Dark and stormy?

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Foster (10&12)

I think Foster says it perfectly when he starts the chapter off with, "It was a dark and stormy night." In this chapter it once again opened my eyes to something that was in all seriousness, pretty obviuos. He showed us once again that how weather and other surroundings can affect characters moods, outcomes of the story, and most of all the reader's reaction to things that would have been normal if not for the extreme conditions.

"Rain can be more mysterious, murkier, more isolating than most other weather conditions."

When I thought about this I couldn't disagree with him, however, I thought to myself what else has this same affect. I came to the conclusion that it isn't just the rain itself, but something that he hinted on in the first sentence of this chapter. The "dark" part. When I think of the scariest things I've read or watched on television, yes, most times there's rain, but almost everytime, it was dark. I think that humans are mostly afriad of the dark because of that factor that affects all of us; the fear of the unkown.

"So if you want a character to be cleansed, symbolically, let him walk through the rain to get somewhere."

How true?! If you think back to your favorite movies, not only the horror ones, something very important happens in the rain. One example; think of Spiderman, and when Spiderman kissed M.J. while he's upside-down in the rain, if it wasn't raining, the same affect would just not have occured.

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Great point! While some authors are more careful than others in their choice of such details, all the best ones know full well all the literary tricks that Foster is explaining. While you can't construct good literature by picking a symbol here and a setting there, good artists will do their best to make every detail of a work harmonize together in order to build a particular emotional or persuasive effect.

Great observation Andy...the fear of the unknown. I am very afraid of the dark as well as rain. I dont know what it is, but for one reason or another, dark and rain dont not mix well for me.
I like your example of cleansing a character from Spiderman. I used a similar example, but for The Notebook. I think that rain is a great symbol for a story, it can be used for almost any plot in the story, and you can take out as many meanings to it as you want.
Every scary movie i can think of involves water and dark, the scariest combination to put into a story.

If you look at a film like "Shawshank Redemption," rain there acts as a cleanser for Tim Robbins' character. He finally escapes prison, and is struck by his newfound freedom by emerging from Shawshank in the middle of a downpour.

He had just crawled through tunnels filled with human waste (gotta do what you gotta do to escape, I suppose) and the rain washes him off rather dramatically.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on February 1, 2006 6:08 PM.

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