Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for “The Storm” by Kate Chopin that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes in “The Storm” by Kate Chopin the text and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of different elements that could be important in an essay but you are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from “The Storm” by Kate Chopin at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent paper. Before you begin, however, please get some useful tips and hints about how to use PaperStarter.com in the brief User's Guide…you'll be glad you did.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Ambiguous Endings
The last sentences of the story declare that the storm is over and that Clarisse—who is introduced just as the story is ending– was “more than willing to forego” (94) the cohabiting aspect of married life for awhile. While this is a resolution in one sense, it also opens up other possibilities and questions. Do you, as the reader, believe that Clarisse will return to her married life as it was? Consider, also, why the narrator waited to introduce Clarisse in the last paragraph of the story. Write an essay in which you explain what you think could be the story beyond this story, and cite evidence from the text as the clues that you used to arrive at your answer.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Metaphor of the Storm
The symbolic meanings of the storm are clear, but what is less clear is to whom those meanings should be applied. Write an essay in which you determine who is most effected by the storm—Bobinot and Calixta, or Alcee and Clarisse. Also, consider what positive effects the storm had. It is possible that while the storm represented a threat to marital harmony, it also cleared out dead wood and made way for new growth. If you believe this is the case, then support your argument with evidence from the story.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Reader’s Empathy and Sympathy
This story is brief and concise, with the entire plot unfolding in fewer than four pages. In this amount of space, a seemingly simple situation with complex undertones is set up. Equally as complex are the characters. Alcee and Calixta are the most problematic, of course, because they have a brief but passionate affair and then resume their lives. Given the situation, consider which character elicits your sympathy or empathy the most and explain why. Write an essay in which you attempt to convince your reader that the character you have chosen is the most deserving of his or her understanding and empathy.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: Use of Dialect
The reader notices that Chopin’s characters speak in dialect, which situates them in a particular geographic region: New Orleans. Write an essay in which you take a position for or against the use of dialect speech. Explain whether you belief it to facilitate the reader’s engagement and understanding of events, or, on the contrary, whether you believe it to be distracting and unnecessary. Consider whether it is important that the reader know where this particular story is set, or whether it could just as likely have happened in any other town or city.
Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: Chopin’s Women
The women in Kate Chopin’s stories share a commonality: Most of them seem to be trapped in confining gender roles, yet they all find a way to challenge those roles or subvert them, while still keeping the role itself intact. Write an essay in which you explain this dynamic in “The Storm.” Despite the fact that Clarisse is introduced so late in the story, there is still enough information for you to compare and contrast her character with that of Calixta. Consider whether both women use the same strategy to challenge gender norms, or identify whether the strategies are different and what effects each one has.
* For other PaperStarter entries by other works by Kate Chopin, visit the index of titles or check out “The Awakening” and “Desiree's Baby“ *
This list of important quotations from “The Storm” by Kate Chopin will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from Kate Chopin's “The Storm” listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text by Kate Chopin they are referring to.
“Calixta…was greatly occupied and did not notice the approaching storm.” (90).
“It began to grow dark, and suddenly realizing the situation she got up hurriedly and went about closing windows and doors.” (90)
“My! What a rain! It’s good two years sence it rain’ like that.” (91)
“The growl of the thunder was distant and passing away. The rain beat softly upon the shingles, inviting them to drowsiness and sleep. But they dared not yield.” (93)
“The rain was over; and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems.” (93)
“Bobinot and Bibi, trudging home, stopped without at the cistern to make themselves presentable.” (93)
“Then, prepared for the worst—the meeting with an over-scrupulous housewife, they entered cautiously at the back door.” (94)
“Bobinot’s explanations and apologies 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.” (94)
“He told her not to hurry back…. He was getting on nicely; and though he missed them, he was willing to bear the separation a while longer—realizing that their health and pleasure were the first things to be considered.” (94)
“And the first free breath since her marriage seemed to restore the pleasant liberty of her maiden days….So the storm passed, and every one was happy.” (94)
Reference: Chopin, Kate. “The Storm.” In Great Short Stories by American Women. Ed. Candace Ward. 90-94. New York: Dover, 1996.