Women and Marriage
In her two short stories “The Story of an Hour” and “The Storm,” Kate Chopin discuss relationship between husbands and wives. In “The Storm,” she tells the story of Calixta who has an affair with Alcee, a former boyfriend while her husband is on a ride with their son Bibi. In “The Story of an Hour,” Chopin tells the tale of Mrs. Mallard’s husband, who dies and she is suffering with a troubled heart. Kate Chopin’s stories were about marriages. Cheating is in “The Storm” while death is in “The Story of an Hour.” Both were themes in these two short stories. They are deep in passion and sex, involving unfaithful and dissatisfied wives. Chopin’s short stories is emotional and showed affection. “Many of Chopin’s stories have to do with marriage. Yet it is impossible to tease a theory out of them: rather, taken together, they seem some shifting assemblage of mirrors specifically designed to reflect the variety of individual behavior”(Unger 212).
In “The Story of an Hour,“ Mrs. Mallard’s receives possible news that her husband had died. It broke her heart that the love of her life was gone. Her mind and body are paralyzed, and she does not want to be bothered. She looks out of the window and cries up into the sky, and this event changes her life forever. Ironically, she feels no sadness about her husband’s death. In fact, Louise feels “a delicious breath in the air”(“Story” 516). To her, her husband’s death is a “new spring”(516). Her mood of relief has changed because of a death. The critic Leonard Unger calls this reaction an “irrational impulse”(American Authors 223). This is not a reaction that a wife should have about their husband. She should be have a sense of depression and sadness.
In “The Storm,” Calixta has an affair with Alcee, a former boyfriend while her husband and son, Bobinot and Bibi, go for a horse ride just before a thunderstorm...