In "The Storm," what does "a can of shrimp" symbolize in the story?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us remember that the can of shrimp that your question refers to appears at the beginning of this excellent short story, in the first section. We are told that Bobinot buys the can of shrimp because he knows that Calixta is very fond of shrimp. After the storm has passed, and Bobinot returns with his son home, note how Calixta responds to this gift:

"Shrimps! Oh, Bobinot! you too good fo' anything!" and she gave him a smacking kiss on the cheek that resounded.

Thus the can of shrimps can be seen as a symbol of the love that Bobinot feels towards his wife. He buys the can of shrimps because he loves her and knows that this will please her. It is a symbol of the way that he is a good, loving husband, which is of course ironic given the way that during the storm that prevented his returning home, Calixta was being unfaithful.

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