How does the storm act as a character in Chopin's "The Storm?"

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"In "The Storm," the storm itself could be interpreted as a character if the reader personifies the storm as such."

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In "The Storm ," the storm itself could be interpreted as a character if the reader personifies the storm as such. In this interpretation, the personified storm comments on, or supplements, the passion between Calixta and Alcée as they make love. In other words, the storm rises, climaxes, and...

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abates. This rising action parallels their lovemaking.

On the other hand, within the context of the story, the storm is presented as a metaphor; not necessarily as a character. Although both are married and adultery is often considered immoral, the comparison with the storm suggests that their passion for each other is natural. This is not an overt approval of adultery. Rather, it is an acknowledgment of natural passion. In fact, after Alcée tells her there is nothing to fear (of the storm and any guilt of succumbing to her passion), she releases any fear and is free enough to embrace him and even laugh.

They did not heed the crashing torrents, and the roar of the elements made her laugh as she lay in his arms.

Note that although there is deception (Calixta and Alcée never tell their spouses of the affair), the end result was as natural as a shift in the weather. "So the storm passed and every one was happy." In this story, both the storm and passion are natural occurrences and in certain (or most) circumstances, they should not be feared.

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In what sense does the storm act as a character in the story The Storm?

In a sense the powerful thunderstorm of the narrative of Kate Chopin's story acts as character, an elemental force that exercises its power upon their emotions. Indeed, the storm is the embodiment of the unleashed passions of Alcée  and Calixta, the protagonist that liberates them from the antagonistic patriarchy in which they live, confining them to certain social domains that restrict their innate natures. 

As the sequel to "The 'Cadian Ball," the narrative of "The Storm" is inextricably connected that of the previous story in which Alcée the Creole gentleman, and quadroon Calixta, the animated and "abandoned" beauty have a romantic encounter:

Calixta's senses were reeling; and they well nigh left her when she felt Alcée's lips brush her ear like the touch of a rose.

Because of social mores, nothing more occurs as Clarisse appears and for Alcée the only reality becomes her declaration of love for him.

But later, after Alcée is married, he finds himself stranded by the impending storm, and seeks refuge at the home of Claxita, who is alone and somewhat frightened by the lightning and wind that threatens. Alcée gathers her to his arms and looks down

...into her eyes and there was nothing for him to do but to gather her lips in a kiss. It reminded him of Assumption.

Their passion renewed, with the liberation that the storm provides them from their societal roles, Claxita and Alcée are free to express their love for one another. 

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In what sense does the storm act as a character in Kate Chopin's story The Storm?

In Kate Chopin’s 1898 short story “The Storm,” the author’s use of nature as a metaphor for human relations and sexual passion is not particularly subtle.  From the start, Chopin used nature as an instrument for conveying sentiments and for providing a context in which her human characters function.  From the perspective of Bobinot, the innocent, well-intentioned husband and father whose betrayal at the hands of his wife will provide the story’s climactic passage, the role of nature is to establish a sense of foreboding.  As Bobinot and his four-year-old son Bibi prepare to depart the local store, the approaching storm establishes the setting:

“. . . somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar.”

As Bobinot and Bibi settle down to wait out the storm, Chopin’s use of nature to propel her story and to symbolize human passions takes on an added dimension.  The scene of the story shifts to Bobinot and Calixta, his wife’s, home, where she is dutifully sewing cloth in the quintessential picture of domestic tranquility.  She fails to notice the storm’s approach, but, when it arrives, is quick to go outside to retrieve the laundry hanging on a line.  At this point, the storm’s role in the story goes from one of foreboding to one of repressed sexuality suddenly and forcefully unleashed.  The arrival of Calixta’s former lover, Alcee, provides the opportunity for Chopin to direct a convergence between nature and human desire.  Thunderstorms have frequently been employed as plot devices to suggest disparate moods, from fear and trepidation to passion.  In “The Storm,” the weather serves to break down Calixta’s inhibitions:

“The playing of the lightning was incessant. A bolt struck a tall chinaberry tree at the edge of the field. It filled all visible space with a blinding glare and the crash seemed to invade the very boards they stood upon.”

