April 13, 2013
Final Essay 4
Literature to be discussed, including author: Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” In Kate Chopin’s time, during the late 19th century, sexual relations were seen as outside of a woman’s knowledge and concern. What is unusual about Chopin’s story is that even publication of adultery was considered very scandalous but Chopin did so anyways. During this time once you married someone you were basically stuck with them. Many people who were married didn’t want to marry the person. Divorce was very uncommon. This means women were often tied to one person and one person only even if they were not happy with the marriage.** In fact, the “Matrimonial Causes Act in 1857 gave women limited access to divorce. But while the husband only had to prove his wife's adultery, a woman had to prove her husband had not only committed adultery but also incest, bigamy, cruelty or desertion”( )** In Chopin’s short story, “The Storm”, she shows the effect of restrained marriage on a young woman named Calixta during an encounter with an old flame. The narrator does not seem to judge the actions of the characters as wrong. Since women in this time had to be “proper” all the time, they had many restraints and were not supposed to express their desires. What could and probably caused an uproar during this time is the fact that Chopin is supporting/encouraging sexual freedom as a healthy and natural thing. She shows a great depiction on how marriages were like in the late 19th century. Chopin shows that many women were not satisfied in their marriage during the 19th century. In the beginning of “The Storm”, it is obvious that a huge storm is brewing up. This seems to symbolize conflict that has been arising for Calixta. Her husband is away and is not there to protect her. At first she is subconsciously unaware of the storm but “she felt very warm and often stopped to mop her face on which the perspiration gathered in beads” (Chopin...