Setting Literary Response Assignment | Homework Help Websites

Sources: Choose one of the stories that you read in Unit 2/Setting Unit

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Prompt (What are you writing about?):

How does Setting affect/contribute to the plot of your chosen story?

Note: Remember that Setting is not only the place in which a story occurs. It is also mood, weather, time, and atmosphere. These things drive other parts of the story.

Please be sure to read the assignment page and rubric for complete criteria and requirements.



KATE CHOPIN (1851–1904) (picture and biography on p. 127) wrote in a style that was realistic yet infused with a dense, sensual texture that was perhaps, in part, her artistic response to her memories of the exotic Louisiana bayou country. Like her contemporary Gustave Flaubert (Chopin’s short novel The Awakening has often been called a “Creole Bovary”), Chopin used the physical world—as in the charged atmosphere of “The Storm”—to symbolize the inner truths of her characters’ minds and hearts. Unlike Flaubert, however, she depicted sex not as a frantic and destructive force but as a joyous, elemental part of life. Apparently, Kate Chopin knew how daring “The Storm” was: she never submitted it for publication.

Cultural Context In the following story, which presumably takes place in Louisiana, the character Calixta expresses fear that the powerful storm will break the levees, the raised embankments kept in place to prevent the river from overflowing. In August 2005, more than one hundred years after this story was written, the levees in New Orleans gave way to the sheer force of Hurricane Katrina, which flooded the city, destroyed the area’s economic and cultural foundation, and displaced hundreds of thousands of residents.

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The Storm (c. 1899)


The leaves were so still that even Bibi thought it was going to rain. Bobinôt, who was accustomed to converse on terms of perfect equality with his little son, called the child’s attention to certain sombre clouds that were rolling with sinister intention from the west, accompanied by a sullen, threatening roar. They were at Friedheimer’s store and decided to remain there till the storm had passed. They sat within the door on two empty kegs. Bibi was four years old and looked very wise.

“Mama’ll be ’fraid, yes,” he suggested with blinking eyes.

“She’ll shut the house. Maybe she got Sylvie helpin’ her this evenin’,” Bobinôt responded reassuringly.

“No; she ent got Sylvie. Sylvie was helpin’ her yistiday,” piped Bibi.

Bobinôt arose and going across to the counter purchased a can of shrimps, of which Calixta was very fond. Then he returned to his perch on the keg and sat stolidly holding the can of shrimps while the storm burst. It shook the wooden store and seemed to be ripping great furrows in the distant field. Bibi laid his little hand on his father’s knee and was not afraid.



Calixta, at home, felt no uneasiness for their safety. She sat at a side win- dow sewing furiously on a sewing machine. She was greatly occupied and did not notice the approaching storm. But she felt very warm and often stopped to mop her face on which the perspiration gathered in beads. She unfastened her white sacque at the throat. It began to grow dark, and suddenly realizing the situation she got up hurriedly and went about closing windows and doors.

Out on the small front gallery she had hung Bobinôt’s Sunday clothes to air and she hastened out to gather them before the rain fell. As she stepped outside, AlcéeLaballière rode in at the gate. She had not seen him very often since her marriage, and never alone. She stood there with Bobinôt’s coat in her hands, and the big rain drops began to fall. Alcée rode his horse under the shelter of a side projection where the chickens had huddled and there were plows and a harrow piled up in the corner.

“May I come and wait on your gallery till the storm is over, Calixta?” he asked.

“Come ’long in, M’sieurAlcée.”

His voice and her own startled her as if from a trance, and she seized Bobinôt’s vest. Alcée, mounting to the porch, grabbed the trousers and snatched Bibi’s braided jacket that was about to be carried away by a sud- den gust of wind. He expressed an intention to remain outside, but it was soon apparent that he might as well have been out in the open: the water beat in upon the boards in driving sheets, and he went inside, closing the door after him. It was even necessary to put something beneath the door to keep the water out.

