The Quick Liberation of the Wives in "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour"

Essay by marckurtzUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2005

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Throughout history women were not granted the same freedoms and carefree lifestyle their male counterparts had. On the contrary women were looked down upon. They were given few rights and were left practically powerless. That is why it was common practice for a woman to please her husband, raise the children, cook, clean, and wash everything in the household. Women were not self-dependent, but rather they were obligated to their husbands. It wasn't until the late twentieth-century when women's rights became a concern and a need to be addressed. After reading the stories of "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour" by: Kate Chopin, both set in the late 19th century, one sees the actual livelihood of women during this time period. In order to do so, it is crucial to focus, analyze and differentiate how Calixta and Mrs. Mallard undergo the process of what ultimately becomes a quick, yet successful liberation.

In the story of "The Storm", Calixta is a confined, bored, and agonized woman living with her husband, Bobintot. Threat of an impending storm causes Calixta's husband and son, Bobinet and Bibi to go to the store. As the storm approaches, her former lover, Alcee appears in the backyard looking for shelter. At first, the reader expects nothing out of the ordinary to occur, but then surprisingly as the storm approaches and intensifies, so does the storm that is brewing inside of her. Calixta continually tries to ignore these feelings, feelings that were unacceptable for a woman. In addition, the attraction for Alcee that Calixta attempts to deny, is not only present but it has grown and even evolved into sexual feelings as well.

As Alcee and Calixta are watching the rain, you can feel the author setting the mood. Suddenly lightening strikes nearby...