Kate Chopin's Short Stories

what proves the lack of sexual intimacy in Calixta and Bobinot's marriage?

the storm by kate Chopins. symbolicaly speaking

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there is something missing in Calixta and Bobinot’s marriage. Passion. Relationship experts nowadays say that after two years of marriage, it becomes harder to keep the romance alive, and oftentimes the daily grind of raising a child or providing for a household can take a serious toll on a couple’s love life. This toll is shown through the descriptions of Bobinot and Calixta prior to the storm, before the intense renewal experience of adultery. Bobinot is described as sitting “stolidly” upon the keg, while holding a can of shrimps that he has purchased for Calixta. According to Webster’s, the word stolid means “having or expressing little or no sensibility; unemotional”. This description of Bobinot would seem out of place, with his seemingly happy family life, however, we can deduce through Chopin’s diction that the romance has gone from Bobinot and Calixta’s relationship. Bobinot is still the happy provider, symbolized in his buying of the shrimp, a loving gesture, but he and Calixta no longer share the romantic love that Calixta still craves. Accordingly, in the next passage, Calixta is furiously sewing during the onset of the storm, which she hardly notices until it gets too dark for her to see her work. She is burying her emotional needs in her work, taking care of her family, and in a sense, her emotional pot boils over. She must loosen her sacque at the throat, a symbolic gesture by Chopin indicating her openness to the attentions of another. This movement would not be significant in our day and age where it is appropriate to wear a sportsbra and shorts to work out, however, in Chopin’s time, women were expected to be covered from neck to ankle at all times, therefore making her choice to have Calixta loosen her blouse a significant one which would not have gone unnoticed by her readers. Later, during the encounter with Alcee, her “white neck, and a glimpse of her full, firm bosom [disturb] him powerfully”. The lovers then commence with a kiss and fall into the throes of unbridled passion, the adulterous conjugation giving Calixta a much needed reprieve from the stresses and pressures of motherhood and married life, thus showing adultery to be a positive act allowing a partner in a marriage a place to re-experience the romance and passion that so often dwindles as other priorities such as children take their place.