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What is "Local Color" about Kate Chopin's "The Storm"?Of course, the setting is...

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hubermaria | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 29, 2010 at 11:29 PM via web

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What is "Local Color" about Kate Chopin's "The Storm"?

Of course, the setting is Louisiana (antebellum South), but what else in the story makes it a specific local color story? (as opposed to simply setting a story in antebellum Louisiana, as most works of literature have a setting, while most of these works are not local color)


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lfawley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted June 1, 2010 at 5:31 AM (Answer #1)

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There are a number of details in the story that provide "local color" or specific details and elements that reflect the actual place setting (Louisiana) and the people who live there. The fact that the clothes are hung on the porch to dry, specifically Bobinot's Sunday clothes, lets us know something about marriage roles and the importance of dressing well on Sunday's in this town. The general store itself where Bobinot and Bibi wait out the storm gives an air of local flavor to the piece. Look at the details that are given there. The purchase of the shrimps, for instance, as well as the use of dialect that is localized in its nature in the following passage:

"I brought you some shrimps, Calixta," offered Bobinôt, hauling the can from his ample side pocket and laying it on the table.

"Shrimps! Oh, Bobinôt! you too good fo' anything!" and she gave him a smacking kiss on the cheek that resounded, "J'vous réponds, we'll have a feas' to-night! umph-umph!

The use of regionalized dialect shows both the local "slang" as well as the French influence that comes to bear in the Louisiana Cajun region.

These are a couple of examples, but the story is filled with small details like this that set it not just in Louisiana but in a specific time frame in a specific area and among a specific group of easily identifiable people.

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