Social Conventions

Topics: Zora Neale Hurston Pages: 4 (1409 words) Published: April 10, 2012
Social Conventions
As we embark on the twenty-first century, the obligation to abide by traditional gender roles and social conventions has become somewhat of an ancient practice. Presently, some may feel as though they are trapped by certain social conventions. However, for the protagonists of Kate Chopin's late nineteenth century "The Storm" and Zora Neale Hurston's early twentieth century "Sweat", the Social Conventions of the time are clearly identifiable.

In Chopin's "The Storm", a married women named Calixta, is content and occupied in her situation and with the duties that come with maintaining a home. "She sat at a side window sewing furiously on a sewing machine. She was greatly occupied and did not notice the approaching storm" (Chopin sec. II, ph. 1). Her husband, Bobinôt and son, Bibi were at Friedheimer's store when it was evident that a storm was near. They were left no choice but to remain there until the storm subsided. Back at the house, Calixta hurries to ready the house and gather clothes as they hung outside to dry. Just then she discovered a familiar acquaintance, Alicée Laballière, riding through the gate toward her. Previously involved, but now lead separate lives. He politely asks Calixta if he can wait the storm out on the gallery but it grew more aggressive and they realized he would need to enter the house.

Awkwardness can be observed in their reunion, "His voice and her own startled her as if from a trance" (sec. II, ph. 5). They had not seen each other as often since her marriage to Bobinôt and never while alone. While inside, they talk about the storm and the whereabouts of Calixta's husband and son. Starring out a window, she attempts to remain concerned about the weather. The social conventions engraved in her appeared to govern her actions as she tried to ignore the temptation that stood before her. As he stands to look over her shoulder, he finally gives into his own desires. He takes her in an embrace and kisses her,...
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