Let's Talk About the Weather

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In chapter 10 of HRP, I found the writing about the weather (much like talking about it) is taboo and can generally be very boring unless you really know your stuff. When you do read about weather, there is typically a deeper meaning to it. I understood this before, but not all aspects of what the allusion to weather can mean.

For example, "No writer in the West can employ a rainbow without being aware of its signifying aspect, its biblical function" (79).

Really? Because I'm one of those New Age kids that doesn't know much about the bible and if I'm writing or reading a text my mind will not automatically look for biblical symbols. I'll probably look more to my past and what ideas a rainbow stirs like joy, confusion, and magic. Is this wrong? Will it hinder me from reading closely?

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3 Comments

Rosalind Blair said:

I do not think that interpreting rainbows to mean joy, confusion, or magic is wrong. I think that while Foster was saying many works of literature have biblical references, I feel that it is up to the reader to interpret something how they personally see it. No ones interpretation of a passage could be considered wrong, because I feel that we can never even really know what an author was trying to say. It's all just an educated guess.

Matt Henderson said:

I think your reaction of joy and magic is completely consistent with the associations one might make between a rainbow and the Bible. In the Bible, the rainbow is a sign that God will never send a flood of the same magnitude again; this would cause feelings of joy, and the miracle of God sending a message like this would seem like magic. I have to confess I'm not sure why you would be confused by a rainbow, but whatever, you probably have your reasons.
The good thing about writers using things from nature is that they're so elemental and basic to our experience that most of us have somewhat similar reactions to them, whether we associate them with the Bible or any other work of literature or not. Weather kind of just speaks for itself.

Julianne Banda said:

I agree with you, Aja. I don't see a rainbow as a biblical function. When I see a rainbow in a reading I think about happiness or being 'reborn' after a tragedy happened. I understand where Foster is going with the biblical function thing but honestly, most people have not read the bible. I don't think everything goes back to the bible all the time, and sometimes things should be taken literally.

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