Kate Chopin 's The Storm Essay

1539 Words Mar 2nd, 2016 7 Pages
Throughout history, the institution of marriage has been widely criticized as oppressive in many aspects, especially in regards to women. In the late nineteenth century, women did not have equal legal rights and when married they lost ownership of their possessions to their husbands. Women who were married off into affluent or middle class families during this time period were destined to a life of servitude to her husband and children, and were forbidden from any social and legal freedoms or to become involved in external affairs. Author Kate Chopin, who lived during this era, wrote various stories on how marriage is oppressive to women. She broke social norms by “walking about the village and city alone,” and not remarrying after her husband died (Culley 1). While Chopin was married to her first husband, she told someone she would never succumb to “the useless degrading life of most married ladies” (Culley 1). In Chopin’s short story “The Storm” she vividly writes about a housewife’s sexual encounter with a past lover during a frightening storm. The main character Calixta is home alone, while her husband and son are waiting for the storm to pass at a nearby store. Calixta’s former lover takes refuge in her home during the storm and they have an illicit, brief affair, and soon after he leaves Calixta goes back to being the perfect housewife to her family. Kate Chopin’s short story, “The Storm” illustrates how the institution of marriage is oppressive to women.

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