What does the final sentence "So the storm passed and everyone was happy" in "The Storm" signify? Is the "storm" over?

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The final sentence of Kate Chopin's story "The Storm" is ambiguous, and it actually carries more than one meaning. "So the storm passed and everyone was happy" can be taken on a literal level, for the severe storm that rolled across the countryside has indeed passed by the end of the story, with no one hurt and apparently no significant property damage.

Yet there is a much deeper meaning to this line. The storm is a metaphor for passion. Neither Calixta nor Alcee seems fully happy in their marriages to other people. They used to be much in love with each other, and apparently, they still are. Calixta has married and has a small son. Alcee is married, too, and has more than one child. Yet they are not completely satisfied, as they would be and once were with each other.

So in the midst of the physical storm, they allow their passions to get out of control, and they give in to their desire for each other. When the physical storm is over, Alcee leaves before Calixta's husband and son return home. The storm of their passion is over, at least for the moment. And both of them actually seem happy. Calixta greets her family with relief and enthusiasm. Alcee writes a loving note to his wife who is in Biloxi. Calixta's husband and son are happy with her care. Alcee's wife appreciates the letter and the time away from intimacy with her husband.

We might wonder, though, if the storm of passion has really passed away or if it will return when the old dissatisfaction creeps into the lives of Calixta and Alcee. We wonder if they will reach out to each other again and renew their storm of passion and desire.

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