Since the beginning of time, men and women have felt passion for each other. As time has past, many authors have written about the overwhelming feelings that can occur between humans and the power of lust. It is the search for pleasure, for feeling alive, and for feeling like a passionate human being. Kate Chopin describes these emotions in "The Storm" a story that can be compared with similar themes of today.
First, after many years of marriage, couples might lose the feelings of passion they have in the beginning of the relationship. Couples still love each other, but their lust is transformed into a compassionate partnership. In "The Storm", Calixta's sexuality is repressed by the constrains of her marriage and society's view of women. The absence of lust makes a person become unaware of her sexuality and instinctive drive. The animalistic drives become dormant, and some might become satisfied living without these feelings. The satisfaction once known may seem to become forgotten and unimportant. An awakening of these feelings can make a person experience a storm within. The storm creates a sense of excitement, and controlling her feelings can be hard. The amount of time that these feelings have been repressed can effect the intensity of the storm.
Second, today's impersonal societies have made it easier and more acceptable to be unfaithful while in a relationship. For example, today's media is centered on love triangles.
It is not uncommon for a story today to have a plot, which is focused on unfaithful relationships, in contrast to the fifties when tv and radio portrayed perfect couples and families. During the author's time in the late nineteen-centur, divorce was practically unheard of. Couples who divorced were seen as outcasts of society whose laws were built on Biblical foundations. According to The Bible, divorce should only follow adultery. Today a first marriage is rarely accepted to last. One cause might be the lack of religious commitment; another might be the equal rights laws, which allow women to have social standing.
Third, a major factor for infidelity to occur depends on the situation at hand. During colonial times, couples spendt more time together. Very rarely did the husband venture out alone unless he was getting supplies, trading, or out on a hunt. During these events it was the woman's job to take care of the house and the children, and, therefore she stayed at home. In today's society travel is more common. Men and women both partake in long business trips, making their separation more routine. For example, a man going on a business trip might have a mistress in his city of destination, while back at home his wife is taking this time to meet her lover. Another example can be the separation of men and women in social gatherings. A girl might tell her boyfriend that she is going out with her friends while she is actually going out to meet other guys. These examples give meaning to the proverb,"When the cat is away, the mice shall play".
With the creation of man came the creation of lust and infidelity that has been with man from the beginning of time and will follow to the end of time. Humans are hedonistic creatures, meaning they seek pleasure. Many people attempt to find pleasure outside a relationship, when in fact the true emotions can be found within
Chopin, Kate "The Storm." Literature: An introduction to Fiction, Poetry and
Drama. Ed. Patricia Rossi. New York, New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 1999. 272-295.
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