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Sexual Healing

  • Date Submitted: 06/28/2010 04:18 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.8 
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Sexual Healing
Kate Chopin’s short story, “the Storm” takes place in the late nineteenth century, at a time when women’s sexuality was not considered. It revolves around Calixta and Alcee, two former lovers, stuck inside Calixta’s house while they wait out a torrential downpour outside. The Storm is really a metaphor used by Chopin along with many subtle symbols to describe the sexual passion and tension that Calixta and Alcee feel for each other, and the events left in the wake of the storm.
The story opens with Calixta’s husband Bobinot, and son Bibi, waiting out a storm at Friedheimer’s store. While waiting at the store and conversing with his son, Bobinot notices “sombre clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar. They were at Friedheimer's store and decided to remain there till the storm had passed” (263). The “clouds rolling with sinister intention” can be interpreted as the foreshadowing of the affair soon to be taking place between Calixta and Alcee. Also note that the sinister, somber, and threatening storm was rolling in from the west, commonly referred to as the Wild West; symbolic of Calixta’s wild personality that she keeps bottled up. Bobinot’s decision to wait out the storm is also interpreted as his unwillingness to appease his wife’s needs of passionate loving, as Calixta herself is a storm of passion and sexuality. A criticism from essortment.com states that “Like a storm, Calixta began as quiet, calm and unthreatening to man. But as her passion began to brew, she became electric and powerful; a force driven by nature, as inept at controlling her own desires as a storm is at controlling the damage it leaves in its path”. The symbolism is also present in Friedheimer’s where Bobinot and Bibi “sit on two empty kegs” symbolizing their lack of excitement, emotion, and understanding of the storm that is to come. Bibi suggests that his mother will be frightened during the storm, because...


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