The plot of a story is comprised of its main events. It refers, essentially, to what happens and the order in which the events take place. In order to give Calixta and Alcee Laballiere the chance to find themselves alone, Kate Chopin , the author, must create the opportunity, and...
The plot of a story is comprised of its main events. It refers, essentially, to what happens and the order in which the events take place. In order to give Calixta and Alcee Laballiere the chance to find themselves alone, Kate Chopin, the author, must create the opportunity, and the arrival of the storm is the way she does this.
Bobinot, Calixta's husband, and Bibi, her son, have gone to the store in town, and they "decided to remain there till the storm had passed." This means that Calixta will be alone in her home for some time, as the storm is a big one, and the pair will need to wait awhile before starting back to the house.
Further, the storm compels Alcee Laballiere to stop and shelter under the porch of Calixta's home as he happened to be passing by:
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.
Evidently Alcee wants to avoid the very situation into which the storm forces him—being alone with and in very close proximity to Calixta—and so the storm is needed to create the opportunity for them be in one another's presence like this.
The storm also creates the emotional tension required. Calixta worries over her husband and son, and she "would not compose herself; she would not be seated." In an effort, apparently, to calm her, Alcee grasps her shoulders and looks into her eyes. However, "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." Had the storm never arrived, Alcee would likely not have allowed himself to be in such close proximity to her.
In other words, then, the arrival of the storm creates the opportunity for there to be a story at all: it delays Calixta's family, leaving her alone in the house; it compels a former lover to stop and shelter at her home, and it even creates the tension that drives them into one another's arms.