What types of conflict are presented in "The Storm"?

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There are various types of conflict which are evident in the short story "The Storm."

One of the physical conflicts is reflected in the natural setting. Calixta is alone at home, temporarily separated from her husband and son, who are shopping, when a fierce thunderstorm blows in. Because...

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There are various types of conflict which are evident in the short story "The Storm."

One of the physical conflicts is reflected in the natural setting. Calixta is alone at home, temporarily separated from her husband and son, who are shopping, when a fierce thunderstorm blows in. Because of this, Bobinôt can't get home to his wife, and Calixta makes a choice to give in to her passionate desires for another man. When lightning strikes a tree near her home, Calixta staggers backward into Alcée's comforting embrace. The threat of the thunderstorm initiates their physical encounter.

From a reader's perspective, one of the moral conflicts is Calixta's choice to be unfaithful to her husband. Interestingly, she doesn't feel conflicted herself. She enjoys their sensual encounter, offering herself to a man whom she had kissed years before. With her husband away, Calixta is now free to give in to her "sensuous desire." When Alcée departs, Calixta laughs aloud, her energy light and carefree; when she shares dinner with her husband and son that evening, there is no indication that she feels any remorse for her actions.

Emotional conflict is represented well in Alcée's wife, Clarisse, who appears at the very end of the story. She is staying in a different town, separated from her husband. She is relieved to receive a letter from Alcée which encourages her to remain there for a while longer. While she is "devoted" to her husband, she feels the freedom in being able to enjoy "the first free breath since her marriage" and is thankful to be able to abandon their "intimate conjugal life" for a while.

A moment of intellectual conflict occurs when Calixta believes that the storm poses a danger to her safety. Alcée presents evidence to the contrary, pointing out that "the house is too low to be struck" by lightning and that "nothing can happen." After initially believing that she is in danger, Calixta chooses to believe this reasoning and therefore allows Alcée to tenderly touch her instead of being concerned about the threat of the storm.

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