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In "The Storm" how do the personalities of the main characters affect the purpose? What...

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anacristym | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 10, 2010 at 5:03 AM via web

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In "The Storm" how do the personalities of the main characters affect the purpose? What is Chopin's purpose?

 

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM (Answer #1)

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Many of Kate Chopin's stories show women who find happiness in rather unconventional, and, for the time period that they were written, rather scandalous ways.  In her time period, women were often born and bred to be married, and were expected to be perfectly content in that role.  Chopin, in many of her stories, showed women who were not content, but rather repressed and dissatisfied.  These women often sought freedom or fulfillment through other means.  In "The Storm," the chosen means is through an affair with another man.  And, after the affair, Chopin writes into the story that Calixta is happier, more laid-back, and treats her husband and young son much better.  Because of this, it is logical to conclude that Chopin's purpose was to show that women should seek fulfillment in whatever way they need to, even if it means seeking it outside of marriage.

Calixta's personality lends itself well to this purpose, because she is a bit of an anxious, bored housewife who seeks comfort and distraction in the armes of Alcee.  She seems, at the beginning dissatisfied and tied up on minute details of the day; she is pent up and anxious over the storm and her family, and seeks release with Alcee.  Alcee's personality lends itself well to the purpose because he is a man who is not necessarily content with his marriage, a bit of a loner, and still slightly infatuated with Calixta from earlier times.  He is willing to be with her, even though both of them are still married.  Calixta's husband and on lend themselves well to the story's purpose because they are kind, unsuspecting, and a bit afraid of their mother--this makes them even more surprised and pleased when they come home to find her happy.  All they want to do is make her happy, and this desire to please is something that makes them more susceptible to being content when Calixta is content.

I hope that those thoughts helped a bit; good luck!

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