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The Storm By Kate Chopin Research Paper

Research Paper on Kate Chopin and Her Works

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Kate Chopin is best known for her novel, The Awakening, published in 1899. After its publication, The Awakening created such uproar that its author was alienated from certain social circles in St. Louis. The novel also contributed to rejections of Chopin's later stories including, "The Story of An Hour" and "The Storm." The heavy criticism that she endured for the novel hindered her writing. The male dominated world was simply not ready for such an honest exploration of female independence, a frank cataloguing of a woman's desires and her search for fulfillment outside of the institution of marriage.

Chopin, fatherless at four, was certainly a product of her Creole heritage, and was strongly influenced by her mother and her maternal…show more content…

Per Seyersted, Chopin's biographer, writes in his introduction to The Complete Works of Kate Chopin, Volume 1, that the reason why editors turned down a number of her stories was very likely that her women became more passionate and emancipated (46). Given that "The Story of an Hour" was published in 1894, several years after it was written, we can comprehend the importance of moral grounds as a basis for rejection. Marriage was considered a sacred institution. Divorce was quite rare in the 1800s and if one was to occur, men were automatically given legal control of all property and children. Even the constitutional amendments, granting rights of citizenship and voting, gave these rights to African Americans first, not women. Women were not granted the right to vote in political elections until 1920. Obviously then, a female writer who wrote of women wanting independence would not be received very highly, especially one who wrote of a woman rejoicing in the death of her husband. The fact that she pays for her elation with her life at the end of the story is not enough to redeem either the character or the author.

In Donald F. Larsson's entry on Kate Chopin in Critical Survey of Short Fiction, we learn that consistently... strong-willed, independent heroines... [Who] cast a skeptical eye on the institution of marriage is very characteristic of her stories (11). In "The Story of an Hour", we do not so much see as intuit Mrs. Mallard's skeptical eye.

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I will really appreciate if any instructor can help me go over this paper quickly because it is due tonight. I was only given two days to write this, and it really took a lot of effort to put this together. Thanks.

Instruction: Write a critical essay on Kate Chopin's "The Storm," William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," Ernest Hemingway's "Soldier's Home," or Ralph Ellison's "Battle Royal," using one of the approaches below.

I used approach #2
Approach #2: Biographical Analysis
Illuminate your reading of one of the selected works by considering the author's biography. In your essay, show how biographical context of the author is relevant to your interpretation of the work.


Motunrayo Dipeolu
Professor Cole-Leonard
English 102 Section WE1
July 22, 2011.
Critical Essay on "The Storm" by Kate Chopin
Marriage had been known to be traditionally dominated by the man while the woman is expected to be submissive in all forms. In the late 1800's women are not expected to express their displeasure in marriage. Marriage was known to be the "happily ever after" indeed. Kate Chopin-being an independent widow after her husband's death - decided to be the voice of the woman of that time by writing stories about how the women feel suppressed and confined sexually and spiritually to their marriage. The general society at that time does not give room for women to be open-minded. In the story "The Storm," which was not published immediately until after Chopin dead, due to its sexual content This helps to set the reader's mind to the time when the women are not allowed to express their sexual desire. In "The Storm" we see a woman who tries to conform to the societal norm of marriage, but find another means to fulfill her sexual desire which gives her joy and satisfaction.

Literally, "The storm" means a disturbance of the normal condition of the atmosphere, manifesting itself by winds of unusual force or direction, often accompanied by rain, snow, hail, thunder, and lightning, or flying sand or dust. Chopin uses the storm to illustrate the sexual tension that was sustained throughout the story between the character of Calixta and Alcee. Some critic suggested that Chopin's title refers to nature, which symbolizes feminine; therefore the title illustrates the image of feminine sexually and passion. I agree with this opinion, and this can be related Chopin's background which is made up of mostly widowed woman. It concurs with the information that the discrepancies in her life, led her to become an independent writer, and an activist.

In the beginning of the story, Bobinot- Calixta's husband was introduced as a caring husband and loving father. He knew what his wife loves and decided to buy it for her. This is to show that Bobinot was happy with his marriage. He will do anything to avoid getting into trouble with his wife. Calixta was said to be sewing furiously by the window side at home, unaware of the storm. Calixta can also be described as a devoted wife who works hard to make her home better, but was unaware of the approaching storm. Chopin illustrated that before the storm everything was fine. The woman sexuality was shown to be constraint as represented by the house chores Calixta performs. It can be deduced that Chopin is trying to tell the reader that not all act of adultery was intended. From her biography by Emily Toth, it was read that she had an affair with a married man called Albert Sampite which bloom after Chopin's husband's death. Chopin is trying to show the world that woman's hidden sexual desire can be erupted uncontrollably when she finds the right person, and not every woman finds joy in the assumed happy marriage.

