Literary Analysis Essay on "The Storm" by Kate Chopin

Paper Type:  Literature review
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  954 Words
Date:  2022-09-07


"The Storm" is a short story written by Kate Chopin. The story talks about the contradicting love situations between four people. Bobinot is married to Calixta. However, Calixta is having a romantic relationship with Alcee behind the back of Bobinot.

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On the other hand, Alcee is separated from his wife, Clarisse. He writes her a letter notifying her that she can continue staying at Biloxi. He pretends that he cares for their health and pleasure but in a real sense he does not fancy a reunion any time soon. The intention of this summary essay is to critically look at two themes as depicted by the author and how the author symbolically presented those themes. The themes picked are love and alienation.

The first theme to be analyzed is the theme of love. The author symbolically presents this theme in some ways. First is through the title of the story being "The Storm." This title is symbolic in representing the theme of love in some ways. First, it is through the storm that we are introduced to the great bond of love that exists between Bibi and his father, Bobinot. During the storm, Bibi held tightly on his father's body and was not afraid of the impeding storm because he knew clearly that he was under the good care of his father (Williams & Vivien, 3).

The storm is also symbolic in showing the romantic love that Calixta and Alcee shared. Chopin goes ahead to describe the romantic situation, "With one hand she clasped his head, her lips lightly touching his forehead. The other hand stroked with a soothing rhythm his muscular shoulders. The growl of the thunder was distant and passing away. The rain beat softly upon the shingles, inviting them to drowsiness and sleep." This moment aptly symbolizes how the storm was used to re-ignite the romantic love that these two lovebirds shared. It is during the thunder that they two moves closer and closer to each other while kissing and forgetting themselves (Chadwick & Charles, 34)

The storm is also used to show the love that Calixta had for her husband, Bobinot. During the storm, the author narrates that Alcee was not feeling uneasy about the safety of her husband and their son. This was in stark contrast to the love that she had for Alcee. She is just comfortably but furiously on her sewing machine without giving a damn to what the storm can do to her family who is in the field. She is very indifferent to the family love that should be existing in the family. Instead, she is love-struck by the romantic relationship that she has with Alcee.

The second symbolic style that the author uses to portray the theme of love in the story is through the use of the small town called Assumption. The two lovers remind themselves about their meeting experience in Assumption. It is worth noting that during their meeting in Assumption, they did not engage in sexual activities. The name of the town is symbolic in the sense that it has a biblical history as it symbolizes Virgin Mary ascent to heaven after her death. By the fact that the two did not engage in a sexual encounter, therefore, symbolizes the biblical connection that the name of the town has to do with virginity (Lane & Gill, 33).

"And the first free breath since her marriage seemed to restore the pleasant liberty of her Maiden days. Devoted as she was to her husband, their intimate conjugal life was something which she was more than willing to forego for a while." Chopin writes this about the separation of Alcee and his wife, Clarrise. The author is, therefore, introducing the second theme which is alienation. There is a huge chasm between the bond of Alcee and his wife Clarrise and their children. Instead, Alcee is preoccupied with the love that Calixta is giving him. It is through the storm that we see how Alcee alienates his family. Instead of showing them love and affection, he uses the storm to commit acts with Calixta that further alienates his family. In the above quote from the author, Clarrise had just received a letter from Alcee directing her if she can extend her stay at her people's place. The letter is meant to extend the separation period and therefore alienate the two from the family bond of love. The letter is written just moments after Alcee has had romantic pleasantries with Calixta during the storm and therefore the storm is used to symbolize the brewing discord and alienation that is happening in Alcee's family.


The final bit regarding the theme of alienation has symbolized the state of the house that the couple lives in. The state of the house symbolizes how the family has alienated themselves from the responsibilities that come with having a family. "Bonte!" she cried, releasing herself from his encircling arm and retreating from the window, "the house"ll go next!" It symbolizes the kind of life that they were living as a result of the alienation from each other which has made it difficult to sit down as a family and make plans for better living conditions. Instead, the alienation has led to the two living together but with separate ideas about how to be a united family (Metzger, Kenan, Box & Blasingame, 59).

Works Cited

Chadwick, Charles. Symbolism. Vol. 15. Taylor & Francis, 2017. Print

Lane, Gill. "Key themes: a literature review." The Situational Mentor. Routledge, 2016. 21-35. Print

Metzger, Kenan, Andrea Box, and James Blasingame. "Embracing intercultural diversification: Teaching young adult literature with Native American themes." English Journal(2013): 57-62.

Williams, Vivien. "The Scottish bagpipe: political and religious symbolism in English literature and satire." Bottle Imp 13 (2013): 1-4.

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