Storm Essay Ideas

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 abouthow to use PaperStarter.comin 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.


I shot up in bed awakened by the sound that I had thought was my alarm clock. I was surprised to find that the glowing red LED lights read 2:11 am. If it wasn't the alarm clock what was it? I had thought to myself while wiping the sleep from my eyes. Suddenly I heard a deafening crack. The type of crack you hear when you pour boiling water on ice. While the noise filled my ears a blinding light lit up my bedroom. I could make everything out as if someone had just flipped the switch on. I saw my vanity clear as day across the room.

It took a few moments before I came to my senses and realized what was happening. I had scanned the weather only hours on my laptop and had not noticed any warnings of a storm approaching. But here I was looking out my bedroom window face to face with the violent beast.

Suddenly I heard another deafening crack of thunder. This one so powerful my whole house trembled under the force of the storm. Like a child I ran for the security of my bed. Still warm from the few hours I had previously spent peacefully sleeping in it. I crawled deep within my blankets, covering myself from head to toe. Leaving nothing but a small space exposed, just large enough for me to see out of.

What was I thinking I was a grown adult frightened by a silly storm hiding underneath my covers as if they would actually protect me from something? With that thought the storm produced another earth shattering crack and a blinding flash of light. The storm seemed to be collecting more and more energy with every minute that passed by. Yes, I may be an adult but hiding under the covers somehow made me feel less afraid. The feeling a small gopher probably gets when he’s being chased by a coyote and finally reaches his hole, his safe place. Yes, I was a gopher, a gopher burrowed deep within my mound of blankets.  Protected from the vicious howl of the thunder and sharp teeth of the lightening.

It felt like hours I lied there listening to the storm wishing that it would pass. Just when I thought it had moved on I was proven wrong and it gave me another terrifying blast as if it just needed a moment to put all of its power together. 

My eyelids became so heavy that the struggle to keep my eyes open became stronger than my fear of the storm.  The warmth that my body had generated under the blankets was getting to me. I was falling asleep. Despite my intense fear of closing my eyes and leaving myself vulnerable to the storm I eventually drifted off.

I was awoken once again with a bright light coming through my blinds.  Drowsy, my thoughts stumbled on themselves, I didn't understand what was going on around me. Had I been awake all night? Is it still storming? No…. no I think that is sun beaming it’s rays through my window. The sun! I had lived! I made it through the storm. It was morning and I was alive. Jumping out from the safety of my covers I made a mad dash for my bedroom window. 

Yes, that really was the sun, the calm after the storm. It was so bright that I had to squint my eyes. It`s rays were so warm and inviting. Shielding my eyes with my hand like scout on top of lookout mountain I scanned my yard.  I could tell that the storm I had experienced last night was not a dream. The storm had left evidence, proof of just how powerful it could be all over my yard.  My yard had been littered with tree branches, leaves and is that my neighbours trampoline?

I ran down my creaky old wooden stairs to my front door to get a better view of my yard. I walked out onto my soaking wet lawn still in my bare feet. I felt the damp yet warm blades of grass brush along the soles of my feet with every step that I took. I felt the suns warmth on my skin like a warm kiss on a cold winters day. I took a deep breath and allowed the airs aroma to enter my nostrils. No matter how hard they try they just can’t mimic the smell of a fresh rain on a summers day and put it into an air fresher.

Despite the fear that the storm had embedded on my soul and the disaster it had turned my yard into. It sure did bring on a beautiful day.


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