“My! what a rain! It’s good two years senceit rain’ like that,” exclaimed Calixta as she rolled up a piece of bagging and Alcée helped her to thrust it beneath the crack.

She was a little fuller of figure than five years before when she married; but she had lost nothing of her vivacity. Her blue eyes still retained their melting quality; and her yellow hair, dishevelled by the wind and rain, kinked more stubbornly than ever about her ears and temples.

The rain beat upon the low, shingled roof with a force and clatter that threatened to break an entrance and deluge them there. They were in the dining room—the sitting room—the general utility room. Adjoining was her bed room, with Bibi’s couch along side her own. The door stood open, and the room with its white, monumental bed, its closed shutters, looked dim and mysterious.

Alcée flung himself into a rocker and Calixta nervously began to gather up from the floor the lengths of a cotton sheet which she had been sewing.

“If this keeps up, Dieu sait1 if the levees goin’ to stan’ it!” she exclaimed.

“What have you got to do with the levees?”

“I got enough to do! An’ there’s Bobinôt with Bibi out in that storm— if he only didn’t leftFriedheimer’s!”

“Let us hope, Calixta, that Bobinôt’s got sense enough to come in out of a cyclone.”

She went and stood at the window with a greatly disturbed look on her face. She wiped the frame that was clouded with moisture. It was stiflingly hot. Alcée got up and joined her at the window, looking over her shoulder. The rain was coming down in sheets obscuring the view of far-off cabins and enveloping the distant wood in a gray mist. The playing of the lightning was incessant. A bolt struck a tall chinaberry tree at theedge of the field. It filled all visible space with a blinding glare and the crash seemed to invade the very boards they stood upon.

Calixta put her hands to her eyes, and with a cry, staggered backward. Alcée’s arm encircled her, and for an instant he drew her close and spas- modically to him.

“Bonté!” she cried, releasing herself from his encircling arm and retreating from the window, “the house’ll go next! If I only knew w’ere Bibi was!” She would not compose herself; she would not be seated. Alcée clasped her shoulders and looked into her face. The contact of her warm, palpitating body when he had unthinkingly drawn her into his arms, had aroused all the old-time infatuation and desire for her flesh.

“Calixta,” he said, “don’t be frightened. Nothing can happen. The house is too low to be struck, with so many tall trees standing about. There! aren’t you going to be quiet? say, aren’t you?” He pushed her hair back from her face that was warm and steaming. Her lips were as red and moist as pomegranate seed. Her white neck and a glimpse of her full, firm bosom disturbed him powerfully. As she glanced up at him the fear in her liquid blue eyes had given place to a drowsy gleam that unconsciously betrayed a sensuous desire. He looked down into her eyes and there was nothing for him to do but to gather her lips in a kiss. It reminded him of Assumption.

“Do you remember—in Assumption, Calixta?” he asked in a low voice broken by passion. Oh! she remembered; for in Assumption he had kissed her and kissed and kissed her; until his senses would well nigh fail, and to save her he would resort to a desperate flight. If she was not an immaculate dove in those days, she was still inviolate; a passionate creature whose very defenselessness had made her defense, against which his honor forbade him to prevail. Now—well, now—her lips seemed in a manner free to be tasted, as well as her round, white throat and her whiter breasts.

They did not heed the crashing torrents, and the roar of the elements made her laugh as she lay in his arms. She was a revelation in that dim, mysterious chamber; 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 that the sun invites to contribute its breath and perfume to the undying life of the world.

The generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous nature that had never yet been reached.

When he touched her breasts they gave themselves up in quivering ecstasy, inviting his lips. Her mouth was a fountain of delight. And when he possessed her, they seemed to swoon together at the very borderland of life’s mystery.

He stayed cushioned upon her, breathless, dazed, enervated, with his heart beating like a hammer upon her. With one hand she clasped his head, her lips lightly touching his forehead. The other hand stroked with a soothing rhythm his muscular shoulders.

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.

