What meaning do you find in the title "The Storm"?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Clearly the title of this excellent story relates to both a literal storm and a figurative storm that rages during the course of this story. The two of course are very closely interlinked, and concern the repressed passions that Alcee and Calixta have for each other and the way that society does not allow them to express those passions, leaving them both frustrated as a result. The storm, in which the normal order of nature is suspeded and chaos takes over, provides an apt metaphor for the way that their mutual passion takes over their bodies and they are able to love freely and in abundance, without a thought for their wife and husband. Consider how their union is described in the following quote:

They did not heed the crashing torrents, and the roar of the elements made her laugh as she lay in his arms. She was a revelation in that dim, mysterious chamber; as white as the couch she lay upon. Her firm, elastic flesh that was knowing for the first time its birthright, was like a creamly lily that the sun invites to contribute its breath and perfume to the undying life of the world.

The physical storm of nature therefore finds its precise parallel in the storm of passion that is unleashed between Calixta and Alcee, as is emphasised by the various sensual details provided. What is likewise important to note is the way that this "storm" actually improves the marriages that Calixta and Alcee have. Having given in to these pent up feelings of love and passion, both Calixta and Alcee are shown to be more loving to their partners. Just like a natural storm, their storm of passion has cleared the air and made them both happier as a result.