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After reading, "The Storm," how can I complete this sentence: The fault of the affair...
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The fault of the affair lies with no one person or thing.
1. It is important to remember that "The Storm" is a sequel to Kate Chopin's story "At the 'Cadian Ball," a story which creates a situation in which the climate, culture, community, and individual personalities "exist in subtle reciprocal relation," as one critic writes. With this condition in mind, the argument can be made that no one is to blame for the adultery committed in the maelstrom in Chopin's sequel, for there is no guilt afterwards by this " violation of properties" between Calixta and Alcée.
2. Hence, the significance of the title of this short story; for, the storm is a metaphor for the passions of the man and woman that are generated naturally; hence, these feelings cannot be subject to moral censure.
3. It is mere chance that Alcée and Calixta find themselves alone together. In the previous story, "At the 'Cadian Ball," Alcée has been honorable by jumping on his horse and departing after the exchange of passionate kisses that he is tempted by Calixta, who has told him she loves him.
4. Their union is between equals who share desire and fulfillment; no advantage is taken of another:
Her white neck and a glimpse of her full, firm bosom diésturbed him powerfully. As she glaced up at him, the fear...had given place to a drowsy gleam that unconsciously betrayed a sensuous desire.
Calixta is "a white flame" while Alcée's heart beats upon her "like a hammer." He cushions her; she "clasps" him.
5. "So the storm passed and every one was happy." Rather than harming their relationships, Calixsta and Alcée have come to appreciate their spouses all the more. For, when Bobinot returns home, Calixsta is delighted and hugs her husband and kisses her child effusively; likewise, Alcée, who has been rather disappointed in his marriage, now writes his wife Clarisse a loving letter, delighting her. Having released the passion for each other--the "storm"--these feelings are, like the storm, now gone, and Calixsta and Alcée can devote themselves to their spouses without inner conflict.
Posted by mwestwood on October 20, 2013 at 8:04 PM (Answer #1)
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