The Storm Questions and Answers
by Kate Chopin

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What symbolic elements can be found in "The Storm" by Kate Chopin and how does it relate to the characters? I've noticed that the storm holds a quite a bit of symbolism in the story but what other forms of symbolism do you see and what do understand the storm's symbolism to stand for?

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Jane Ames eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are symbols both prominent and small in Chopin's "The Storm."

A small yet interesting symbol in this story is the can of shrimps Bobinot purchases for Calixta. The can of shrimps is a small trifle, yes, but it indicates the husband's thoughtfulness and care for his wife and the way he provides her with little pleasures. When the can reappears after the storm (and Calixta's impromptu affair), it serves as a symbol of domestic happiness. Calixta is delighted by the can of shrimps and, more importantly, by her husband's attentiveness. It is a sign of continuity and strength in the marriage in an otherwise tumultuous story.

Bobinot's clothes hanging on the wire also make a comment as to the nature and endurance of Calixta and Bobinot's marriage. Once the storm starts and as Alcee arrives, Calixta "hastens out to gather [the clothes] before the rain fell." She also "seized Bobinot's vest" and "grabbed the trousers and snatched Bibi's braided jacket." Why all this frenzied grabbing and...

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