After reading the story by Chopin there are several serious questions I must impose upon you with;
Is the setting just background, or is it a key force in the story?
How does the setting influence the story’s plot? Does it cause characters to act?
What role do weather conditions play in the story?
How does the setting influence the characters? Does it affect (or reflect) their emotional state? Does it help to explain their motivation?
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"The Storm" by Kate Chopin represents the nucleus of the story. Without the storm, the adultery would not have happened. Chopin knew how to draw the reader into the upcoming storm both in the weather and in the major character's life. In the story, there is the before the storm, during the storm, and after the storm which essentially provides the plot of the story.
The weather enables the entire story to progress. Calixta's husband and child are caught in the weather and cannot come home. Alcee probably would not have ridden up to find shelter without the fierce storm on the way.
To add to the romantic interlude between the lovers, as the storm increases so does their passionate love making.
They did not heed the crashing torrents, and the roar of the elements made her laugh as she lay in his arms.
When the storm ended, Alcee rides away. Soon, her family comes home, and Calixta does everything she can to please them. Alcee writes to his wife and tells her to stay longer on her visit, which pleases the wife.
After the storm, Chopin tells the reader that everyone is happy.
I think that one of the clues that the setting is important to the story is the title. Titles usually have a strong thematic connection to the story. I also like to consider the information given in the first sentence of the story.
The leaves were so still that even Bibi thought it was going to rain.
This sentence also refers to the weather, because it mentions “leaves” and “rain” and it also already begins to characterize. We know that Bibi is a child, and the change in weather is perceptible even to a child. Consider how the storm is described, as having “clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar.”
Already, the storm is described in metaphors, so we begin to get the idea that the storm is a metaphor for the story, and deeply important to the plot and meaning.
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