March 3, 2009
Kate Chopin on two Readings: “The Storm” and “A Shameful Affair”
To truly understand and appreciate Kate Chopin’s uniqueness in her style of writing, we have to locate her stories in the social era and attitudes of her time. We see Chopin’s breeding ground for women in later times. These two short stories dealing with two women who decide to deal with their weakness or perhaps strengths by having more of a male attitude in both sexual and emotional degree. Chopin lived in the Southern United States in which she bases most of her stories, ‘The Storm’, was Biloxi on the Gulf Coast of the state of Mississippi. The period of her writing is generally regarded as the ‘Victorian’ era. In the Victorian era, society was very conservative and male dominated. Women were generally expected to be subservient to their husbands in everything including sexual relations. A woman had no avenue to express her emotional feelings outside the restricted policy of marriage. Therefore, Kate Chopin should be seen as a feminist writer with a lot of courage, who favors to empower women in her writings and set them on the path of freedom from society restrictions in expressing their sexual desires. In her era feminism was a strange word and women empowerment was non-existent.
Kate Chopin’s story “The Storm” centers on the affairs of a married woman Calixta with her ex-lover Alcee during a storm. While her husband Bobinot and son Bibi were taking shelter from the driving rain, where it was thundering and lightning, in a store where they had gone to make some shopping, Calixta was home, sitting by the side window of the house “sewing furiously on a sewing machine” “She was greatly occupied and did not notice the approaching storm. The approaching storm was more than the storm of the hurricane weather and the emotional storm that shook her with the...