In Kate Chopin’s story "The Storm," does Calixta believe sex, love, and marriage are related, or does she believe that they are separate?

In Kate Chopin's short story "The Storm," sex, love, and marriage are not all separate things. Rather, the author develops the idea that love is the emotion that forms all human relationships and that marriage, sex, parenthood, trust, and consideration are all various manifestations of love.

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In the short story "The Storm" by Kate Chopin, the author explores various aspects and manifestations of love. Two of these aspects are sex and marriage. Others are parenthood and the loving trust that children have for their parents. Even though the story is short, Chopin divides it into sections so that she can devote attention in turn to each type of love she wants to display.

The sexual encounter between Calixta and her former lover Alce is the most surprising event in the story, especially in the late nineteenth century, when Chopin wrote it. In fact, the story was so scandalous for the times that Chopin never submitted it for publication, and it only appeared in print long after her death. Readers at that time could not comprehend how a brief sexual fling with an old lover could be a manifestation of love.

In the first part, we see the love between Bobint, Calixta's husband, and Bibi, their child. They trust each other and so are not afraid of the storm. Thinking of Calixta, Bobint buys a can of shrimp to give her as a gift later.

The second part is the interlude with Alce and Calixta. Alce seeks shelter from the storm and they end up having sex. They both enjoy it, and Chopin gives no hint that there is anything wrong in what they have just done.

In the third part, Bobint and Bibi come home, and the family has a wonderful dinner together. In the fourth part, despite the sexual interlude with Calixta, Alce writes words of love to his wife, who is away visiting relatives. In the fifth part, Clarisse, his wife, receives the letter and feels his sincere love in allowing her to stay away longer.

We see, then, that Chopin has framed the sexual encounter as one part in the midst of several diverse examples of love. Her point is that love is the binding ingredient in all of these relationships, and that sex, marriage, parenthood, and friendships are all different aspects of love.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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