What are three literary elements in "The Storm" by Kate Chopin?

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carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

“The Storm” by Kate Chopin was in a way written in the wrong century. Chopin was ahead of her time in the subject of sex and feminism.  This story seems to condone adultery. No one is caught having the brief affair, and everyone seems happy in the end of the story. All affairs have consequences, but Chopin chooses to let her participants ignore the promises of faithfulness in marriage.

1st element-the exposition for the story

This story has a prequel: “At ‘Cadian Ball.” In this story, the reader learns that Alcee is French creole descended from French settlers in Louisiana. On the other hand, Calixta and her husband are Acadians , descendants of French-Americans who came from Acadia, Nova Scotia. The two social classes do not intermingle.

The Creoles are considered to be in a higher socio-economical class than the Acadians. This boundary kept Alcee and Calixta apart in the prequel to this story. They never consummated their love with sex. It has always been something laying dormant between them. The storm offers them the chance to change this fact, and they take it.

2nd element-Setting

The setting of the story is the end of the nineteenth century. This was the Victorian Age and “prudishness” was the standard that many people followed. In creole Louisiana, the characters are French. The town in which the story takes place is small. Two of the characters—the father and his son—wait out the storm in Friedheimer’s store. Calixta and Bobinot’s home is the most important setting. It has a front porch, dining room, sitting room, and the bedroom with its enormous white bed.

3rd element-The point of view

The story is told in third person omniscient narration. This serves the story well because the five sections are told from the point of view of different characters.

  • Section I-Bobinot and his son are at the store discussing the storm. The little boy worries that his mother will be alone. Bobinot decides he will bring some shrimp to Calixta probably to smooth over his being gone during the storm
  • Section II-This section belongs to Calixta. This section begins and ends with the storm. It also introduces the reader to Alcee who rides in on his horse asking for shelter from the storm. The storm’s intensity rises, and the passions of the two former lovers do as well consummating in a passionate sexual encounter.

“Do you remember in Assumption, Calixta?” he asked in a low voice broken by passion. Oh, she remembered; for in Assumption he had kissed her and kissed her; until his senses would well-nigh fail, and to save her he would resort to a desperate fight.

  • Section III- Bobinot and Bibi walk home anxious about Calixta and her reaction to them being gone during the storm. Bibi gets his good clothes muddy and the father wonders what Calixta will say when they arrive home. When they get to the house, Calixta is in good humor. Both of the males---father and son—are able to relax and enjoy themselves.
  • Section IV-Alcee writes his wife and tells her to stay longer on her vacation. His letter expresses his love for her and his children. He would endure being without them for a few more days.
  • Section V-Clarisse, Alcee’s wife, receives the letter from her husband and finds it surprisingly sweet and loving. She was glad that she would be able to stay longer. She was glad to have the time away from their intimate sexual lives.

At the end of the story, everyone is happy!