Response Paper to the Story: the Storm

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Andrea A. Segarra Salcedo INGL 3221 KG1 Prof. Brenda Domínguez September 18, 2012. The intimate conjugal life in “The Storm” In the story “The Storm” by Kate Chopin, we can see the influence of her point of view regarding women’s sexual feelings that were so looked down upon at her time. In the late nineteenth century, women were not allowed to desire more in their life (entire aspect of it) that wasn’t to wait on their husband and children. This means that they had to put themselves last and forget what they wanted. Even when they had sex with their husbands, where they could not seek their pleasure, they just worked on satisfying their husbands’. In “The Storm” we can see two examples of this “sexual dissatisfaction” in the characters intimate conjugal life. One of them is regarding Calixta and the other involves Clarisse, Alcée’s wife. Calixta in the story represents one of these typical housewives where their main focus is to cook, clean, wash clothes, etcetera. We can tell this because when Chopin first introduces her, she is “sewing furiously on a sewing machine” (p. 124) and doesn’t notice the storm coming. When she does finally notice what is going on outside, she goes out to pick up the clothes she had left drying. That is when she sees Alcée Laballière, someone whom she had been with when she was younger, before she was married. Alcée goes inside the house with Calixta to wait out the storm, and at a terrifying moment when a lightning bolt strucks a tree, Calixta jumps into Alcée’s arms. At that moment, when they look at each other, all that sexual tension brewing between them since they were together long ago came rushing forward. When Calixta and Alcée are together, the story says: “Her firm, elastic flesh that was knowing for the first time its birthright […]” (p. 125). Right where it says knowing for the first time its birthright, is where we

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