Calixta In Kate Chopin's The Storm

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In Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Storm,” one of the four characters we are introduced to is the Creole housewife, Calixta. She, like many fictional female characters of the past, was seemingly confined within the realm of the domestic sphere, as well as the gender expectations placed upon her by society. Many of these female characters are often depicted as finding strange and inventive ways to find a release from the boredom and unhappiness of a life caged within the domestic sphere, and Calixta is no different in that sense. However, Calixta blatantly defies many of the perceived social expectations of a woman by find that release through her sexuality. Initially, we see that Calixta is hard at work in what is, from a social perspective, easily considered an exclusively feminine task: “[S]ewing furiously on a sewing machine” (122). Just before the rainfall begins, she also retrieves Bobinôt and Bibi’s clothing, which she had hung outside to air, from the front gallery (122). Later on in the story, she is seen preparing a meal for the entire family (124). These are all indicative of Calixta expected role within the home, and can also be examples of the continuous drudgery and repetition that…show more content…
She welcomes their affair, and demonstrates her care-free nature as “the roar of the elements made her laugh as she lay in his arms” (123). With Alcée, she claims her sexuality as something that she is truly entitled to by birth—her “birthright” (123)—and feels free to make use of it however, and with whomever, she pleases. The power of this unbridled expression of her sexuality is somewhat of an illumination to Alcée, with this new-found understanding serving as a “white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous nature that had never yet been reached”
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