In what sense does the storm act as a character in the story The Storm?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a sense the powerful thunderstorm of the narrative of Kate Chopin's story acts as character, an elemental force that exercises its power upon their emotions. Indeed, the storm is the embodiment of the unleashed passions of Alcée  and Calixta, the protagonist that liberates them from the antagonistic patriarchy in which they live, confining them to certain social domains that restrict their innate natures. 

As the sequel to "The 'Cadian Ball," the narrative of "The Storm" is inextricably connected that of the previous story in which Alcée the Creole gentleman, and quadroon Calixta, the animated and "abandoned" beauty have a romantic encounter:

Calixta's senses were reeling; and they well nigh left her when she felt Alcée's lips brush her ear like the touch of a rose.

Because of social mores, nothing more occurs as Clarisse appears and for Alcée the only reality becomes her declaration of love for him.

But later, after Alcée is married, he finds himself stranded by the impending storm, and seeks refuge at the home of Claxita, who is alone and somewhat frightened by the lightning and wind that threatens. Alcée gathers her to his arms and looks down

...into her eyes and there was nothing for him to do but to gather her lips in a kiss. It reminded him of Assumption.

Their passion renewed, with the liberation that the storm provides them from their societal roles, Claxita and Alcée are free to express their love for one another. 

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The Storm

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