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What does the last line in Kate Chopin's "The Storm" imply, considering possible irony?

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I believe the ending is ironic, but more because the characters are mistaken in their happiness due to their ignorance of other events. At the end of the story, the storm did indeed pass, and because of this, the characters were very happy. However, if they truly knew the situation in which they were, they wouldn’t be happy at that moment.

At the end of the story, the characters are all happy, but the others are ignorant of the events that happened during the storm. Ironically, Calixta is happy, but it is because of the affair she just engaged in. She returns to her husband and son full of joy but also having betrayed them.

Additionally, Bobinot has purchased shrimp, hoping to bring some joy and something about which they’ll be excited for that evening after the storm, which his wife seems overjoyed at. However, his concern is unwarranted since she has clearly found her own pleasure outside of the relationship. The crux of the irony here seems to be on the ignorance of the other characters’ actions.

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A very strong case can be made that the final sentence of Kate Chopin’s short story “The Storm” is ironic and that it is simply the final example of many moments in the story that can be read ironically.  The possible ironies in the story become especially apparent when it is read for the second time.  Here are a few:

  • Young Bibi assumes that his mother will be afraid of the storm. Instead, she uses the storm as an occasion to commit adultery. Bibi’s touching concern for his mother therefore seems a bit ironic.
  • Bobinôt tells his son that Calixta will shut the house in response to the storm. Instead, she opens up her bedroom.
  • Bobinôt purchases a can of shrimp for his wife, thereby showing his (ironic) concern for the woman who is about to cheat on him.
  • Calixta is not concerned about the safety of her husband and son, although we have just seen them (ironically) expressing great concern for her safety.
  • Alcée grabs, of all things, Bobinôt’s “trousers” off the clothes line when the storm begins.  (Hmmmm . . . ironically symbolic?)
  • There may be some irony in the description of Alcée helping Calixta keep the water from coming inside beneath the door.
  • The “white” color of Calixta’s bed may be ironic, especially since white is a common symbol of purity and particularly in light of how the bed is about to be used.
  • Her young son’s bed is right next to the bed in which his mother commits adultery.
  • As Bobinôt and Bibi approach the house, Bobinôt worries that they are too badly stained to be worthy of Calixta’s sight:

"My! Bibi, w'at will yo' mama say! You ought to be ashame'. You oughta' put on those good pants. Look at 'em! An' that mud on yo' collar! How you got that mud on yo' collar, Bibi? I never saw such a boy!"

  • Calixta, who has arguably just behaved in a highly unscrupulous way, is described as an “over-scrupulous housewife.”
  • Calixta arguably lies when she tells her husband that she was “uneasy” about his absence.
  • The reunited family laugh so loudly that their laughter might even, the narrator says, be heard (ironically) at Alcée’s place.
  • Practically every single sentence of the final two sections is arguably ironic.

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