In "The Storm," Kate Chopin implies that sexual fulfillment—even outside marriage—is positive and can improve the strength and happiness of a relationship between two people. Chopin doesn't appear to believe that adultery is a negative act that damages marriages; instead, her characters are all happier and more fulfilled...
In "The Storm," Kate Chopin implies that sexual fulfillment—even outside marriage—is positive and can improve the strength and happiness of a relationship between two people. Chopin doesn't appear to believe that adultery is a negative act that damages marriages; instead, her characters are all happier and more fulfilled after the affair during the storm, even the spouses who are unaware of the act.
When Alcée comes to Calixta during the storm, they let their passion take over and have sex with each other in Calixta's home while her husband and son are at the store. This isn't written to be a negative act; Chopin doesn't have either of the characters worry about or lament their adulterous relationship. Instead, Alcée comforts Calixta and then reminds her of a time in the past when they embraced. Back when she was "still inviolate" and unwilling to have sex, they'd only exchanged kisses.
Now, though, the storm is forgotten as they lie on the couch and make love.
When the storm is over, there is no talk of their marriages. There are no recriminations. Instead, Alcée leaves, and both smile. Bobinôt, Calixta's husband, arrives home ready to apologize for his absence, but instead, she greets him with kisses and "nothing but satisfaction at their safe return."
Alcée writes to Clarisse. Even though he misses her, he urges her and their children to stay away longer on their trip if it makes her happy. When Clarisse reads it, Chopin writes: "And the first free breath since her marriage seemed to restore the pleasant liberty of her maiden days." Clarisse, though she doesn't know about the affair, appreciates the same pleasure and agency outside of her marriage, though in a different way than Alcée did with Calixta.
By representing the adulterous relationship in an only positive light, having both members of each marriage happier after the storm, and having no consequences other than happiness and pleasure for what occurred during the storm, Chopin shows her belief that happiness can be found outside of marriage. She doesn't seem to dislike marriage; both couples seem devoted, loving, and happy to be together. Instead, Chopin implies that marriage isn't the only thing that matters and that it can actually be strengthened when a person pursues bliss outside of the bonds of matrimony.