Explication of “The Storm” by Kate Chopin
English 2 The Storm Response Journal Kate Chopin’s “the Storm”, is a dark story about a quick love affair between former friends while caught up in a storm, while their significant others were stranded elsewhere. The story explores Calixta’s dueling relationship with her husband and her lover, Alcee. Chopin uses the storm as a metaphor to portray Calixta’s sexual feelings and struggles in regards to her affair.
The ongoing mention of the color white symbolizes Calixta’s internal struggle with her affair with Alcee.
The white bed, couch, blouse, and skin and breasts of Calixta all have this seeming innocence about them; but then her passion is described as a white flame, which contradicts the previously established notion that white is pure. Her passion is clearly not innocent, therefore taking the color white and mixing it with the opposing image of fire. The affair between Calixta and Alcee truly begins after lightening destroys the chinaberry tree outside her house.
Chinaberries were, at this time, used as the beads on rosaries, so the destruction of the tree symbolizes the complete transition from her pure Catholic upbringing to her present state of adultery. As the storm clears, so does their conscience and they both happily continue on with their lives, with their own respective families. During the storm, Calixta’s husband, Bobinot, and son were stranded in a local store, where Bobinot bought Calixta a shrimp snack, which is one of her favorites.
This hints at the concrete relationship between Calixta and Bobinot, as opposed to the fleeting moment between Calixta and Alcee. This can also show Bobinots commitment to the marriage, as opposed to Calixta’s ephemeral affair with Alcee. Alcee write a letter to his wife telling her she does not need to come home from where she is, and to take her time, while Bobinot is always thinking of his wife, evident by the purchase of her favorite snack. Chopin ends the story with the line “So the storm passed and everyone was happy”, which is a trite way to send such a serious and passionate story.