The rain was over; and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems. Calixta, on the gallery, watched Alcée ride away. He turned and smiled at her with a beaming face; and she lifted her pretty chin in the air and laughed aloud.



Bobinôt and Bibi, trudging home, stopped without at the cistern to make themselves presentable.

“My! Bibi, w’at will yo’ mama say! You ought to be ashame’. You oughtn’ put on those good pants. Look at ‘em! An’ that mud on yo’ collar! How you got that mud on yo’ collar, Bibi? I never saw such a boy!” Bibi was the picture of pathetic resignation. Bobinôt was the embodiment of seri- ous solicitude as he strove to remove from his own person and his son’s the signs of their tramp over heavy roads and through wet fields. He scraped the mud off Bibi’s bare legs and feet with a stick and carefully removed all traces from his heavy brogans. Then, prepared for the worst—the meeting with an over-scrupulous housewife, they entered cautiously at the back door.

Calixta was preparing supper. She had set the table and was dripping coffee at the hearth. She sprang up as they came in.

“Oh, Bobinôt! You back! My! but I was uneasy. W’ere you been during the rain? An’ Bibi? he ain’t wet? he ain’t hurt?” She had clasped Bibi and was kissing him effusively. Bobinôt’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.

“I brought you some shrimps, Calixta,” offered Bobinôt, hauling the can from his ample side pocket and laying it on the table.

“Shrimps! Oh, Bobinôt! you too good fo’ anything!” and she gave him a smacking kiss on the cheek that resounded. “J’vousréponds, we’ll have a feas’ tonight! umph-umph!”

Bobinôt and Bibi began to relax and enjoy themselves, and when the three seated themselves at table they laughed much and so loud that any- one might have heard them as far away as Laballière’s.



AlcéeLaballière wrote to his wife, Clarisse, that night. It was a loving letter, full of tender solicitude. He told her not to hurry back, but if she and the babies liked it at Biloxi, to stay a month longer. He was getting on nicely; and though he missed them, he was willing to bear the separa- tion a while longer—realizing that their health and pleasure were the first things to be considered.



As for Clarisse, she was charmed upon receiving her husband’s letter. She and the babies were doing well. The society was agreeable; many of her old friends and acquaintances were at the bay. And the first free breath since her marriage seemed to restore the pleasant liberty of her maiden days. Devoted as she was to her husband, their intimate conjugal life was something which she was more than willing to forego for a while.

So the storm passed and everyone was happy.


Does Not Meet Expectations Below Expectations Needs Improvement Satisfactory Meets Expectations
Introduction Points Range:0 (0%) – 11 (7.86%)

Introduction is not present.

Points Range:12 (8.57%) – 13 (9.29%)

Background details are a random collection of information, unclear, or not related to the topic.

Points Range:14 (10%) – 15 (10.71%)

Introduction is attempted and explains the background, but may lack detail.

Points Range:16 (11.43%) – 17 (12.14%)

Introduction explains the background, including an overview of the essay’s main points.

Points Range:18 (12.86%) – 20 (14.29%)

Introduction uses interesting anecdotes, questions, or other information to build interest. Many to all main points are logically related and developed.

Thesis Statement Points Range:0 (0%) – 11 (7.86%)

Thesis statement is not present.

Points Range:12 (8.57%) – 13 (9.29%)

Thesis is unclear and loosely related to the paper or not present. Thesis does not appear in the introductory paragraph.

Points Range:14 (10%) – 15 (10.71%)

Thesis is attempted with little relation to the overall topic. Argument is somewhat unclear or confusing. Some supporting points are missing. Thesis may not appear in the introductory paragraph.

Points Range:16 (11.43%) – 17 (12.14%)

Thesis is present and relates to the majority of the paper. Argument takes a mostly clear position and is explained in adequate detail. Thesis appears in the introductory paragraph.

Points Range:18 (12.86%) – 20 (14.29%)

Thesis is organized and focused on the paper. Argument takes a clear position and is explained in full detail. Thesis appears in the introductory paragraph.

