In Kate Chopin’s 1898 short story “The Storm,” the author’s use of nature as a metaphor for human relations and sexual passion is not particularly subtle. From the start, Chopin used nature as an instrument for conveying sentiments and for providing a context in which her human characters function. From the perspective of Bobinot, the innocent, well-intentioned husband and father whose betrayal at the hands of his wife will provide the story’s climactic passage, the role of nature is to establish a sense of foreboding. As Bobinot and his four-year-old son Bibi prepare to depart the local store, the approaching storm establishes the setting:
“. . . somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar.”
As Bobinot and Bibi settle down to wait out the storm, Chopin’s use of nature to propel her story and to symbolize human passions takes on an added dimension. The scene of the story shifts to Bobinot and...
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