Abel Chapman, Wild Spain, Abel Chapman, Wild Spain, Bobint, that big, brown, good-natured Bobint, had no intention of going to the ball, even though he knew Calixta would be there. For what came of those balls but heartache, and a sickening disinclination for work the whole week through, till Saturday night came again and his tortures began afresh? Why could he not love Ozina, who would marry him to-morrow; or Fronie, or any one of a dozen others, rather than that little Spanish vixen? For that reason the prairie people forgave her much that they would not have overlooked in their own daughters or sisters. Bobint thought of them all as he plowed his rows of cane.
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He becomes betrothed to his cousin Clarisse. He actually likes Calixta, a beautiful lower-class Cajun. Bobinot is a lower-class Cajun male and becomes betrothed to Calixta. Clarisse sees him go and follows. At the ball Alcee flirts with Calixta. Clarisse shows up and convinces Alcee to come home. Dismayed, Calixta resigns herself to marrying Bobinot.
Alcee is jubilant when Clarisse tells him that she loves him and they are to be married. Characters, Conflicts, and Themes: Alcee Laballiere comes from a wealthy plantation-owning family. Chopin portrays his upper-class upbringing through his polished, dignified speech. He gambles and plants mostly rice, which is destroyed by a storm. He then gets drunk and goes to the Acadian Ball seeking mischief, namely the comfort of Calixta. Calixta comes from a lower-class Cajun family.
She is described as the most beautiful woman at the ball, despite her simple wardrobe. She falls for Alcee, but their class differences make it taboo for them to marry. In the end she ends up settling for Bobinot. Bobinot is another member of the lower class. He is somewhat of a simpleton, shown by his heavily accented, simplistic speech. As is typical of "local color" stories of the period, the conflict in this story is primarily internal to the characters.
The hurricane that destroys much of his crop can be seen as a sub-conflict. A theme of the story is feminism. Chopin is trying to tell women to take control of their lives, just like Clarisse does and Calixta fails to do she resigns herself to marrying Bobinot, instead of following her heart and fighting for Alcee. Another theme of the story is the inter-mingling of classes. Chopin seems to be trying to break down social strata, encouraged by the flirtation between Alcee and Calixta.
Setting: The story takes place in the culturally-rich Louisiana.
At the 'Cadian Ball
The story "is more local color than realism," and its conclusion "more like poetic justice than realism" Arner 2. A sequel to the story, "The Storm," written four years later, fills in some of the gaps in "Cadian Ball. The theme of escape from tradition and authority was dominant in the work of Chopin, "a woman who lived before her time, whose stories might be seen as a vindication of the rights of women, and an author whose literary works were controversial and unappreciated until many years later" Gilbert The reigning social conventions demanded that women conform to the traditional, constricting roles assigned to them by the male-dominated society. Freedom from these conventions proved hard to come by, and none of the characters in the story, male as well as female, achieve true personal freedom.
At the Cadian Ball
Calixta is simply too beautiful and too charming. From the names of the characters, readers can gather that the story takes place in a French American community. He remembers her verbally and physically fighting with Fronie. The community excused her impropriety on account of her Spanish blood. In a culture that values demure manners for women, her lack of verbal and physical restraint is quite far from cultural ideals. Clarisse, scandalized, rejects him.
The Acadians notice when a Creole attends their ball. They seemed to forget about it. Alcee Laballiere comes from a wealthy plantation-owning family. Calixta is a descendant of the Acadians but because of the small amount of Spanish that resides in her blood, she is discriminated against and portrayed as a Spanish vixen of mixed blood who deserves to belong to a poor economic class. It was better to receive even such notice as that from Calixta than none at all. I want to go home, me.