If Alcee represents the Code of Chivalry in Kate Chopin's "The Storm," is he a Gentleman throughout the story? Or, is he simply a cad who takes advantage of a vulnerable woman?

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grimmgirl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Kate Chopin's "The Storm," we are not meant to look at Calixta as a victim of Alcee's amorous attentions. They are both consenting adults who give in to their passions in the heat of a quite unexpected moment. There is no evidence in the story that Calixta is vulnerable, nor that Alcee has set out to conquer her. He is read as chivalric because of the information we receive about his past with Calixta. In their past, before Calixta was married, Alcee reins in his passion towards her, so as not to defile her before marriage. After she is married (and no longer a virgin), however, he views her as a woman who is free to give of herself physically. He is not "ruining" her by making love to her now.