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Creativity in Chopin’s Short Story ‘The Storm’

Artistic creativity may intuitively appear to be simple but in actuality it is a complex phenomenon. Creativity is definitely an elaborate process with the product being an outcome of the implementation of the creativity. It can be stated that art and creativity is fundamentally governed by the flow of emotion and a good example is Kate Chopin’s short story ‘The Storm’. It commences in a wide spectrum physical word and lies in its preparatory stage. When struck with a novel idea or concept the first thing which sets in is a vision of how beautiful it will be when it actually comes into existence. The mind thinks about the way the idea may work. Along with vision comes anticipation which makes the mind believe that the idea will work out to actually be something striking. The following action requires the conceiver of the idea to take the plunge and implement the idea. This is the most decisive part of the entire process. There are many creative ideas which do not have an outcome and remain unfinished because of being curbed at this stage. There may be many emotions such as excitement and suspicion involved at this stage. As the process advances the clarity of the idea is enhanced and implementation proceeds. In Chopin’s short story ‘The Storm’, subsequently, after a long tussle in the creators mind a product finally matures and emerges and is validated by the real world (Weisberg 243). From the point of view of a reader it is nothing short of an artwork to savor.

Kate Chopin, being a woman writer, provides us with the inner world of the confinement and repression of marriage. This development of distress is not only in the terms of sexuality but in spiritual terms too. Her works often represents the gradual repression of a woman into a sudden involvement of sexual act but ‘The Storm’ could certainly be granted as the most turbulent of this theme. Kate Chopin was feminist by belief but she was person with though process was far more modern than her counterparts of her time were. This was the era when sexuality was regarded as taboo, especially for women. Kate Chopin’s voice was exceptionally in this context. In a way, she generated enlightened not only the women of her time but also the men as a whole.

Chopin opens her story with the narration of four-year-old Bibi expecting rain. She also narrates the weather conditions and presents us a sense of build up to a climax from the very first sentence “The leaves were so still that even Bibi thought it was going to rain” (Chopin, 226). The writer sets the tone of the story as if something was there for happening but made it quite light and unassuming by mentioning that Bobinôt was “accustomed to converse on terms of perfect equality with his little son, called the child’s attention to certain sombre clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar” (Chopin, 226). This makes the reader think of a simple environment with the events of a distant thunder. However, on the very next part the writer shifts her attention to the protagonist of the story, Calixta.

Calixta is found sewing without any notion of the rain. Here the stylization and unique tone of the writer comes into play. She mentions, “She felt very warm and often stopped to mop her face on which the perspiration gathered in beads” (Chopin, 226). This is as if to demonstrate that all that was about to happen was due to natural cause with logical conclusion just like the prelude to the storm made the atmosphere still and warm. Even the arrival of Alcee indicates the hunger and passion to come with a simple note on climatic condition. “My! what a rain! It’s good two years since it rain’ like that” (Chopin, 227). The writer eases of the situation with another commentary of nature at the end of the act saying, “The rain beat softly upon the shingles, inviting them to drowsiness and sleep” (Chopin, 228).

In the process of describing this creative process of the writer in the above section, it is evident that how closely the word ‘Genius’ is intertwined with her creativity. Intellectual brilliance in combination with highest quality of creativity brings in the concept of genius. Beautiful ideas and their proper implementations which have a profound influence on the observers get tagged with the label of creative genius. Individuals are often said to be creative on the basis of their lifestyle, their works in respective fields and their attitudes. Their creative process can be perceived as imaginative, supple, not stereotyped, influential and authoritarian.

In a similar motion, Calixta’s character is depicted and sketched from the point of view of her lover Alcee. “If she was not an immaculate dove in those days, she was still inviolate; a passionate creature whose very defenselessness had made her defense, against which his honor forbade him to prevail” (Chopin, 227). True, it is the point of view of an opportunistic lover but it narrates the characterization of Calixta with extreme ease. It suggest that Calixta was dry and hungry for the event more like the condition of nature that has been narrated so vividly all over the story. The writer shows Calixta to be anxious for her kid and husband but there is no denial that she was expecting the sexual satisfaction and fulfillment from her lover. Thus, it can be stated that the writer depicted the character of Calixta in the context of the approaching rain, as the setting, and she toned the entire text on that specific format.

Kate Chopin’s ‘The Storm’ is a completely different story in context of contemporary setting, tone, character and statement and the emphasis remains in the fact that the story tells the tale of an oppressed woman and her own way of survival. Calixta was trying to survive in physical and spiritual context within the parameter of an apparently failed marriage and at the same time she was fighting a battle of survival against oppression of secluded socio-economic circumstances and in reality, this is a saga of overcoming oppressions.

Stories in every era has represented the time of its origination through the characters, their way of living and their mentality. But, there are some stories which though reflecting an age old tale appeals so much to the readers of all ages that they become timeless. The characters of such stories show very similar feelings and emotions, courage and boldness, conflicts and pains which are not time bound. It is present always. It is called art and Kate Chopin’s short story ‘The Storm’ easily qualifies as pure art that speaks volume of survival and seclusion and thus it connects with the reader immediately. Furthermore, readers love to see their beloved characters winning at the end of the long fought battle and here too this story comes out with flying colors.


Chopin, Kate. Collected Short Stories. Auckland: IPCL Press, 2009.

Weisberg, Robert. Creativity: Beyond the Myth of Genius. LA: Freeman & Company, 2003.


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