More so, Chopin uses the house chores Calixta focuses on to symbolize the constraints of marriage and the unperceived need for sexuality. When Alcee came into the house, Calixta tried everything possible to repress her sexual urge for Alcee by keeping Bobinot and Bibi in mind, but this was overpowered by her sexual urge. "Alcée flung himself into a rocker and Calixta nervously began to gather up from the floor the lengths of a cotton sheet which she had been sewing (P II)." Calixta knew she was sexually attracted to Alcee, but must conform to the societal norm of honesty in marriage. Chopin was said to have attend a catholic boarding school which influence her idea about the need to keep the bed undefiled. Everywoman is expected to maintain honesty in her marriage during Chopin's time no matter what the husband does.

During the storm in the story, Calixta put everything aside and finally decided to let her desire take over her. Calixta knew this will be a betrayal to her marriage but was determined to carry on with the act. The storm Alcee seeks shelter from can be addressed as the societal obstacle in their world while the storm inside is the Calixta's forbidden fervor up inside the house with them. Chopin continually uses the storm as a symbol in the story.

The joy in Calixta heart during the sexual act was immeasurable. "When he touched her breasts they gave themselves up in quivering ecstasy, inviting his lips. Her mouth was a fountain of delight. And when he possessed her, they seemed to swoon together at the very borderland of life's mystery"(P II). The author's description of Calixta at the beginning as being frustrated and furious was changed, and expressed as being happy and fulfilled during the act. Chopin is trying to portray to the reader that when women are sexually fulfilled, their mood and attitudes change for better. Chopin further described Calixta's mood saying "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 (p II)." Calixta experienced what could be described as her climax. It was shown that Calixta had longed for this, but was more committed to managing her marriage the way it is.

At the end of the story, when the rain storm was over; "and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems,"" Calixta, on the gallery, watched Alcée ride away. He turned and smiled at her with a beaming face; and she lifted her pretty chin in the air and laughed aloud (p III)." Calixta did not feel guilty for what she did, neither did Alcee. They both acted like nothing happened and decided to be nicer to their spouse and have a better home. The massage Chopin seems to be passing at the end of the story was that, so far the woman is happy with what she did; the society- the external storm- can be over looked. Chopin used the illustration of the sun turning the world into a palace of gems as a new life after the internal storm Calixta experienced was over.

In conclusion, "The Storm" is not only a story about humans' innate sexual tendencies, but this story also represents the sexual reservations of Chopin's particular time period. Chopin seemed to be more connected with her feminine sexuality due to her background. Through Chopin's writing of this story, she was able to communicate her own thoughts about sexuality, and was also able to make a concealed declaration about her mind-set on the sexual way of life of the modern time era. "The Storm" continues Chopin's argument with the theme of the difficulty of the marriage and the sexuality of women. She portrays the marital problems of the 1800's and was not afraid to talk about her opinion.

... by the man while the woman was expected to be submissive in all forms.
In the late 1800's women were not expected to express ...
The general society at that time did not give room ...
"The Storm," was not published until after Chopin's death , due to its sexual contentperiod
This helps set the reader's mind to the time when the women were not allowed to ...
In "The Storm"comma we see a woman who tries to conform to the societal norm of marriage, but finds another means to ...

Literally, "The Storm " means a disturbance of the normal ...
Some critics suggested that Chopin's title refers to nature, which symbolizes femininity ; therefore the title illustrates the image of feminine sexuality and passion.
I agree with this opinion, and this can be related to Chopin's background which is made up of mostly widowed women .
Itdefine "it" concurs with the information that the discrepancies in her lifeno comma needed led her to become an independent writerNo comma and an activist.

In the beginning of the story, Bobinot- use a comma instead of a hyphen Calixta's husband comma was introduced as a ...
He knew what his wife loved and decided to buy it for her.
This was to show that Bobinot was ...
He would do anything to avoid ...
The woman's sexuality was shown to be constrained as represented by the ...
... tell the reader that not all acts of adultery were intended.
... it was read that she define "she" had an affair with a married man called Albert Sampite which bloom after the death of Chopin's husband .

... hidden sexual desire can erupt uncontrollably when she finds ...
Chopin was said to have attended a catholic boarding school which influenced her idea about the ... Everyspace woman was expected to maintain honesty in her marriage during Chopin's time no matter what the husband did .

... decided to let her desire take over .
Calixta knew this would be a betrayal to her ...
The joy in Calixta's heart during the sexual ...
... when the rain storm was overno semicolon "and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems", Calixta, on the ...

... with a beaming faceno semicolon.
... where the quote began and she lifted her ...
The message Chopin seems to be ...
... happy with what she didno semicolon the society- the external storm...

... sexual way of life of the modern redundant, use either time or era but not both . "

Good essay and comparisons. Watch your verb tenses. I might not have caught all grammatical slips so you should probably give it another proofread. Good job :)

Yes, the verb tenses are the problem here! Celeste, thanks so much for the work you did. This must have taken a long time.

Motunrayo, do you have time to type the essay again? Use these corrections, and type the essay again. If you do, it will cause your skill to improve. In fact, I think you should type every sentence a few times and really think deeply about the reason for each change Celeste made.

Use a comma:
Chopin further described Calixta's mood saying, "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" (p. II).

:-)

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