Two stories, named “At the ‘Cadian ball” and “The storm” by the author Kate Chopin written in the 1892.The plot talks about 2 unfaithful people – Alcee and Calixta, who have met each other and had some feeling forming, but ended up going different ways. The second story continues the first, moving forward 3-4 years, where both characters who have started famililes and got children meet once again and be unfaithful to their spouses. The plot raises issues still important in the modern world, questioning the established ethical and moral norms which have worked for centuries, such as monogamous dyadic relationships, the institute of marriage and the effect of former on happiness of those in a marriage.
The first observation about the play can be be observed two times, and may be seen in both characters. First time is shown by Alcee, who leaves Calixta with Clarisse:
Clarisse, without a word without a glance back at the girl. He had forgotten he was leaving her there. But Carisse whispered something to him, and he turned back to say “Good-night, Calixta”. And offer his hand to press through the railing. She pretended not to see it.
Kate Chopin, The Awakening and selected stories, page 187
In this extract Alcee does not show any feelings for Calixta or sadness when leaving her, despite being physically close to her minutes ago. He almost forgets about even saying a word to her when leaving. This is sign tells us that Alcee does not care for women as long-term companions, nor as a loving partner. He forgot about Calixta in matter of minutes and gone back to his life. This may be seen a claim, that there are some people who do not care about feelings or long-terms relationships, they are polygamous, they do not fix on one partner only. This is shown again on the next page, where Calixta says she does not care whether Bobinot marries her. However, when he asked her to kiss him, Calixta refuses, saying she does not want to. This shows that she chooses Bobinot as a long-term partner not for the love, but for the practicality of it. So does Alcee, when Clarisse expresses her feelings for him. He decides to settle down with her, despite not having feelings for her.
The second observation can be seen in the second part of the story, and again, can be seen in both characters (which is another observation of sort). During a storm, families of Alcee and Calixta are separated, and Alcee finds her house as a shelter. The two characters left alone in an empty house end up making love. Later, when Bobinot and his son come back, Calixta acts in a much more happy and enthusiastic way:
Bobinot’s explanations and apoligues which he had been composing all along the way, died on his lips as Calixta felt him to see if he were dry, and seemed to express nothing but satisfaction at their safe return.
Kate Chopin, “The Storm”, end of part III”
Alcee seemed to act in a more happy way as well, writing a letter to his wife. This shows again a point that the author raises, perhaps the some people prefer polygamous relationships, and feel better than when stopping themselves from forming new relationships with other people.
In conclusion, the author Kate Chopin raises some questions important throughout the years, still relevant today. Ethics of polygamous relationships is a dilemma discussed between more liberal and conservative people. While showing this issue, the author also touched on the subject of equality and feminism, where the issue was shown on both a man and a woman.