Realism in The Storm by Kate Chopin
One of the most iconic short stories of the 1800s is Kate Chopin's "The Storm." The fact is that this writer became one of the innovators who were not afraid to reveal the topic of sex and the realism of human relations. Over a hundred years ago, society was more conservative, and gender stereotypes were quite strong. A woman's role was to raise children, do household chores, and be unquestioningly obedient to her husband.
Luckily, Kate Chopin was a brave enough writer to create such a provocative yet realistic short story. Even though "The Storm" was published only in 1969, the story's plot caused a public outcry and a lot of rave reviews. In part, the main trigger was an alternative view of marriage, sexual relations, and how women feel.
So Calixta is the main character in the story. This woman is a classic example of a wife who is a shadow of her husband. The story focuses on the women's routine of the late 1800s. Calixta handles the cooking, laundry, and other household chores. The writer realistically describes this woman's typical day, who seems to have already forgotten about what real joy and emotions are.
Bobinôt, Calixta's husband, went to town and took with him Bibi, a young son. Kate Chopin chose to show family relationships and major plot changes through the storm, one of the most common natural phenomena in the southern United States. Strong wind and rain make father and son stay in the store until the sun shines again. It is this stage that is the main trigger of the plot.
As soon as Calixta saw the approaching storm, she decided to take refuge in the house so as not to get wet and not get sick. But even going inside, she did not forget about her household duties and began to knit clothes. The writer very realistically described the process of daily routine, which Calixta carried out with a certain frenzy. The fact is that marriage has not brought her vivid emotions for a long time and has turned into a kind of obligation.
But everything changed when Calixta saw Alcée, her former beau. The fact is that this man did not expect a storm and asked to be allowed into the house. Calixta could not refuse a person in need, especially if someone dear to her needed help. Kate Chopin very skillfully added storm as a key plot element. Every thunderbolt and thunderclap revived old feelings in Calixta and Alcée. The writer very realistically described how passion took possession of two people again.
But these are not all important aspects. It is worth noting that Kate Chopin described the moment of intimacy between a man and a woman in some detail. Many aspects of the intimate relationship are described quite realistically and with a certain charm inherent only to Chopin. In part, the writer focused on the routine of family relationships in the 1800s and the emotions that a woman can get if she feels loved.
It is worth noting that the writer created Assumption, a fictional city in which lovers kissed for the first time. This name was chosen for a reason. Symbolically, Assumption has a religious connotation referring to Virgin Mary. Kate Chopin used realistic patterns to describe the liberation of women from social shackles and prejudices. The thunderstorm made the feelings clear and freed the two lovers from moral barriers.
Calixta and Alcée said goodbye when the storm died down, and now their relationship is sure to continue. The main feature of this short story is the realism and impartiality of the writer. Kate Chopin decided to describe every aspect of the main characters' relationship and skillfully avoided value judgments. This trick allowed her to focus on the realism associated with the routine of marriage and the daily responsibilities of women of the time.
It is worth noting that Calixta and Alcée kept their secret a secret. Moreover, the writer describes the moral relief and positive emotions that Calixta experienced after sex. Her joy after the return of her husband and son was so strong precisely because she was finally able to feel love, tenderness, and sincerity. The realism of the story is that many families are similar in terms of emotional patterns. Husbands and wives do not feel those emotions important for maintaining passion, joy, and positive emotions. Thanks to the storm, the two people were able to get closer to each other again.
One of the main positives is that Chopin decided not to add a dramatic ending and concentrated on one of the most realistic scenarios. Both lovers were happy to "reunite" but kept their relationship a secret. Each family continued to live their ordinary life. The only change is that Calixta and Alcée now have the opportunity to experience the pure passion and emotion that they lacked before. But none of the heroes are ready to tell the truth to their families. This aspect is quite realistic, as few people would be willing to admit to cheating.
Even in the modern world, "The Storm" looks like a relevant story that partly describes gender inequality and women's problems in marriage. Through realism and attention to detail, this masterpiece of literature details the mix of emotions and how much people need love. The writer used the right emotional triggers and patterns to add religious context. So this is why "The Storm" is so interesting. Contrasting emotions create a sense of realism and imperfection of people who always strive for personal happiness, despite social taboos or church dogmas.
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