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Desire and Female Sexuality in The Storm by Kate Chopin

In Kate Chopin’s time, women and their sexuality and sexual passion was deemed a negligible, even improper, aspect of women’s lives. Yet Chopin boldly addresses a woman’s sexual desire in her short story “The Storm”. This story puts into great detail a torrid extramarital sexual encounter between Calixta and Alcee in the midst of a raging storm. While “The Storm” could have been presented in a traditional light, perhaps as a lesson of the evils of uninhibited female sexuality, Chopin maintains a non- judgmental stance by refraining from moralizing about the sanctity of marriage or impropriety of Calixta’s actions. In failing to condemn, and even condoning Calixta’s behavior, as well as acknowledging the existence and depth of sexual desire in women, Chopin infuses “The Storm” with a strong feminist quality. Chopin calls the very institution of marriage into question with this story.
The simple presence of Calixta’s sexual desire and its prominent intensity make this story innovative in its’ Feminist statement about women and their sexuality. Chopin uses the symbolism of a thunderstorm to describe the passion between Calixta and Alcee. First, Calixta is not fully aware of the approaching storm, and her desires may not be quite as obvious to her; yet as the storm continues, Calixta gets increasingly aroused. I believe that Chopin deliberately put these events side by side when she writes “felt very warm…she unfastened her white saque at the throat. It began to grow dark and suddenly realizing the situation she got up and hurriedly went about closing windows and doors”(Chopin, 1898,pg1). The ever growing storm serves as a metaphor for Calixta’s growing passion, suggesting that both the tension in the air and the sexual tensio…

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…nor does she have an excuse sanctioned by society. This expression of sexual passion does not become a moralizing tale about the value or inherentess of the female virtue. Thus, Chopin presents a bold, new idea; namely that women experience desire and should be allowed to act upon that desire with selfish intent, just as men have been allowed to do throughout history.
In conclusion, I believe this story relates to today by the way some people view female sexuality. Even though a woman’s uninhibited sexuality is more acceptable now-a-days, it is still frowned upon to a certain extent. When a woman sleeps with more than a few men, she sometimes is considered to be a slut or a whore. But if a man does the same exact thing, he’s just sewing his wild oats. Is this fair? I would think not, but that goes to show you society’s views on what is acceptable and what is a

Observations on Property in Robinson Crusoe and Second Treatise

Observations on Property in Robinson Crusoe and Second Treatise

People have been fighting over land and possessions since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. But what actually constitutes the ownership of property? In the eighteenth century John Locke and Daniel Defoe addressed this question. In his Second Treatise, Locke defends the rights of people to property and he explains the basis for obtaining and maintaining dominion over it. In Robinson Crusoe, Defoe suggests a definition of property that concurs in part with Locke’s, which indicates that people can claim ownership of property when they have added their labor to some part of it. In addition, Locke stipulates, according to principles of the rational use of creation’s bounty, that people can claim as their property only what they can use for their sustenance–without wastefulness. Locke argued also that property owners must leave enough and as good for others to own. But his theory allows for the breaking of limits to ownership through the possession of money, which itself does not spoil or go to waste. Perhaps this view of money is why Crusoe takes it from stranded ships and hoards it even though he has no way to use it for his sustenance.

Crusoe apparently (though unknowingly) adheres to a number of other aspects of Lockean theory. At times, however, his sense of ownership seems to go a bit further than what Locke argued for. For example, Crusoe claims ownership over an entire island. Regarding his claim, there are at least two issues to consider. The first one is whether or not the island was already somebody else’s property. The second is whether or not the entire island was his since he had not added his labor to the whole of it. Nor did he ne…

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…ng Crusoe: Locke’s Political Theory in Robinson Crusoe.” English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature. 69 (1): 27-36.

Curtis, Laura. The Versatile Defoe. London: George Prior, 1979.

Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. New York: Bantam, 1981.

Donaghue, Frank. “Enevitable Politics: Rulership and Identity in Robinson Crusoe.” Studies in the Novel 27 (1): 1-11.

Kramer, Matthew H. John Locke and the Origins of Private Property. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997.

Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government, the Works of John Locke. Vol.5. London: Thomas Teggs, 1823.

Novak, Maximillian E. Realism, Myth, and History in Defoe’s Fiction. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983.

Wood, Neal. The Politics of Locke’s Philosphy. Berkeley: U of California P, 1983.

Woodward, Ralph L. Robinson Crusoe’s Island. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1969.

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