In the 19th century girls were raised and with the expectation of becoming a wife, mother, and housekeeper. Society believed that a woman’s place was in the home, and they had a duty to care for the children, house, and their husband, including his sexual needs. During the 19th century it was a common understanding that women were purely domestic beings, and that unlike men they had no sexual feelings or desires (www. Vivid. Deed). One of the main theme’s that is seen in Kate Chopping writing, including “The Storm,” is a women rebelling against societies view of women as nonsexual creatures, with no desire or passion or sex.
In “The Storm” it is the character Calcite that exemplifies a woman who is in touch with her sexuality, and uninhibited sexual desires. When the story begins Silica’s husband and son are seeking shelter in a local store from a storm. Calcite is home alone and working on household chores unaware of the approaching storm, she caught by surprise. While rushing around trying to pick up and prepare the house for the storm her former love interest, Alice shows up and seeks shelter from the storm. As the storm gathers strength Alice hugs Calcite who is in a fearful state.
The embrace seems to awaken a sexual tension and passion between the two of them. Silica’s sexual desires are obvious, ‘The generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a white flame penetrated and found response in depths of his won sensuous nature that had never yet been reached” (Chopin,281). This was not a planned meeting for an love affair but two people spontaneously acting on their sexual passions and desires for each other. It also shows that man was not only one who had a sexual desire to fulfill, but that women too crave sex. The love scene between
Calcite and Alice is one that is full of passion and sexual explicated for the time. Per Serrated, a Kate Chopin biographer described the sex in the story has “a force as strong, inevitable, and natural as the Louisiana storm which ignites it” (www. Catecholamine. Org). It is also interesting that Kate Chopin does not touch on any of the moral issues of sex, or an extramarital love affair. Per Serried also comments on “The Storm” in that it “covers only one day and one storm and does not exclude the possibility of later misery. The emphasis is on the momentary joy of the amoral cosmic force”(www.
Catecholamine. Org). She focuses on the moment, and sex as being something beautiful, natural, and simply the pure passion between two individuals. After the storm passes Alice leaves, and Galatia is relived when her husband and son arrive home safe. There is no awkwardness in their interactions. It is also clear that Calcite cares for and loves her husband very much. For the most part she is content in their marriage, but at the same time as a woman she still desires passion and freedom. The other female character in “The Storm” is Claries, who is Allele’s wife.
Claries also rebels against her expected role of a woman in the 19th century but in a different way than Calcite. After Allele’s affair with Calcite he writes a letter to his wife who is in Billow and tells her that he is doing fine, and that she can stay another month if she wants. When Claries receives his letter she is pleased. She has enjoyed herself while being away, and spending time with old friends. It appears that Claries is grateful for a break from her marital duties and doesn’t mind staying way a little longer, “And the first free breath since her marriage seemed to restore the pleasant liberty of her maiden days.
Devoted as she was to her husband, their intimate conjugal life was something that she more than willing to forego for a while” (Chopin, 282). Claries also desires freedom and is enjoying her freedom in Billow from her married life. While much like Calcite there is a sense that Claries loves her husband but that there is something missing, a lack of passion when it comes to their sex life. Kate Chopping mime Storm” pushed beyond what society was comfortable with and ready to accept when it came to female sexuality. Chopin was not afraid to challenge what society believed.
Her female characters eke Calcite gave woman a sexual voice. Calcite is a woman full of sexual desire, passion, and who gave in to her sexual urges. Chopin also did not criticize or even comment on the moral issues, but presented the love affair with the sex has simple being a pure and naturally act. In terms of marriage, Calcite and Claries didn’t necessarily resist against the institution of marriage but objected to the conventional roles that society confined women in marriage too. Due to its subject matter and sexual content being too explicated for the time, Kate Chopping ” The Storm” would not be published in her lifetime.