Makeup One

| February 14, 2020

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The effect of the setting. 3

Purpose of the setting. 3

How setting functions in the story. 4

The distinction between Major and Minor Settings. 5

References. 6

The Storm was written in 1898. The events in the story take place in two locations within Louisiana; one of them is Friedheimer’s store and the second place is Bobinôt’s home. The language used in this story is characteristic of the variety of American English towards the end of the 19th century. Each of these settings plays an important role in the development of the theme in the story.


Bobinôt and Bibi are at Friedheimer’s store when the rain begins. At the same time, Calixta, Bobinôt’s wife, is at their home when Alcée arrives. The conflict of the story develops at Bobinôt’s home, where the reader is informed of Calixta’s extramarital affair with Alcee. The main reason why the reader knows that these two settings are not too far away from each other is the fact that both places are affected by the raging storm.

The setting is in such a way that coincidences are necessary. For instance, the onset of the storm coincides with the arrival of Alcée into Bobinôt’s home. The writer also presents a scenario wherebyBobinôt and Bibi are unable to arrive home because of the storm, something that would make the change the course of the story completely.

Setting plays a big role of making the story very interesting. The writer vividly describes the events that take place at different locations. It is ironic that while Bobinôt is buying shrimps for his wife at theFriedheimer’s store, his wife is busy committing adultery. The fears that each character expresses to the reader are in relation to the spatial-temporal dimensions of the story.

The effect of the setting

The setting enables the reader to understand the motives of the characters better. At Bobinôt’s home, the reader understands the intentions of Alcée early on by virtue of the timing of his visit and the circumstances under which he visits.

Further away, Alcée’s wife has gone on holiday. The reader gets this information when the writer describes a letter that Alcée sends to her, expressing how much he misses her and the children. To Alcée, such a setting is what he needs in order to continue pursuing extramarital affairs. For Clarisse, a letter requesting her to stay for longer is a godsend, since, she, too, has her plans on how to engage in extramarital affairs in order to revive the lifestyle of her maiden days while she is away from her husband.

Purpose of the setting

Seyersted observes that the success of the story The Storm is largely dependent on the setting (26). At Bobinôt’s home, the setting sets a romantic mood that captivates the reader to enquire more into the affair and the intricate details of the love-making activity between Calixta andAlcée. This psychological bond that is created by the writer and perceived by the reader makes the story unique, interesting and worth reading over and over again.

The setting is typical of 19th century Louisiana. The items found in the setting such as sewing machines, wooden boards for home flooring and horse are all reminiscent of the way of life of Americans in the late 19th century. At Bobinôt’s home, the characters are standing on boards, which they fear might be struck by thunder. This setting gives Alcée a good opportunity to walk over to Calixta and to stir a romantic encounter.


The setting is very important in the development of the characters. When Bobinôt walks over to the counter and buys a packet of shrimps, we not only understand where he is, but we also see the caring man that he is. His caring character is reinforced by the fact that he comes along to at Friedheimer’s store with his four-year-old son, with whom he converses on terms of perfect equality. No wonder this child seems very wise.

The change of setting every now and then purposes to heighten tension, anxiety, and suspense as the reader expects the characters to do something that will change the course of the conflict. In every story, it is not possible for the writer to say everything. Sometimes writers use setting to stir the reader’s expectations and then confirm their fears as part of resolving ensuing complications and conflicts.

How setting functions in the story

All the events take place in one stormy evening, maybe lasting for a few hours. In fact, the events take place at the same time when the storm rages. In each of the places where the characters are located, the storm appears to have a symbolic meaning. No wonder the writer decides to end the story with the words: “So the storm passed and everyone was happy”

The writer uses the setting in a very versatile manner in order to qualify the use of a slightly dated form of American English as well as other social cues that mirror the events of 19th Century Louisiana. The setting makes us understand why each of the characters behaves in the way he does. For instance, Alcee and Calixta find themselves, by design or by coincidence where the mood can easily turn romantic. The reader, therefore, understands why these two characters behave in that way.

Setting carries with it social, cultural and political influences. When the setting is temporally placed correctly, the writer has the freedom to convince that the characters are not perverted to behave in the way that they do. It is the only setting that justifies the characterization of Calixta, Alcée, Bobinôt, Bibi and Clarisse.

The distinction between Major and Minor Settings

The major setting in the story is Bobinôt’s home, where Calixta and Alcée make love. Most of the events in the story take place here. All characters except Clarisse come here at some point in the development of the story. Additionally, there are two minor settings. The first one is Friedheimer’s store and the second one is the place where Clarisse has gone on holiday with her children.

The writer uses her artistic skills well in order to describe all these settings in the most accurate manner. For this reason, none of these settings seems to be irrelevant or to have been inaccurately created. Finally, when the writer says that everyone was happy when the storm was over, the symbolic use of the word “storm” becomes clear both in reference to the story’s title as well as to the events that took place in all the settings.


Seyersted, P.The Complete Works of Kate Chopin, New Orleans: Louisiana State University Press. 1969

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