In "The Storm" how would the story be different with modern technology? What if cell phones and cars had existed? How would the story change?
This is a very interesting question. So much of the action in "The Storm" occurs because there was quite a bit of time that was available when a chance meeting occurred. So, the story would have changed in several ways. The first is that Bobinot, once he realized that the storm was rolling in, would have called Calixta on his cell phone to let her know that he might be a little bit late getting home with Bibi. Then, he would still have gotten home much, much, faster if he had a car to drive. If Calixta had been expecting Bobinot any minute because of his call, and because he had a car and wasn't far away, she might have refrained from her actions with Alcee. However, she and Alcee might have still felt the strong attraction that they did, and might have found some other way and time to get together.
Another way that the story might have changed is that Alcee might have never shown up at the door in the first place. A storm is not that daunting if you are in a car driving, as opposed to walking around or riding a horse. In a car, you don't get wet at all, and unless roads are flooded of the visibility is gone, you just turn the wipers on and keep driving. There might have been no need for him to stop by Calixta's house in the first place.
These changes would probably have prevented the affair from occurring when it did. If, for some reason, Alcee was still out walking or riding a horse when the rain came, then they might have still met and sparked their attraction, and followed through later on. Knowing Kate Chopin and the theme that runs through many of her stories, she probably would have found some way for Calixta to cross paths with Alcee, and given them an opportunity, despite advancements of technology. I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!
If this story had been set in modern times, the same thing could have happened, but it would have been more difficult and less believable.
For the story to work, Calixta must be worried about her husband and son. If she is not, she will not be so overcome with emotion that she would end up having sex with Alcee. The two of them must also be left alone long enough.
In modern times, these two things would be more difficult to achieve. The author would have to have cell reception go out -- maybe a tower blows down. She would have to have the roads blocked by flooding or fallen trees. She would probably have had to make the power go out. This would probably seem more contrived and less realistic. However, it could still have been written if the author was willing to go to these lengths.