is torn between two men and the reader.
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The storm approaches while Calixta is at home working on her sewing machine while her husband Bobinot and the son Bibi are out at a local store. The husband tells the son that there were somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar (Chopin 531). At home Calixta is still working on her sewing machine and does not notice the advancing storm although "felt very warm and often stopped to mop her face on which the perspiration gathered in beads" (Chopin 531). This shows that despite of her noticing the storm approaching she was definitely aware of it. She only gets up when she realizes that it's growing darker and decides to leave. It's when she gets outside that she sees Alcee as "the big rain drops began to fall" (Chopin 532).
It is just a twist of fate that the storm and Alcee arrive at the same time. The raging storm forces Alcee to take shelter where they see it "necessary to put something beneath the door to keep the water out" (Chopin 532). When Calixta accept to offer him refuge, it shows that she still has feelings for him. This is evident when Chopin writes that his voice and that of Calixta startled her as if from a trance. This situation now changes the story from being an outdoor to an indoor affair. They had no option because the rain drops hit the house "with a force and clatter that threaten to break an entrance and deluge them there" (Chopin 532). This now shows how the storm, together with Alcee are threatening to break apart a house and a life that Calixta and her husband had put together.
Alcee joins her at the window and suddenly a lightning strikes a tree and the crash "seemed to invade the very boards they stood upon" (Chopin 532). The incessant lighting seems to spark their relationship since Calixta stumbles to Alcee's arms. The storm reaches a climax just as they both do because she is no longer scared but now laughs at the roaring storm. "The growl of the thunder was distant and passing away. The rain beat softly upon the shingles..." (Chopin 533).
The twist of events changes where there is no threat though she retreats and asks where her son may be. This is an indication that Calixta has some mixed reaction towards the situation. The writer portrays the feelings of Calixta very well for the reader to feel it. They definitely make and love and the "generous abundance of her passion" shows that she has no problem with cheating on her husband. After they finish making love, the situation changes again. The rain stops and the sun comes back to signify that everything is back to normal.
The return of the sun does not only show that things are back to normal but also the attitudes of both Calixta and Alcee. The husband and the son returns and she is happy to see them. The writer wants to signify that adultery does not always have negative consequences. This is because as Alcee leaves the house, they are described as having smiles on their faces. Therefore, Chopin has used "The Storm" to put across feelings without necessarily describing the emotions.
The Story of an Hour is another impressive literary work of Kate Chopin that touches a reader's feelings. It's a story that spins around the life of Mrs. Louise Mallard whose wrinkles portrayed oppression as well as strength. It carries a lot of deep meaning though a reader only understands it at the end of the story. Mrs. Mallard is badly affected by a heart trouble which makes her sister Josephine and her husband's friend Richard to bring the news of her husband news "as gentle as possible" (Chopin 788). They believe that the news may make her more ill. The reader also expects her to be upset by the news, "she wept at once, with sudden, will abandonment" (Chopin 788). This was just her first reaction when she had not comprehended how the news could change her life.
Later, she goes to her room and "there stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank" (Chopin 788). We realize that the death of her husband has a positive impact in her mind where the chair signifies comfort and the open window signifies a connection to the outside world or rather to life. Chopin stress this point when writes that she could see the tops of the trees that were all aquiver with the new spring of life (788). In addition, Chopin uses the words "patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds..." (789) to symbolize Mrs. Milliard's excitement to have a bright future.
Nonetheless, we see her afraid to gain freedom where "she was striving to beat it back with her will" (Chopin 789). We realize that she is dependent on the societal rules since she cannot appropriately determine her perception of freedom. She also admits "...that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death" (789). This is exactly what the society expects of her. The writer finally shows the reason Mrs. Milliard feels this way about the death of the husband when she writes about "...that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature" (Chopin 789). This shows that her husband could not allow her to have her own judgment or will. This is the reason she was happy to be free. The society then could only accept widows but not a divorced woman and this is main reason she was happy to have freedom. "Free! Body and soul free!" (Chopin 789). Mrs. Milliard comes out of the room as a "goddess of victory" (Chopin 790).
The twist of events unfolds when her husband opens the front door. Mrs. Milliard dies of "joy that kills" (Chopin 790). This is quit ironical because the doctors think that she died from happiness of seeing her husband again. The truth is that she chooses to die rather than again be bound to her husband's will more so after experiencing an hour of freedom. This was the only real hour in her life that made her feel free and happy on the armchair in front of the open window. Therefore, in the two stories, the writer has successfully used feeling to persuade the reader's inner emotion to understand her characters and how they take life in general. Additionally, the stories are molded in the same way; an opportunity and a return to normalcy.
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