I enjoyed Kate Chopin's short story "The Storm," because of her meticulous use of symbolism. Each time I read the story, I became aware of another subtle metaphor; and still, I wonder how many I overlooked?
The narrative surrounds the brief affair of Calixta and Alcee, who are both married. When the story begins, Calixta's husband, Bobinot and their young son, Bibi decide to wait out an imminent storm at a local general store. Calixta is home alone, tending to the household chores. She is unaware of the approaching storm, just as she is unaware of the approaching "storm" in her heart.
At this time, Alcee Laballiere, a former lover, arrives at her home, seeking shelter from the storm. Although the attraction between them is only briefly explored, they realize something is about to happen- both with the weather outside and their feelings inside. They both remember intimate times in the past, further rousing their passion.
As the storm rages in the sky, they succumb to their emotions, oblivious to the world around them. In the end, Alcee rides away with the passing storm, and Calixta's family returns home.
Chopin employs a deceptively simple ending. Throughout the story, the storm parallels itself to the deep feelings within Calixta, but there are also parallels with reference to the other characters. There are many hidden emotions and metaphors to be revealed upon careful analysis; they are so intricately woven into the story that I wonder if anyone other than the author could recognize all of them.