“lips as red and moist as pomegranate seed”
Another vivid employment of imagery can be seen in the following sentence:
“The generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a white flame”.
Another good example of application of imagery is as follows: “….and her yellow hair, disheveled by the wind and rain, kinked more stubbornly than ever about her ears and temples”.
As to the kind of diction used by the author, the distinction is very clear. The utterances of the characters in the story are almost always informal, giving the readers a genuine feel of the American rural slang at the turn of the century. And the rest of the work where the author uses third person narrative, the language is very formal and at times resembles a verse than a prose. For example, the conversation between Bobinot and Bibi in the first part of the story is highly informal and localized. Calixta while welcoming Alecee in the second part uses formal words such as “M’sieur”. In the third portion she becomes informal as she is relieved to see her husband and son back. Alecee’s speech is informal and reassuring and his tone relaxing even tender while writing to his wife (Skaggs).
Some passages display strong allusions to manuscripts of Declaration of Independence. The American Declaration of Independence as well as the Civil war was most influential in literary works of all genres. Specifically, when Chopin mentions how it is Calixta’s “birth right to be touched”, the allusion to the history of American independence comes to surface (Manning, 433).
Some of the phrases employed by Chopin are excessive and anachronistic. Some examples of this deficiency in what is otherwise a masterpiece literary work are “well nigh”, “lips to be tasted”, etc. in the author’s build up to the sexual act of the two primary characters in the story. The words take away some of the merit and effectiveness of the work, which is based on “complete correspondence between theme, on the one hand, and setting, plot, and character, on the other” in the rest of the story (Seyersted).
While Chopin’s writing style is unique within her genre, her works have strong resemblances to the great novels of American south. The author chooses a lyrical style of narrative to bring about a passionate tone (Skaggs).
Although Calixta gives in to Alcee’s advance, there is no suggestion by the author that the act was one of love making. The whole affair was not so much one of Calixta’s love for Alcee, but one of her love for herself. Hence, from a technical point of view this is not a story of romance, but one of human nature. Though acclaimed now this work was published after her death as she knew it was in direct opposition to societal norms of her times (Manning, 433).
After the spontaneous sexual encounter between Alcee and Calixta, the storm subsides. The sexual act was not to be forgotten and buried out of consciousness. Both of them have to put it in the context of their lives. While the reader would expect feelings of remorse and guilt from the two, they instead feel rejuvenated and relieved. Chopin captures the state of their minds using the following words: “So the storm passed and everyone was happy…as Alcee leaves, he turns and smiles, and Calixta laughs out loud; her passion is seen to be natural, experienced without guilt or shame”. Here the author is suggesting the passionate nature of the affair, which was lacking in her conjugal relationship with her husband. Calixta is able to liberate her suppressed sexual urges, that could not find vent in her married life.