How might the short story "The Storm" by Kate Chopin be different if modern technology (i.e. cell phones, electricity, cars, etc.) had existed during the era in which the story is set?

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vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If modern technology had existed during the era in which Kate Chopin’s story “The Storm” is set, the tale might have differed in a number of ways from the way it reads at present. Such differences might include the following:

  • Bobinôt might have decided that he and Bibi could drive home in their car from Friedheimer’s store despite the approaching storm, especially since the car had anti-lock breaks.
  • Television weather reports would have allowed Bobinôt to know the track and power of the storm so that he could decide if it was safe to try to drive home.
  • Bobinôt could have called home on his cell phone to let Calixta know of his plans and to check on Calixta’s safety.
  • Calixta would not have been sweating inside her home because she would have had the air conditioning turned down.
  • Calixta would not be hanging clothes out of lines to dry in the sun; instead, she would have used her electric (or gas) clothes dryer.
  • Calixta would not have had to close the windows of her home; they would already have been closed to keep the cool air in.
  • Alcée, driving a large truck with supplemental yellow headlights, might have felt no need to stop at Calixta’s place for shelter from the storm.
  • Even if Alcée had decided to stop, there probably would have been little need for him and Calixta to “thrust” cloth into a “crack” underneath the door to keep the rain out. The door would have been well-designed and would need no such supplement.
  • Calixta could have called Bobinôt on her cell phone to make sure of his plans.
  • Alcée could have called up on his cell phone the photographs of his time with Calixta at Assumption and thus better remind her of their good times there.
  • Alcée might have donned a prophylactic to prepare for his sexual encounter with Calixta.
  • Alcée and Calixta might have taken a brief nap after their sexual encounter; they could have set an alarm clock to awaken them before too much time passed.
  • Bobinôt and Bibi, having driven home in a car or truck, would have had no need to clean themselves before entering the house.
  • There would have been no need for Calixta to be “preparing” supper; she could simply have removed it from the microwave.
  • This sentence –

Alcée Laballière wrote to his wife, Clarisse, that night. It was a loving letter, full of tender solicitude.

would probably be replaced by this sentence:

Alcée Laballière skyped with his wife, Clarisse, that night. It was a loving conversation, full of tender solicitude on his part.

The famous final sentence of the tale – “So the storm passed and everyone was happy” – would probably read as follows:

So the storm passed and everyone was happy, because Calixta had checked the Weather Channel, and no more storms were predicted for the foreseeable future. In fact, the forecast called for nothing but bright and sunny days.