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January 26, 2012

The Storm by Kate Chopin- Summary

The Storm by Kate Chopin- Summary

The air was quiet; the leaves lay motionless on the ground. Bobinot called Bibi's attention to the "somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar" (130). Bobinot and his son, Bibi, had gone to Friedheimer's store in town; they decided to remain there until the storm had dissipated. Bibi was only four years old, but he looked as though he was an old wise man. Bibi was worried about his mother. Bobinot tried to comfort him by reassuring him that his mother knew what to do if there was a storm. Bobinot bought Calixta a can of shrimps. The storm shook the store, but Bibi wasn't afraid.

Calixta was so engrossed in her sewing that she didn't notice the storm brewing outside. The air was hot, and she had to wipe beads of sweat off of her forehead. The sky grew dark, and she suddenly realized what has going on. She got up and began to shut the windows and doors. She began taking down the boy's Sunday clothes when she noticed Alcee Laballiere riding up. She hadn't seen him much since she got married. Big rain drops began to fall. Calixta invited him in; he was a little hesitant at first, but when realized that the porch wasn't going to offer him much shelter he went inside. Calixta exclaimed that they hadn't had rain like that in about two years.

Calixta was heavier than when she got married five years ago; however, she was still as vivacious as ever. Her blue eyes and yellow hair were as inviting as ever. The storm roared on outside so violently that it threatened to tear the house down. Alcee sat himself in a rocking chair, while Calixta anxiously picked up what she had been sewing earlier. It was very hot. Calixta looked out of the window to see if her boys were coming; Alcee came up behind her. They couldn't see much out of the window, because the rain was coming down so hard it obscured their view. A flash of lightning struck a chinaberry tree, blinding Calixta, who put her hands over her eyes. Alcee embraced her. Calixta told Alcee "Bonte!" and escaped his grasp. She was scared, and refused to be calmed down. Alcee grasped her shoulders and looked into her eyes, all of the old feeling he had for rushed back. He wanted her. He tried to console her. He pushed the hair off her face. He became mesmerized by her features. She looked up at him; her blue eyes gave away her desires. He kissed her lips, white throat, and bosom.

The raging storm outside did not disturb them. She was drunk with her desire. Her body responded to his touch like it had never responded before. He possessed her and the world fell away. Their hearts beat hard against each other. She kissed his forehead while she caressed his aching muscular shoulders. The storm began to pass and the sun shone brightly. Calixta stood on the porch, watching Alcee leave. He smiled at her, and she laughed.

Bobinot and Bibi left the store and went home. They stopped to make themselves presentable, so as not to anger Calixta. Bibi was muddy all over, but his father meticulously cleaned him up. The boys came into the house carefully, waiting to be read the riot act. Calixta was fixing dinner when they came in, and to their surprise she embraced them and seemed happy to have them home safe and sound. Bobinot presented the shrimps to Calixta and playfully kissed him on the cheek. They sat down to dinner, which turned out to be very lively with laughter.

Alcee wrote his wife, Clarisse, a letter telling her that if she wanted to stay in Biloxi for an extra month he would be okay. Clarisse was happy to stay, because it was the first time she a sense of ease since she got married. Plus, she was happy to escape their love life for a while.

The storm passed and all were happy.


Chopin, Kate. "The Storm." The Oxford Book of American Short Stories. New York: Oxford UP, 1992. 130-5.