Organization Points Range:0 (0%) – 11 (7.86%)

Many details are not in a logical or expected order. The paper does not use paragraphs.Topic and/or transition sentences are not used.

Points Range:12 (8.57%) – 13 (9.29%)

Writing may have little discernible organization, but some details are not in a logical or expected order. The paper uses paragraphs ineffectively.Topic and transition sentences are used inadequately.

Points Range:14 (10%) – 15 (10.71%)

Writing has adequate discernible organization. Paragraphs are generally used effectively.Topic and Transition sentences are present in some of the sections.

Points Range:16 (11.43%) – 17 (12.14%)

Writing is organized and details are placed in a logical order. Paragraphs are mostly used effectively.Topic and Transition sentences are used effectively.

Points Range:18 (12.86%) – 20 (14.29%)

Writing is effective, purposeful, and well-organized. Paragraphs are used effectively. Topic and Transition sentences add to the understanding and flow of the essay.

Persuasiveness Points Range:0 (0%) – 11 (7.86%)

Fails to develop arguments.

Points Range:12 (8.57%) – 13 (9.29%)

Some argument(s) are developed, but may be missing one or need further elaboration.

Points Range:14 (10%) – 15 (10.71%)

Develops most argument(s).

Points Range:16 (11.43%) – 17 (12.14%)

Satisfactorily develops arguments.

Points Range:18 (12.86%) – 20 (14.29%)

Expertly and fully develops argument(s).

Evidence and Support Points Range:0 (0%) – 11 (7.86%)

Does not include text support and/or text support is not cited.

Points Range:12 (8.57%) – 13 (9.29%)

Very little evidence is given and used in the essay properly. Evidence may not relate to the thesis statement. Evidence is cited but not with the proper formatting.

Points Range:14 (10%) – 15 (10.71%)

Some evidence is used from the story and/or is somewhat related to the thesis statement. Evidence may or may not always cited properly.

Points Range:16 (11.43%) – 17 (12.14%)

Evidence from the story is mostly tied to the thesis statement and used properly and is cited properly.

Points Range:18 (12.86%) – 20 (14.29%)

Evidence from the story is used effectively and cited properly.

APA Format Points Range:0 (0%) – 11 (7.86%)

APA format is not followed.

Points Range:12 (8.57%) – 13 (9.29%)

Errors evident throughout all of the areas: 1 inch margins, correctly formatted title page, correctly formatted reference page, double spacing, Times New Roman,12 font.

Points Range:14 (10%) – 15 (10.71%)

Errors evident throughout in three to four of the areas of: 1 inch margins, correctly formatted title page, correctly formatted reference page, double spacing, Times New Roman, 12 font.

Points Range:16 (11.43%) – 17 (12.14%)

Errors evident throughout in one to two of the areas of: 1 inch margins, correctly formatted title page, correctly formatted reference page, double spacing, Times New Roman, 12 font.

Points Range:18 (12.86%) – 20 (14.29%)

Free of errors in: 1 inch margins, correctly formatted title page, correctly formatted reference page, double spacing, Times New Roman, 12 font.

Grammar and Mechanics Points Range:0 (0%) – 11 (7.86%)

Grammar and mechanics’ errors make the essay incomprehensible.

Points Range:12 (8.57%) – 13 (9.29%)

Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics errors occur throughout document. Word choices are seldom academic. Sentence structure may be illogical or unclear.

Points Range:14 (10%) – 15 (10.71%)

Several errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling and mechanics present. Word choice reveals some understanding of academic language requirements. Many sentence structure issues exist.

Points Range:16 (11.43%) – 17 (12.14%)

Some spelling, grammar, punctuation and mechanical errors are evident. Academic language is upheld. The sentence structure is often logical and clear so that relationships among ideas are established.

Points Range:18 (12.86%) – 20 (14.29%)

Free of punctuation, spelling, grammar, and other mechanical errors. Consistent use of academic word choices. Sentence structure is mostly logical and clear.

Name:Rubric for Setting Response Essay


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