Local Color in Chopin's "The Storm"

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In Kate Chopin’s “The Storm,” we see a multitude of literary themes. The most important among those is her use of local color. This short story was written in the late nineteenth century at a time when women were to be seen, not heard. Chopin had a different outlook on life and it showed in her writing. Though some believe it may not have been her intention to use local color in her stories, she does. We see local color in the setting she chooses, the descriptive colors she uses, the plot of the story, and also though the narrator’s eyes. The setting of the story takes place in Louisiana, during the nineteenth century. The opening scene is where Bobinot and Bibi are at the local Friedheimer’s store, having to wait out the storm that is to come. During their wait Bobinot purchases a can of shrimp for his wife Calixta. He knows loves them and aims to please her but it betrayed by her in return. Back at the Calixta and Bobinot’s home we’re given a scene where Bobinot’s Sunday clothes hanging out to dry. This shows the significance of dressing up on “church day” in the town that they live in. The storm itself is a symbol in which we get the feel for the positive, not negative outcome at the end of the story. Instead of bringing harm into the character’s lives, it brings peace and happiness. Chopin uses descriptive color as another way to show symbolism in the story and how it affects her character’s actions. The walls of Calixta’s bedroom are white and untouched symbolizing purity, yet a tryst is soon to occur here and in most cultures would be considered as betrayal of her family, sinful, and dishonest. Alcee’s attraction to Calixta is too shown in Chopin use of color. She writes, “Her blue eyes still retained their melting quality; and her yellow hair disheveled by the wind and rain, kinked more stubbornly than ever about her ears and temples.” Then again in the line “her lips were as red and moist as pomegranate seed. Her white neck and a glimpse of her full,...
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