Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” Vs. “The Story Of An Hour”


“The Storm” and “Story of an Hour”, both written by Kate Chopin, bring out aspects of oppression, imprisonment, and struggle for freedom experienced by women in the nineteenth century. Women have always been portrayed as having weaker personalities and being emotionally fragile. On top of that, a patriarchal society dictated gender roles and traditions, and most women attempted to leave violent marriages and restrictive home environments. It was done to escape the constraints of patriarchy. This essay compares and contrasts the analyses of the two short stories and their depictions of an unhappy marriage.

Stories Depicting Unhappy Marriages

The two brief pieces investigate the situation of women in patriarchal societies. Louise, the protagonist of “Story of an Hour”, is held captive by her husband throughout the novel. As soon as she discovers her husband has perished in an accident, she enjoys happiness, freedom, and tranquility (Chopin 8). Louise believed during their marriage that her husband possessed ultimate and complete power over her. She contemplates her happy experiences during her marriage and her newly obtained liberty when alone in her chamber (Chopin 11). However, upon learning that her husband did not perish in the accident, she is overtaken with disbelief and dies of shock.

These two short stories share several similarities, the most obvious of which is the presence of the concepts of arranged marriage and suppressed sexual desire. Chopin gives the impression that the primary characters in his short story “The Storm” are people concealing some aspect of themselves. The desires were repressed because they violated the norms of society and the fact that the people involved were married. Calixta, who is married to Bobinôt, has a sexual desire for Alcée even though she is married. Since both of them are married, it is unacceptable for them to display their feelings of passion and intimacy in public. They take advantage of the perfect opportunity presented by the storm to investigate their emotions, which leads to a sexual encounter that ultimately results in resolution and more happiness and contentment in their respective marriages (Chopin 101). The author can demonstrate how two of the troubled characters can experience more happiness in their respective marriages after exploring their hidden desires by focusing on the book’s central theme, which is hidden sexual desire.

The setting provides a framework for emphasizing the connections between the short stories. The events in Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” occur at the Mallard residence in the nineteenth century and are positioned within the story’s setting. Consequently, readers can chat with the Mallard family throughout the spring. In her weather forecast, she forecasts nice temps and intermittent showers (Chopin 99). In addition, the verdant landscape suggests that mild precipitation and a favorable environment have contributed to its growth. This setting is significant because it allows Chopin to paint a more accurate picture of the period and place when Louise Mallard dies of shock after seeing her presumed-deceased husband (Chopin 26). The state of Louisiana is the setting for “The Storm”. The incidents transpire during a springtime storm. Sunlight was present earlier in the day, as seen by the clothes drying outside. Despite being set in separate parts of the world, both literary masterpieces occurred in springtime.

Following a feminist line of thought, “The Storm” highlights women’s inherent strength and potential. Chopin’s judgmental tone, underscoring men’s dominance, indicates the feminist route she pursues. By drawing attention to the imbalance within the institution of marriage, she is advocating for women’s equality and an equal say in marriage. She portrays Calixta as an adulterous woman who, despite her misgivings and the fact that she can get away with adultery, can find happiness in her marriage (Chopin 111). Through the narrative she has crafted, she is combating patriarchal beliefs that have traditionally given the perception that women are helpless since they cannot commit adultery.

In each of these stories, motifs and symbols are employed to describe the characters’ marital status and social standing. These works reflect that women were considered inferior to men and had no power in 19th-century society. Louise Mallard regains her sense of independence in “The Story of an Hour,” represented by a chair, after learning that her husband has died (Chopin 96). She overcomes her marriage’s harsh restrictions and pessimism about the future by leaning back on the chair upon the death of her partner.

Furthermore, the themes of death and weeping depict Louise’s transition to her new life and freedom. Her grief over her husband’s death exemplifies the link between joy and sadness. It happens after she has finished her mourning and may reflect on the freedom she gained due to her captivity. According to the author, “she saw, beyond that horrible moment, a long procession of her future years, and she opened her arms to embrace them.” (Chopin 5) This reply shows how relieved Louise was to make her own decisions finally, but how the discovery that he was still alive changed everything.


The two narratives contrasted and compared women’s oppression, captivity, and the fight for liberation in the nineteenth century. The stories depict tyranny through the actions of different individuals. They inquire why wives are expected to stay home and refrain from other activities while their husbands are at work. Furthermore, the short stories explore women’s obstacles in a patriarchal society. Furthermore, each of the three stories portrays how the female protagonists, while being married, the battle for freedom and independence. The patriarchal nature of the various societies complicates the weddings of the female protagonists in both novels. As a result, the short stories portray women’s difficulties and their place in nineteenth-century society.

Works Cited

Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour. Perfection Learning, 2001.

Chopin, Kate. The Storm and Other Stories. The Feminist Press, 1974.