“Calixta put her hands to her eyes, and with a cry, staggered backward.  Alcée's arm encircled her, and for an instant he drew her close and spasmodically to him.

 "Bonté!"(2)Bonté: Heavens! she cried, releasing herself from his encircling arm and retreating from the wind”

Calixta and Alcee engage in passionate and spontaneous sex, with the moment’s conclusion marked by the storm’s end.  Chopin has used the storm to symbolize the emotional transformations taking place among her human characters.  As the author brings this brief encounter to an end, she notes the dissipation of the torrential rainfall:

“The rain was over; and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems. Calixta, on the gallery, watched Alcée ride way.”

Chopin ends her story with Alcee’s letter to his wife, Clarisse, who is away with their children, and who has enjoyed the respite from marriage and the burdens associated with submission to a husband:

“Devoted as she was to her husband, their conjugal life was something which she was more than willing to forego for a while.

 “So the storm passed and everyone was happy.”

The storm in Chopin’s story is a character that moves through the lives of her human characters and influences their conduct.  It serves to keep Bobinot away and to fuel Calixta’s passions.  Absent the storm, it is highly unlikely Alcee would have been inside Bobinot’s home and engaging his wife in a torrent of infidelity.

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In "The Storm" by Kate Chopin, in what sense does the storm act as a character in the story?

The storm functions as an excuse for husbands and wives to be separated. The storm also can be considered symbolic of pent-up desire and the natural power of Calixta’s long suppressed yearning for freedom. When the storm comes, it is as if the usual rules Calixta lives by are suspended. While her chance meeting with her former lover may seem like a betrayal, the story instead suggests that Calixta’s submission to her desire for Alcee is, in fact, a natural expression of her “birthright,” as Chopin calls it, without “guile or trickery.” The storm, for all its violence, makes it possible for Calixta to realize that her marriage is not an absolute boundary for her life: there are people and experiences outside of her marriage that can make her happy.

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In "The Storm" by Kate Chopin, in what sense does the storm act as a character in the story?

The storm seems almost like another character in the story because it is so pivotal to the plot. It is what keeps Calixta's husband and son away from their home, stuck in town, leaving her at home alone. It is what forces Alcee to stop at her house, seeking shelter. It is what sends Calixta, fearfully, to the window, where lightning strikes, and she "cr[ies], stagger[ing] backward. Alcee's arm encircled her, and for an instant he drew her close and spasmodically to him." Without the storm, none of this would have happened. Alcee beings to reassure her, touching her again. The storm seems to create literal heat as well as figurative; it creates the perfect environment for them to be together. The narrator says,

The generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous nature that had never yet been reached.

The elements of the storm seem to be echoed in Calixta—her abundance of passion like the abundance of rain, its "white flame" like the storms's lightning. And as the storm "pass[es] away," Calixta "stroke[s] with a soothing rhythm [Alcee's] muscular shoulders." When the "rain was over," Alcee "beam[s]" and Calixta "lifted her pretty chin in the air and laughed aloud," continuing to parallel their feelings of relieved tension. The storm relieves pressure from both the atmosphere and from between Alcee and Calixta. The story could not be without the storm.

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In "The Storm" by Kate Chopin, in what sense does the storm act as a character in the story?

In "The Storm" by Kate Chopin, the storm acts an intermediary between Calixta and Alcee. The storm prevents Calixta's husband from returning home. It also keeps Alcee from leaving Calixta because of its intensity and fierceness. 

The intensity of the storm also plays a factor in the story. As the storm intensifies, it creates an intimate and passionate mood within Calixta's home. The pattern of the rain beating against the house and the lightning symbolize the sexual tension that builds and explodes between Calixta and Alcee. Just as the storm will not cease, the characters cannot help but explore their feelings for one another. It is as if the storm is enticing them to embrace the opportunity to be with one another. 

Just as fiercely as the storm rages, it ends. Alcee leaves Calixta, her husband returns, and all is right with the world. No one suspects what has occurred between Calixta and Alcee; as if the rain has washed away any impurities. 

Although the rain is not actually a character in the story, it is a central symbol that helps to perpetuate action throughout the text. 

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