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You watching: Rain symbolism in literature


In a item of imaginative production (same goes for literary works here), nothing is ever random, even weather. To put it otherwise, tright here hregarding be some symbolic worth attached to the reality that "It was a dark and stormy night."

Singing in the Rain

Rain and also Literature

Why do it? This is the primary question that pops up when talking around negative weather in literature. Why would certainly somebody want to have heavy rains, thunder and lightning, bone-chilling winds, and all the various other devastating herbal sensations in a story?

One evident answer would be: every story demands some sort of setting. However, once it concerns weather and literature, it is not just weather. On an extra symbolic level, it's never before simply rain. Without trying to generalize, tright here has to be something more in a literary works piece when the weather is sunny, heat, cold, and so on. This normally hregarding do through developing the atmosphere. I am pretty certain that Singing in the Rain would not have actually been that successful if it didn't . . . well, rain.


Public domain, using Wikimedia Commons

Scriptures Pictures through brief descriptions by Charles Foster, publiburned in 1897, Philadelphia, PA

Now that you recognize everything that is to it once talking around rain and also literature, I think it is vital to talk more about the why.

So once it comes to poor weather in literary works, water is the keyword below. As I am sure you have noticed, they don't call Planet the Blue Planet for nothing (nice wordplay there, if I have the right to say so myself). As time goes by, water bites land amethod, which makes the flood among humanity's greatest fears. On the other hand, tbelow are other stories wright here man reclaims land also from the sea (check the Netherlands, for example).

Coming ago to the rain and also literature conversation, the many famed story that talks around a catastrophic flood is Noah's. There is no have to gain into details here: God gets angry, sends out down huge rains, Noah builds his ark, saves animals, sends out the dove, the rainbow shows up, and also every little thing gets ago to normal. Doing a tiny little of interpretative work on the biblical story, it is clear below that God does not want us to go extinct, no issue exactly how angry he gets. Combining that via our are afraid of drowning, the happy ending in Noah's story comes as an excellent relief.

This is yet one example of many kind of as soon as it involves bad weather in literature. As you have the right to view, exploiting among the standard fears of males renders an extremely good story. This is what made Noah, his ark, and also also the search for finding it in the "real world" so vivid.

Because we are still in prehistorical times, thunderstorms need to have been pretty scary for your average caveguy. Even now, young youngsters are getting scared of those loud noises. That way, negative weather and literature go hand in hand once it pertains to developing the atmosphere.


The calm and also the storm in one picture: I ssuggest choose this picture bereason you acquire to watch the dual nature of rain.

Rain as a Plot Device

Not just does rain aid produce the atmosphere, it likewise sets up the plot. In that feeling, rain and also literary works go hand also in hand also. Would Noah still develop the ark if it wasn't for the flood? Most likely not.

But considering that the Bible is not the just place to rotate to when it involves bad weather and also literary works, let us take an extra individual example:

"As I was biking in the direction of some place in Amsterdam, it started raining heavily all of the sudden. In reality, it was raining so tough that I had actually to take sanctuary somewbelow. After a pair of minutes, another male came and he was soaking wet. Since we did not have any area to go, and also given that the rain didn't seem to stop, we started talking to one an additional. What we talked is less vital from what I am trying to present here. We began talking to each other around our resides and also other problems."

Other Functions

In the end, what is rain excellent for? So far we have actually viewed that:

It helps produce the phase.It has actually a dark side to it—fear of gaining drowned.It is offered as a device to advancement the plot of a story.

Apart from these, let us even more discover the symbolic nature of rain. For instance, rain helps to purify the air. Or, on the other hand also, it can develop most mud and dirt. Departing from the previous two points, it is safe to assume the following:

A character can cleanse himself by walking or standing in the rain.Contrarily, the character have the right to autumn in the mud and also acquire dirty.

The restorative nature of rain is additionally strongly linked through the previous points. For example, in the first component of The Lion King, when Simba detasks Svehicle, rain washes down the fire and also signals the birth of the brand-new king. Coming ago once more to Noah and his ark, the role of water is seen right here as twofold: for when, it deserve to ruin the world, but redevelop it at the exact same time.


Spring rains make the human being blossom aobtain. Especially in May. But what happens when T.S. Eliot, in his popular poem The Wasteland starts with "April is the cruelest month"?

Let us break it down into tiny points. Basically, what Eliot is doing right here is playing through our expectations of spring, rain, and also so on. Without going into a lot information, The Wasteland is a poem around infertility, so that describes why April is, indeed, the cruelest month. Aobtain, by looking at the title, The Wasteland also is a great example of productive earth. Perhaps tright here is no better instance of an ironic play of rain and literary works.

What You Need to Know

We are talking literature right here, so on a symbolic level, rain is never simply rain.

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Rain creates the appropriate setting for a story.Spices up the environment.It deserve to be capable of both devastation and also rejuvenation.It can be used as an ironic device (check out T.S. Eliot).Each storm is adhered to by a rainbow.

Literature and Rainbows

After all this talk around doom, gloom, and also rain, one need to be conscious that after each rain, a rainbow pops out.

The rainbow is the after-effects of a thunderstorm. Although we scientifically have the right to demonstrate just how a rainbow occurs, in literature, points are a little bit various. Rainbows signify the ultimate tranquility in between nature and man. Remember Noah? He likewise witnessed a rainbow once he found land. Ultimately, rainbows and also storms go hand also in hand also.


Wchange Dark (author) from Amsterdam on March 24, 2015:

Hey boomclap, thanks for obtaining in touch. Tbelow are small capsules on the ideal hand also side of the screen where whatever is condensed. Cheers!

boomclap on March 08, 2015:

tooo a lot words to read could someone please explain it to me

Vivian Sudhir from Madurai, India on June 22, 2014:

Certainly The Touch Typist, it is difficult to think of a civilization without rain. It is such a blessing to every one of us. Good write-up.

Wtransform Dark (author) from Amsterdam on January 08, 2014:


thanks a lot for your encouragement, and I will be posting some even more articles quickly. It really helps me.

Overall, tbelow are many kind of even more points to be sassist about weather and also literary works in general (even more exactly negative weather is a prominent factor), but these are the main things. As for the example, they carry out nothing more than to prove my allude and possibly open up your eyes about things.

To end, I would certainly prefer you to help me through a issue of choice: what have to I be writing about next?

So much, I have 3 options:

- Seasons in literature

- Christ-numbers in literature

- Literature and politics

Make my job less complicated and take your pick!

Kind regards.

Laura L Scotty from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 08, 2014:

The symbolism behind rain that you pointed out in this write-up is incredibly believed provoking. I was enthralled by the stories you provided to acquire your suggest throughout and collection the tamong this item. I look forward to even more functions from you.

Wchange Dark (author) from Amsterdam on January 07, 2014:

Kj force,

Your link in between weather in literary works and also the all at once tone of the item is correct. Although it might seem that a work-related of art is random, every little thing is in its right area.

Thank you for your compliments, and feel free to share through others! :)


kjforce from Florida on January 07, 2014:

The Touch Typist...Very amazing write-up, well written.

I never really gave thshould the subject, yet now that you point out it..Weather..whether ( no pun intended ) rain,sun,deaboy,cold,hot, negative or excellent...triggers a memory emotion. We relate memories through weather...great or negative.

In many instances it can identify whether a create is excellent or poor, depending upon our state of mind, while doing the write.

Thanks for the believed provoking hub...have actually an excellent day !

Wchange Dark (author) from Amsterdam on January 07, 2014:

Dear Eiddwen,

Thank you a lot for your type words. Be certain to continue to be tuned! I have actually many type of more on the method.