"Weather is never just weather."

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      In chapter 10 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Foster writes "Weather is never just weather."  This chapter was entirely  about weather and how it has many many purposes within writing.  At first I was really interested in rain because of how often it's used and because of it's different purposes.  Foster explains that rain can set the scene for a stormy, dark evening which creates an ominous tone, it can symbolize cleansing within a story, and it can be associated with growth because water is used to bring life to nature.  Rain can also produce rainbows which can symbolize peace and union between God and humans.  

      After explaining rain, Foster then moves onto snow.  Here is where i really became interested.  While rain is so commonly used, many readers can typically figure out what it stands for, but snow is less common and more ambiguous.  Snow can be seen as one thing, but at the same time it can be seen as the exact opposite.  For example, Foster shares that snow can be clean but filthy, or cold but warm.  Snow can symbolize beauty or severity.  If a reader comes across snow in a novel its meaning is not nearly as clear as rain. 

       A final idea by Foster states both snow and rain are unifiers in that they both fall upon the living and the dead.  Clearly this evidence all reinforces the idea that weather is of great importance in literature due to its underlying and symbolic meanings. 

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The concept of rain and snow being unifiers is one that stood out to me as well. To think something that occurs so often could have such a meaning takes a moment to sink in. While reading it was as if I could not grasp the idea of something that didn't stand out like a golden egg as a clue to a deeper meaning.

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This page contains a single entry by StefanieWiegand published on September 18, 2010 9:30 PM.

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