Challenging the Notion of Love

Kirsten Djadoo
Danielle Panto
December 6, 2012
Challenging the Notion of Love
People and cultures have often been forced to accept rules and morals about romance, sex and love that are dictated to them by society. These restrictions are not always in line with the true feelings of the people, and there are times when their behavior belies what is expected. Through the relationships of her characters and their circumstances during the setting of a storm, Kate Chopin presents a story in “The Storm” that challenges the generally accepted notion of love.
      "The Storm" is centered around two main characters, Calixta and Alcee, and an intense, brief love affair between them that happens during a storm. While waiting for her husband and son to return, Calixta is busy doing chores when she realizes the severity of the storm approaching. She hurriedly is closing windows when a lover from her past approaches the house, "she stepped outside, Alcee Laballiere rode in at the gate. She had not seen him very often since her marriage, and never alone" (Chopin 111). This simple line states so much about society at the time and the associated thoughts about marriage: it would not be proper for men and women to spend time with one another alone when they were married to others. Alcee is forced to wait out the storm in Calixta's house, and they are drawn to one another.   After so many years apart, when reminded of the passion that existed between them, they are unable to deny the desire that exists in the present and thus, choose to act upon it.   Directly related to society's thoughts regarding marriage, Calixta and Alcee are in many ways, repressed by and tied to their spouses and their relationships.   Once they are able to let go of those inhibitions, they feel freedom, "without guile or trickery…like a white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous nature that had never yet been reached" (Chopin 112). Alcee had suffered from...