Kate Chopin's Story Of An Hour And The Storm

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Author Kate Chopin has expressed feminine freedom in two of her short stories: "The Storm" and "Story of an Hour". She was the breakthrough author for female independence and human sexuality. Through these two short stories, Chopin describes the lives of two women who discover their freedom in times where society does not accept women as equal to men. "The Storm" relates love and marriage as a prevention for free full blown passion. "Story of an Hour" relates love and marriage to unhappiness and repression.

"The Storm" holds a very symbolic meaning for passion. It affirms feminine sexuality through Calixta and Alcee's relationship. Despite Calixta's marriage to Bobinot, she proceeds with her unacceptable behavior in society with Alcee and commits adultery. Her newfound passion determines the importance of passion in 1890s where many women felt they were bound. Many parts in the story foreshadow Calixta and Alcee's sexual encounter.

The storm itself was describing their progressing passion with the encounter of a lightening bolt and thunder: "Calixta put her hands to her eyes, and with a cry, staggered backward. Alcee's arm encircled her, and for an instance he drew her close and spasmodically to him." The increasing power of the storm represents the increasing passion between the two lovers.

This short story puts aside the constraints of society and marriage, and opens a door for feminine sexuality.

The same sense of freedom that Chopin expressed in "The Storm" applies to "Story of an Hour". Main character Louise Mallard is an elderly woman who has lost her husband. She is in a state of thought when she realizes her newfound freedom. She discovers that her marriage was a bondage and hopes for a long life to enjoy this new freedom. Her marriage seemed to have...



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