Kate Chopin's The Storm: The Fallacies of the Gender Rules in the Victorian Era

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ENC 1102
T-R 8:25 am - 9:40 am
Prof. Duasso
February 16, 2010
The Fallacies of the Gender Rules
The Victorian Era born within the reign of Queen Victoria in England. The society of England in the Victorian Era lived by gender rules which stated that the role of men was to work out of the house and economically support their family while women’s role was to be safe at home, keep their husband out of temptation, and become the best wives, mothers, and housekeepers. This society strongly believed that men were exposing to temptation all the time, and that a good wife’s job was to save her husband from it. In order to save her man, a wife had to do everything: she was not allowed to lose her beauty and remain as a trophy for her spouse; she was supposed to solve any issue at home before her husband returned from work. Sexuality for a woman from this era was only to receive her husband and sexually please him no matter what. Victorians alleged that women did not feel sexual pleasure, so women were free of sin. At early age, girls were taught to play the piano and anything that was related about the art of home, like cooking or sewing. These traditions were part of what the Victorian society called the Cult of Domesticity. Every woman had the responsibility of passing these norms to her daughters; therefore, these girls could be the perfect wives who would save their husbands from temptation, so their families could fit in the Gilded Age society which perpetuate gold as symbol of beauty and perfection. However, a famous writer, Kate Chopin rubbed and rubbed the gold from the Victorian family’s picture, dismantling two Victorian’s principles with her short story, “The Storm.”

In Chopin’s story, there were five characters within the plot. Bobinot and Bibi, a father and a son, who were kept away from home by the third character, a tempest that had a plan; Calixta, the good Victorian wife who was sewing and waiting at home for her husband and son, and an...
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