“The Storm” Chopin
Story background • “The Storm” is second in a two part series. The first was called “At the 'CadianBall” • Important details: • In “At the 'Cadian Ball” it is implied that Calixta and Alcee had some torrid, brief relationship. Whether this is true is never proven unequivocally. • The story shows how Clarisse and Alcee end up together (spite) • And how Bobinot and Calixta end up together (settling)
Class issues • The ‘Cadian Ball is a direct reference to class and that class has great impact on “The Storm”. • Clarisse and Alcée are Creoles, descendants of French or Spanish settlers in Louisiana. • Most of the Creoles in Chopin's stories are comparatively wealthy, usually landowners or merchants. • Calixtaand Bobinôt are Acadians, descendants of French-American exiles from Acadia, Nova Scotia, who were driven from their homes by the British in 1755. • Most of the Acadians (or 'Cajuns) in the stories are much poorer, living off the land, farming or fishing or working for the Creoles.
One tiny detail • Bobinot=Bobby • The “not” at the end is the “y” version of our names • Bibi=Bob
Chopin • The story was composed on July 19, 1898. It was first published in The Complete Works of Kate Chopin in 1969. • Unlike many authors, she was quite popular during her lifetime. • When Chopin was writing, the feminist movement had barely begun, and in Louisiana, women were still considered to be their husbands’ lawful property. • Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1850, one of five children but the only one to live through her twenties. Her father, Thomas O’Flaherty, died when she was five, and she spent her childhood among women. • Nearly all of her work is heavy on feminist themes with men and societal expectations frequently making up the antagonists • Although Chopin’s female protagonists act in unconventional, even scandalous, ways, readers accepted this as simply part of the storytelling and didn’t suspect Chopin of moralizing or trying to insert her personal opinions into her work.