The Storm

The Storm Analysis
In "The Storm", Kate Chopin challenges the "Gilded Age" ideal of women. The Storm is a metaphor for the turmoil that Calixta goes through between her household duties and her inner passion. During the Victorian era women had the ideal image of a faithful housewife that would do anything to pleasure and fulfill their husband's needs. The women would stay home cleaning and preparing everything to perfection for when the husband arrived home, once dinner was set and accepted to the husbands needs then the women would seduce to man in order to prevent them from betraying the family by committing an act of adultery (men were believed to have urges that the wife had to suppress).
The storm provides Calixta with an opportunity to bend from the Victorian era image and seek her "birthright" that Chopin describes in such powerful context. The setting of the storm with its mysterious and dim scenery, shield Calixta and Alcee from the world in order to experience a moment of freedom and lust almost as if this was their only chance. Through this brief moment in time when destiny provides them an opportunity to commit adultery is when Calixta realizes that she too can fulfill her sexual needs. This revolution set on paper is common of Chopin, who wrote many stories that challenged Victorian ideals and set forth many ideas of the time's hypocrisy.
The storm is noted by reference to crashing torrents to which the pair did not heed. The author is saying that human desire is not something to be dammed up or levied off, but rather that we she act as open flood gates- to go with the flow. After the storm s climax, the rain beats softly on the roof, and the growl of the thunder was distant and far away. Here the two must go against their natural urges, fight sleep and break sanctuary. The lulling beat of the soft rain and the low sound of a passing thunderstorm could not be taken advantage of, here is the first time the author implies anything unnatural about the rendezvous. Calixta is beaming as the sun with vapor in the air from a heavy shower.
Soon after with out any doubt in and of the characters minds Calixta and Alcee have passionate sex. Calixta is described to be having no remorse with cheating on her husband due to, "The generous abundance of her passion…" This sense of Calixta having no regret is seen in more detail as the story comes to a close. As they finish making love, the imagery and descriptions change once again. The rain comes to a stop and the sun comes out to signify that everything is back to normal. Almost as if this occurrence was sheltered in time and never to be noted upon. This is seen more when the family is once again united at night and Calixta seems to be acting very nonchalant about the situation.
The story has a very loose feeling to it, almost as if there was nothing wrong with the situation or the adultery. While the stresses of being a Victorian woman come into play, the act of committing adultery is not to be glorified in such a way. Coming from experience in the matter and a generation where the sanctity of marriage is almost completely dissolved. The story takes on a life of its own and Chopin brilliantly places the reader in the character as you forget about the husband and just on the encounter, much like committing the act as if you were there. Whether or not adultery is a negative thing or not, is all circumstantial. The basic premise for marriage has been chipped away with this story and many years later we have seen that crack shape into almost half the population getting divorced and a rise of TV shows focused on cheating spouses.
As a male I obviously take on the roles of the husband and Alcee, but I sympathize more with Bibi having already been in his position no less than a year ago. The double standards that exist in society that causes these ideals to be set forth that man can cheat women can't are in fact wrong. However, in some ways these standards have a deeper root than just sexism. Women are loving creatures, where men tend to be more aggressive; in the same respects women tend to hold a relationship in higher regard than men, usually. This story challenges those ideals and teaches men that women too can attain a higher level of sexual desire, ultimately an orgasm. With that realization Chopin set forth a deterioration of these double standards and taught men to look at a relationship as an equal one instead of just one sided.

The Storm 8 of 10 on the basis of 1565 Review.