Symbolism in "The Storm"

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Symbolism in “The Storm”

“The Storm”, written by Kate Chopin in 1898, examines the uncontrollable desires of a young wife, lured into the arms of her past lover as her husband and son are caught in a storm. Bobinôt and four-year-old Bibi are running errands when the storm suddenly hit. Bobinôt’s wife, Calixta was at home sewing when she noticed the severe storm happening outside. When Calixta went outside to gather some clothing, her old lover Alcée asked for shelter during the storm. Through her use of symbolism, Chopin gives the reader her feelings on the love affair between Calixta and Alcée.

Chopin’s uses symbolism in her use of different colors throughout the story. The color white is mentioned multiple times in the story. White symbolizes light, purity, and innocence. Calixta’s neck and breasts are described as being white, which means that she is a very pure person. Calixta and Bobinôt’s bed is a white, monumental bed. This suggests that their marriage is loveless and passionless. She refers to the passion between them as a white flame. In addition to these meanings, the white is also symbolic as the hottest part of a flame. Their passion was an overwhelming force, too powerful for them to control. Red means passion, anger, blood and disorder. Alcée notices Calixta’s red lips as he is comforting her about the storm. Her red lips are a symbol of all the disorder in her life and in the storm, as well as the passion that is sparking between her and Alcée. When the rain is over and Alcée is leaving his lover, the world is green and the sun is shining. Green means hope, growth, and fertility. The sun symbolizes enlightenment and wisdom. By the two of them walking into this green world where the sun is shining, it is as if their love affair is acceptable.

The storm itself is very symbolic in this story. The storm is parallel to their tryst and also to the internal battle in Calixta. The storm sets the scene for their love affair and is full of intensity...
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