Reminiscing with Lightening – Annotated Bibliography

                        A Storm as the Symbol for the Passionate Encounter                      

Chopin, Kate. “The Storm”. A Collection of Kate Chopin’s Short Stories. Heraklion Place, 2013.

    Chopin`s story was first published in 1969 after her death because of the controversial and explicit theme about the woman`s sexuality from the feminists` perspective. The story is divided into three chapters; the central theme is the sensual encounter between the two formal lovers. Their passion begins together with the lightening when Calixta staggers into Alcee`s arms. Their love affair is over when the storm ends and the sun shows up in the sky. They do not even feel guilty about the immoral act they have done. After the passionate encounter, they continue with the daily routines. Calixta is waiting for her husband and son to return from the store and Alcee writes a loving letter to his wife Clarissa and suggests her to enjoy the time at Biloxi and not to hurry back. 

 

Beer, Janet.  Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Studies in Short Fiction. MacMillan Press LTD, Great Britain, 1997.

Beer gives analyses of all the Chopin`s stories and novels ever published in the leading magazines. She follows Chopin`s struggle for women`s rights and emancipation and writes that the reading of this short story brings excitement and expectation. She also points to the fact that the simplicity in Chopin`s stories lays in the “appearance and reappearance of the same roles all over again.”

 

Berkove, Lawrence I.” ‘Acting Like Fools’: The Ill-Fated Romances of ‘At the ‘Cadian Ball’ and ‘The Storm.’” Critical Essays on Kate Chopin. New York: Prentice Hall, 1996.

Berkove gives us a deep analysis of the short story “The Storm” which is actually a sequel to the Chopin`s story “Cadian Ball.” Hence, we could see the background of “The Storm” and reveal the truth about Calixta and Alcee who are former lovers that are now married to other people.

 

Fluck, Winfried.  ” Tentative Transgressions, Kate Chopin`s Fiction as a Mode of Symbolic Action”, Johns Hopkins University Press, Vol. 10, 2 Nov 1982. pp 151-171.

The author writes about the symbolism in Chopin`s novels and short stories, especially about her feminist’s ideas. He characterizes the story as the encounter of two separate individuals who cannot run away from the desire they feel for each other. Especially, when the storm will bring them together. Fluck considers that Calixta and Alcee are two pieces of the puzzle, entirely independent parts looking for the inevitable reunion.

 

Seyersted, Per. Kate Chopin: A Critical Biography, LSU Press, 1980.

 The book describes Chopin`s life and the analyses of her novels and short stories. Seyersted focused his attention on the sexual nature of “The Storm” showing the meaning of this adultery as strong and inevitable tension between the main characters. He sees Chopin as a detached observer who brings an erotic surrounding in the story where the central theme is a controversial adultery affair. Since the story is written in the 19th Century, Seyersted argues that Chopin must be a very brave woman because she decided to write about such an explicit topic in the time when no one mentions women sexuality.

 

Stein, Allen. F. Women and Autonomy in Kate Chopin`s Short Fiction. Petar Lang Publishing: New York, 2005.

Stein writes the summary of the story paying attention to the characterization of the married woman that pursuit her desire for sexual fulfillment and risks her marriage in the process. She felt no uneasiness and never thought about morality while she was consuming the forbidden love. According to this analysis, the happiness at the end is just an ironic remark that the adultery went unpunished and unnoticed. 

 

Toth, Emily. “Kate Chopin Remembered.” Kate Chopin Newsletter, 1975. pp 21–27. 

    In her wide literature opus about Chopin, Toth describes the fictional story “The Storm” as a divine glorification of the guilty and forbidden romance. She portrays the affair as one brief moment that doesn`t last long enough, so the main characters are not aware of the moral consequences. She compares the theme of the story with the personal life of Chopin, related to the end of her affair with Albert Sampite. Toth thinks that Chopin is intentionally giving Albert`s characteristic to her male characters.

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