Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Analysis

Whiteness

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

With all the whiteness mentioned repeatedly throughout the story, "The Storm" practically reaches Moby-Dick levels. White usually symbolizes purity or chastity, but this story twists it around to represent sexual desire and longing.

Consider all the times white is mentioned in the story, usually in relation to Calixta:

  • Calixta wears a "white sacque at the throat" (2.1) which showcases "[h]er white neck" (2.17) and "her round, white throat and her whiter breasts" (2.18).
  • In the bedroom lies a "white, monumental bed" (2.8) where she displays "[t]he generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery...like a white flame" (2.20).
  • In the most extensive comparison, Chopin writes, "She was...as white as the couch she lay upon. Her firm, elastic flesh that was knowing for the first time its birthright, was like a creamy lily" (2.19).

While this whiteness in literature would traditionally refer to a body that the male character couldn't access, that purity is transformed into sexuality here. The "flame" of Calixta's "passion" is "white"; her body in all its ecstasy is "like a creamy lily." In this story, the color white might almost be better understood as red-hot. It means giving in, not holding back.

Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top