Kate Chopin makes use of symbols of fecundity early in the story; the imagery of the farm's "furrows," the chickens, the "plows and a harrow," and of course the "big drops of rain" all suggest fertility, growth, and life. These themes center around Calixta, a mother and domestic goddess who looks after the house, sews, and does laundry. The setting, the farm of Calixta Bobinôt and their son, amplifies this symbolism.
The characterization of Calixta continues the theme of fertility and the sexuality that drives it. She is a woman in the full bloom of maternity with a full figure, "vivacity," and even hair that "kinked...about her ears and temples." Her movements are brisk and purposeful; there is nothing tentative or undeveloped about her.
The story's exposition sets up the circumstances that will lead to the inevitable sexual encounter of Calixta and Alcée. Calixta's son and husband are away and will be unable to travel home through the storm, and her son establishes the fact that Calixta will...
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