?Kate Chopin’s “The Storm” and John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” are both stories portraying feminine sexuality and passion. Calixta and Elisa experience lust for men to whom they are not married to. Elisa seems to have a functional relationship with her husband Henry. She seems content with tending to the prized Chrysanthemums in her garden, while her husband tends to all the financial affairs. The observation that they have no children hints to the conclusion that obviously something is lacking in the sexual department of their relationship.
Elisa seems to have unfulfilled sexual desires, hence her attraction to the tinker. As she speaks to him about the stars at night, her description is almost pornographic. “Every pointed star gets driven into your body. ” “Hot and sharp and- lovely. ” As she kneels before him in the garden, her hand extends out to touch his pants leg but she holds back, and it is as if she craves to touch a man. Elisa’s husband does not seem to give her the attention she wants, which becomes blatantly obvious as she gets utterly excited when the tinker inquires about the Chrysanthemums in her garden.
Eliza and Calixta both have that feeling where they feel unwanted and bored, making them lose control, like Calixta did when she slept with Alcee, while Eliza only fantasized. These stories portray love in many ways, including the way Bobinot buying Calixta a can of shrimps, and Calixta, after meeting up with Alcee, and then later not feeling any guilt or regret afterwards, and even Eliza; how she was fondled when she saw the tinker come along.
When it comes to human emotion, Eliza and Calixta were obviously not happy in their marriage, making them do what they do, but in a way we can always see that nature has a part in this too, because if the relationship is not happy, then where does the love go. Calixta becomes attracted to someone other than her husband and the attention he gives her. This normally happens when the spouse doesn’t really show the appreciation and respect he/she is supposed to give.
If the husband lacked attention, and he made his wife happy and if he made her feel special, then the wife, wouldn’t be committing adultery because she would have no reason to. From the reading Calixta’s former beau makes her feel sexually desirable, but unlike Elisa, she actually ends up committing adultery. That is one of the differences that these two women have. Calixta seems to have a functional relationship with her husband as well. She takes care of the housework while he takes care of the finances.
Calixta seems just as sexually charged as Elisa, suggesting their might also be a lack of sexual intimacy and passion in her and Bobinot’s marriage, even though unlike Elisa and Henry, they do have a child together. One can see by Chopin’s description of Calixta furiously sewing, not noticing the onset of the storm, and how dark the room is getting that she is trying to squelch her emotional and sexual needs by keeping busy with work. She had opened her blouse at the throat while she was alone.
She left her blouse undone even when Alcee showed up, not thinking about how inappropriate it was for another ma to see her naked flesh. Perhaps, she left it open to entice Alcee, hence why she didn’t make an effort to button it back up, or she may have merely forgotten about it, but in the end she still succumbed to the attention Alcee gave her. There are moments in the story that reveal love in both of these relationships. But as it seems not all relationships are perfect or what they seem.
Calixta and Eliza have both lacked what they needed from there spouse making them bored in some way, and finding love and passion from other men to make them feel wanted and appreciated. Calixta and Eliza were one of those women who only dream of love, while being married or in a relationship with somebody they don’t want to be anymore, or have no choice to do so. Some examples of love that both of these stories portray are Bobinot buying Calixta the can of shrimp ,while he’s at the market, knowing how “fond” she is of them and Eliza feeling very sexually aroused and passionate for the tinker man who she really likes.
As we see both women don’t get what they want from there husbands so they seek it in other men, but this doesn’t make them guilty on any charges. Its completely normal for a spouse to start feeling love and passion for another person when the spouse is not doing what they are supposed to be doing in making things right for the other spouse. Calixta pretending everything was fine after her encounter with Alcee, going back into her same routine of doting on her husband and child. Alcee writing his wife a sweet, heartfelt letter telling her how much she and the children mean to him.
The love portrayed in these stories are more of a force of nature because that’s how the opportunity to experience the lust came about. The storm is what gave Calixta and Alcee the chance to become wrapped up with each other in a whirl of passion. The tinker riding by Elisa’s garden looking for work is what awakened her lust and unfulfilled sexual desires. However, human emotion is also involved. The lack of attention that both of these women experienced, gave way to they reacted when someone did give them the attention they craved.