Literary Analysis of "The Storm"

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Calixta's Affair
In any marriage, it is important for the wife to feel secured, loved, and to receive sexual gratification to maintain a strong commitment to her husband. Unfortunately, in Kate Chopin's "The Storm," Calixta does not receive all of these things from her husband Bobinot. Calixta's husband Bobinot lacks a sense of power and control in their marriage and also leaves her feeling sexually frustrated. Calixta's encounter with Alcee Laballiere also reminds her of her dull marriage and the passion her and Alcee has once shared. Because of the unfulfillment of her marriage to Bobinot, Calixta is driven to commit adultery with Alcee.

Calixta's husband Bobinot, as caring as he may be, does not have a strong sense of power or control, important for men in the 19th century. It is difficult for Calixta to feel secured by a man "who was accustomed to converse on terms of perfect equality with his little son" (119). There is no question that Bobinot may love and care for Calixta, he thinks about her during the storm and purchases "a can of shrimps, of which Calixta is very fond" (120). However, Bobinot cares more about Calixta being disappointed or angry with him in a childish way, asking Bibi, his four year old son, "what will yo mama say! You ought to be ashamed. You oughtn' put on those good pants. Look at ‘em!…" (122). Calixta has more control in the family than Bobinot does and looks to her husband as more of a second child to watch over rather than powerful male figure.

Being married to a childlike man, for Calixta, has its sexual repercussions. Calixta is left feeling frustrated and obviously unfulfilled with her and Bobinot's sex life. At home she "sews furiously on a sewing machine," (120) and probably continues her other daily activities with such a "generous abundance of her passion" (122) and determination that she has not yet been able to express in their sexual activities. It isn't until her sexual encounter with Alcee...
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