What details in "The Storm" emphasize the fact that Bobinot loves his wife and also how imperfectly he comprehends her nature?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Because of the storm, Bobinôt, Calixta's husband, and Bibi, the son, must remain at Freidheimer's store until the sky clears. After some time, the rain is over and the sun turns "the glistening green world into a palace of gems." So, father and son begin to head homeward.

After having trudged through the wet grass and mud, father and son stop at a cistern to "make themselves presentable" because Calixta is an "over-scrupulous housewife." Despite having scraped off as much mud as they can from their pants and shoes, father and son prepare for the worst when they reach home, and they enter cautiously. But since she has been concerned about them with such a storm as has come through, Calixta is delighted when father and son arrive home, expressing her gratitude that they are both all right.

Bobinôt's explanations and apologies, which he had been composing all along the way, died on his lips as Calixta felt him to see if he were dry, and seemed to express nothing but satisfaction at their safe return.

It is then that Bobinôt pulls out the peace offering that he has purchased, and Calixta is delighted at the sight of the shrimp. "We'll have a feas' to night! umph! umph!" she responds. This excitement causes Bobinôt and Bibi to relax after having worried about how Calixta would react if they returned so long after the storm. Bobinôt and Bibi begin to feel at ease now that they discover Calixta is in a good mood. The family laughs so much and so loudly that "...anyone might have heard them as far away as the Labalieres'."

mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Bobinot and Bibi get home from walking through the rain and muddy fields, he goes to great lengths to clean them both off before they enter the house.  The text states that "He scraped the mud off Bibi's bare legs and feet with a stick and carefully removed all traces from his heavy brogans" and then went into the house, hopefull Calixta wouldn't be mad about the mess.  This extreme care indicates that he cares what his wife thinks, wants to please her, and loves her.  Next, he offers her some shrimp, another token of his affection.  When they sit down to eat, "they laughed much and..loud", so he obviously enjoys her company and being with her.  But this also indicates that he is a bit naive about her, and doesn't know her that well.  A wife who is usually "over-scrupulous" for whom he had "explanations and apologies which he had been composing all along the way" for his muddy appearance, and had been "fearful" of her chastisement when he entered the house, to be full of concern and laughter should have tipped him off a bit as to the fact that something was different.  He is oblivious to his wife's fickle fidelity, and can't seem to read her moods very well.  But he appears to love her.