English 254 Class #2 Wed, April 2
Chopin, “At the ‘Cadian Ball”; “The Storm”; “The Story of an Hour”
“At the ‘Cadian Ball”
1. Why doesn't Clarisse go to the 'Cadian Ball? And why is she upset that Alcée does?
2. Who has status in this story, and why? Which characteristics are privileged and which are not?
1. What’s the significance of the title?
2. What are the conflicts in "The Storm"? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) do you see in this story? Is there a protagonist and an antagonist?
4. Is Calixta consistent in her actions? Is she a fully developed character? Also, how does our knowledge of her actions in the earlier story by Kate Chopin affect our perception of her character or actions in the sequel?
5. Does the story end the way you expected? Do you suspect your judgment of the
characters and actions in this story differs from the author’s? If so, why isn’t the story persuasive?
6. What might be the primary purpose of the story?
7. Do you consider this an example of feminist literature? Why or why not?
8. How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place
Anywhere else? Clearly the storm sets in motion the chain of events that leads to
the characters’ adultery. Does the storm excuse them in any way from
responsibility for their actions?
9. What is the role
of women in the text? What about single/independent women?
What about the role of wife and mother?
10. Compare/contrast this story with "The Story of an Hour."
"The Story of an Hour"
1. Does this story have a conflict? If so, what is it? Do any of the characters exhibit an internal conflict?
2. Where is the climactic moment in the plot?
3. What might be the cause or causes of the "physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul" that Mrs. Mallard feels as she sinks into the armchair? Mrs. Mallard's face reveals repression. What has she been repressing? What were the social realities of marriage in the 19th century?
4. What kind of man is Brently Mallard, as Mrs. Mallard remembers him? In what ways is he like Josephine and Richards?
5. What does Mrs. Mallard see and hear from the open window? How do you react emotionally to this imagery? What does the imagery suggest?
6. What is the attitude of the author toward those who would comfort Mrs. Mallard?
7. How does Mrs. Mallard look as she leaves her room? What does Richards' "quick motion" at the end of the story reveal? Who is he screening from whom?
8. Does the ending of this story merely surprise you, or do you believe Chopin is making a thematic point?