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The Significance Of The Setting In Kate Chopin’s Short Story, ‘The Storm

Table of Contents

The Storm

Within ‘The Storm’ by Kate Chopin, setting remains a huge detail in adding to the harrowing journey of this father-son team. Calling “the child’s attention to certain sombre clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar..” (3) is an example of brilliant foreshadowing using the storm as a metaphor for impending doom. The length of the story takes place in a store, and the feeling of being trapped inside whil a storm is outside feels all too real. “The rain was coming down in sheets obscuring the view of far-off cabins and enveloping the distant wood in a gray mist” (46) acts as another brilliant descriptor in describing the disasterous effects outside. These examples of setting place the reader within the world of the narrator, and show with emotional wordage how frightening the storm outside truly is. “The generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous nature that had never yet been reached” (76) describes an event within the story’s arc in which two main characters make love to each other, the setting here provides a warmth inside to the cold menacing outer world happenings. The description of passion and the white flame created between these two people adds to the warmth they finally felt through all the cold bitterness. The rest of the tale describes the latter to each of the lives of the father and the mother described herein, but the setting takes on a much warmer role as the storm is described to have passed. The setting is everything in this tale as the storm keeps the characters aligned to the universe they are described within; Chopin did an amazing job with this piece of fiction.

Classmate Response

Although the tale is a darkened one due to the status of the weather outside, it is true that the language used provide’s a somewhat lighter tone. “Bobint arose and going across to the counter purchased a can of shrimps, of which Calixta was very fond” (12) is a phrase that describes Bobint’s actions in the slang their family uses; the use of real life language manipulation adds to the realism of the time and place, and allows the reader to relate to the fact that these people are real. Even reactions described such as: “My! what a rain! It’s good two years sence it rain’ like that!” (33) show just how lighthearted the protagonist’s can be with such a sinister storm brewing outside. The relation to innocence and ignorance can almost be taken from the context here, and this whole story somewhat tests the notion that there is very little difference between the two. Calixta’s growth can be seen eventually, but we realize the irony in even parents being more afraid than their children at times, “Calixta put her hands to her eyes, and with a cry, staggered backward. Alce’s arm encircled her, and for an instant he drew her close and spasmodically to him.” (43)

Classmate Response

This response seems to jump to the latter part of the story which takes on a somehwhat romanticized journey through a torrid love affair. ‘”Calixta,” he said, “don’t be frightened. Nothing can happen. The house is too low to be struck, with so many tall trees standing about.’ (49) The preceeding phrase is the beginning of the affair, and this shows the innoncence of a mother who needs comfort; the same comfort needed is what she has provided to her kin all story. There is a strange metaphor in seeing a mother need in the same way her children do, and although she is conquered in a different way, the end result is happiness, relief, and stability. The affair in the store brings the characters together in a way that allows them both to release fear and relinquish the ability to gain fervor through the (literal) darkest of storms. I agree in the assessment that Calixta grew in her own way through the affair, and that her finding that moment of love helped the storm pass. The metaphor for the storm in Calixta’s own life regardless of weather is made clear her, and it shows with the storm’s passing post her finding love.

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