Get help from the best in academic writing.

The Misleading Message of Chopin’s The Storm

The Misleading Message of Chopin’s The Storm

Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” focuses on two simultaneous and related storms, one a fierce tempest of the natural world with the expected rain, wind, lightening, and thunder, the other a cyclone of the mind and heart which results in an short love affair between the two main characters. With her husband Bobinot and her son Bibi stranded in town by the storm, Calixta finds herself at home alone when an old lover, Alcee, rides up. The storm, the worst in two years, drives the two indoors, where, though they have not met in five years, they soon are embracing each other. As the storm outside reaches a climax, the emotions in the house spike to a fever pitch, and, though not directly stated, it is implied in the narrative that the two engage in sexual relations. As the storm passes on Alcee leaves, and we are told that everyone, including the uninvolved spouses, is improved and benefitted by the romantic engagement.

Kate Chopin wrote this story at a time when Christian and Victorian morality was still adhered to, at least in name, and extramarital relationships were widely condemned in public. Thus, though Chopin had penned many other well-received pieces, The Storm, written after the highly controversial The Awakening, remained unpublished during her lifetime. That this particular work of Chopin s is more widely accepted today is perhaps a poor reflection on our society’s literary tastes, for The Storm is neither a realistic depiction of life nor the results of male-female relationships.

The main problem with this work is its total lack of realism in its portrayal of the effects of the rel…

… middle of paper …

…re is no chance that Alcee will marry her, considering he did not think it proper when an even better opportunity presented itself earlier his life. Perhaps Clarisse, if she truly dislikes her husband, will not mind the situation too much, but such an affair would create an awkward marriage between her and Alcee, and divorce was still not at that time conducive to making you popular in good society. Finally, it would be unlikely for Bobinot not to find out, and, from the brief sketch presented of the good but unimaginative man in The Storm, it would probably crush him to lose his wife, and what acts such a disenchantment would lead to, no one could say. Considering all that has been mentioned, perhaps a more accurate ending for the story would be: The storm had passed, only to come again, and everyone was the worse because of it.

The Language and Syntax of The Yellow Wallpaper

From the minute you read the read the first paragraph until you finish the last sentence, Charlotte Gilman captures her reader s attention as her character documents her own journey into insanity in The Yellow Wallpaper. As her character passes a seemingly indefinite amount of time, it becomes clear that her husband s treatment is affecting her. Gilman is able convey the narrator s changing mental state through language and syntax.

Gilman manipulates the reader s perspective throughout her story as she immediately introduces us to her world. Language plays an important role as a normal woman assesses her husband s profession and her own supposed illness. The narrator comes across intelligent if not a little paranoid-less concerned with a slighthysterical tendency but rather a queer untenanted (Gilman 691) house. Her suspicion occurs early on; appearing at first as misdirection meant to foreshadow a possible ghost story. She goes on to describe the most beautiful place with a delicious garden (Gilman 692). Her depiction is that of a quaint home-leading thereader to imagine a stable woman in a new setting. Clearly the narrator s broad vocabulary is an indication of her right-mindedness as well as her ability to examine a condition she disagrees with.

A description of the wall is necessary in order to provide a base for comparison with the rest of the story. Because we only get the narrator s point of view, descriptions of the wall become more important as a way of judging her deteriorating mental state. When first mentioned, she sees the wall as a sprawling, flamboyant pattern committing every artistic sin, (Gilman 693) once again emphasizing her present intellectual capacity. Additionally, the w…

… middle of paper …

…o convey complex thoughts.

In contrast, syntax provides a new perspective to the narrator s behavior as sentence structure draws attention to her erratic behavior. By her last entry, the narrator s sentences have become short and simple. Paragraphs 227 through 238 contain few adjectives resulting in limited descriptions yet her short sentences emphasize her actions providing plenty of imagery. The syntax quickly pulls the reader through the end as the narrator reaches an end to her madness.

Charlotte Gilman s manipulation of language and syntax in her prose is crucial to the overall effect of the story. What the reader is presented is a story that uses language and syntax to portray a woman s changing mental state. The reader experiences the narrator s deteriorating mental state as she succumbs to her condition and eventually loses her sanity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.