Kate Chopin’s “the Storm” analysis on division significance The short story “the storm” is a story of a women’s sexuality and the love of the character Calixta and her partner Alcee. Chopin deliberately attempted to build curiosity into the reader and ambiguity in the end by revolving the entire story within the time frame of a Storm. Everything in the story happens during and because of the storm. Chopin uses symbolism and suspense by revealing different moods, and excitement of characters at various sections in the story, and breaks the suspense as the storm passes.
The story is presented in five sections, as each section represents a different stage of the storm. This technique is very useful as it increases suspense by giving symbolism clues to the reader in each section. Chopin explains the symbolism that Calixtas sexual passion is like a storm on itself, relatable to the actual storm occurring in the story. In that her passion is wild and furious not unlike the storm. The first Section of the story describes a storm approaching as Calixtas husband and son are stuck in a nearby store.
The first sentence gives the reader a clue to the incoming storm. “The leaves were so still that even Bibi thought it was going to rain”. However overall the title “the Storm” refers to the nature of Calixtas sexual passion being furious and explosive like the storm literally occurring in the story. To Calixtas husband, lovemaking and the passion that was towed with it was sudden and quick, much like the approaching of the storm. This fact conflicts with Calixtas wild passion as it is unpredictable. And is restrained by her marital status.
The storm is a symbol of passion and which will return again and again on the intent of destroying her marital life, however success is not imminent. The first section is the building up of not only the literal storm, but the storm of passion inside Calixta. This first division benefits the tale because it relieves the reader of separating it themselves and creates a better understanding of the story by relating the stages of the storm to Calixta. Chopin uses the second section the show the passion between Alcee and Calixta.
The subject of adultery is first introduced soon after Alcee asked Calixta if he could take shelter from oncoming storm in her house. The story starts to add suspense and tenseness when it says, “His voice and her own startled her as if from a trance”. The room then becomes tense as the two realize they might have feelings for each other. The tenseness in the room is much like the tense build up of the oncoming actual storm. This part also marks the beginning of the tense build up of passion about to be releases inside Calixta.
This tenseness is very useful in building up suspense, as the reader can just anticipate what is about to happen between the two. After this tense moment Calixta starts to understand the situation and gets up to look out the window, as not to keep looking at Alcee because she knows what could come of it. However, Alcee moves towards her foiling her plan. At this time, Calixta notices it is raining hard and that there are very big winds and strikes of lighting. This signifies the mixed up feelings Calixta has for Alcee. Alcee proceeds to grab her, and she gets loose asking where her son is.
This shows that Calixta continues to have mixed feelings toward Alcee. However, the storm is nature, and it is the storm inside Calixtas nature to be wild and break free from all restraints. Eventually the two make love, and leave all worries behind themselves. Chopin uses this symbolism to show that a women’s sexual passion is unpredictable and uncontrollable like a rain storm, and like a rain storm it is inevitable for it to be prevented. Also the division is still on track with the pace of the literal storm, which when at full force will represent the sexual tension being released. The release is always inevitable.
The three other sections represent the residing of the storm outside, and the storm inside Calixta. As Calixta and Alcee finish making love, the rain stops and the sun comes back, showing that everything is back to normal. Although the storm of passion inside her attempted to ruin her marital life, as it passes, life seems to go back to normal. Calixta is happy to see her family, and life is good. Although whether the storm will come is inevitable, the majority of life is storm free. And as the reader can see upon the arrival of her family, and the love letter Alcee writes to his wife, love is what drives people to live, not passion.
This division at the end helps to justify the cliche happy ending by separating itself from the oppression in the first section, and the adultery in the second. Chopin separated her short story “the Storm” into five sections to represent the stages of the literal storm occurring in the story, and to symbolize the storm of sexual passion inside Calixta which is natural to every women. This division helps the reader to separate the literal storm and the storm of passion from each other, which is necessary to fully understand the tale. With a story with so much symbolism, aids such as these divisions are necessary.