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“The Storm” by Kate Chopin and Critical Article Essay

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Updated: Oct 19th, 2021

Introduction

The short story, The Storm by Kate Chopin depicts life and destiny of a middle class woman, Calixta. Her son Bobinôt and her husband decide to wait while a storm come down and Calixta retain at home alone. Suddenly, Calixta sees her old love, Alcée who appears in front of the door. The article related to this short story, “Looking at setting and Atmosphere” analyses and demonstrates the importance of minor details in a short story. In addition to these qualities, the short story is restricted in time and place; and pays attention of readers to a very small number of characters; and move toward a single dramatic conclusion. The article is interesting and well-thought reflecting the main ideas of the short story. I agree with the author that readers perceive and understand the meaning of a story thought atmosphere and settings rather than dialogues and monologues.

Main body

The sophistication of the reader (whether young or old, or mentally incapacitated) matters, as does the cultural background of the reader, and the literary sophistication of the reader. Readers are not exposed to many details; thus they grasp the atmosphere and settings such as storm and coming of a stranger. But they may not be cognitively competent to make sense of subtle distinctions or grasp complicated story narrative. In this case, the writer involves details and gives readers some hints to understand the story. Alcée asks: “”Do you remember — in Assumption, Calixta?” he asked in a low voice broken with passion. Oh! she remembered; for in Assumption he had kissed her” (Chopin 108). This setting is extremely important for the whole story development as it gives readers the main idea of the story: sexual desire and romantic relations between Calixta and Alcée. Situation is like the single image in the series. It is linked with what precedes it and what follows it. The link between the situations which make up the story is provided by the words of the dialogue which is its medium, as the photographic image.

The author of the article is right that the story is based on settings and atmosphere. As the story is built up of settings and exhibits a series of linked situations involving persons represented on the stage, through which the playwright expresses his experience and ideas, the simplest mode of understanding the latter would be by trying to discover what the situations reveal. The author of the article should examines the situations for clues to the dramatist’s intention. There are similarities, repetitions, contrasts, emphases which force themselves on our attention. Breaking up the story into certain selected situations readers can make it a task to see whether there is any significance in these, and whether their analysis enables them to reassemble the whole in such a way that they do not leave out anything which belongs to the story. Chopin writes: “The rain was over; and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems” (Chopin 109). This sentence symbolically ends the passion and romantic relations between Calixta and Alcée.

In sum, the short story and the article allow to understand importance of minor details, settings and atmosphere in meaning and understanding of the short story. Readers can describe the situations which make up the story as its structure, or that arrangement by examining which we arrive at the play’s total meaning.

Works Cited

  1. Chopin, K. The Storm. In McMahan, E., Day, S., Funk, R.W. Literature and the Writing Process (8th Edition). Prentice Hall; 8th edition, 2007, pp. 108-110.
  2. Looking at setting and Atmosphere. In McMahan, E., Day, S., Funk, R.W. Literature and the Writing Process (8th Edition). Prentice Hall; 8th edition, 2007, p. 107.
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