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Rain by Somerset Maugham - Comment on the significance of the recurrent image of rain in this short story.

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English Rain: Somerset Maugham. Task: Comment on the significance of the recurrent image of rain in this short story. Rain, by Somerset Maugham seems to have a rather irrelevant title when first looked at. The first part of the story that introduces us to the story have no relevance to rain, or any other weather feature for that matter. However, as the story progresses, rain, and metaphors about the weather play a very important part in the story, and it sets the mood of the story. We do not get an image of the weather until page 8 (page numbers from collected short stories vol.1). However when the rain is introduced it happens very quickly and it moves the story on. 'But Mrs Davidson had given two or three of her birdlike glances at heavy grey clouds that came floating over the mouth of the harbour. A few drops began to fall. "We'd better take shelter," she said. They made their way with all the crowd to a great shed of corrugated iron, and the rain began to fall in torrents.' This quote shows how immediate the rain came. It seems to the reader that as soon as they have shelter, the rain falls intensely. ...read more.


This shows how heavy the rain is. The image of sheets is powerful as a sheet is a quite solid object, the way that a sheet would fall on a person would completely cover them, I feel that this choice of vocabulary is effective in this sense because it makes the reader imagine Dr. Mcphail being completely covered in rain. Also this quote leads onto the description of the native people which 'walked finely, with leisurely movements' he goes on to say that 'they smiled and greeted him with a strange tongue'. This shows how well the native people cope with the conditions, by the way they walk, and how the rain doesn't affect their mood, by the way they smile and are kind-hearted towards the doctor. This makes the reader start to really believe how badly the characters are coping with the weather conditions. It also reinforces the idea that the island wants the white people off it. It is symbolic and it is all the way through the story hinting that they do not belong there. The next page brings us the fact that even when the rain is not pouring, the weather is still depressive. It also makes the idea of man versus island very much more believable. ...read more.


The other noticeable device used here is the description uses the second person singular person (You) many times 'you felt it' for example. I think that the use of rain is very important in this story, hence the title of the story being rain. I think though, it is not a very obvious device, and I also feel that it does not intend to be an obvious device, but it is a very important one. I think there are two main reasons that the rain is used. To demonstrate the fight between the white-men and nature, nature not wanting them there; Also to sullen the mood, and when bad moments touch the characters, the rain is reminded of again to make the bad mood even more depressing. I think that the two devices are used well, and it does make the reader think about how the characters are coping. I think that the title of Rain is appropriate for this story. The image of rain is depressing, and the way that at the end of the story there is a tragedy, rain is quite often associated with sadness. I think that the title rain means this, that the story is sad, and that it is depressing. B Grade AS English: Somerset Maugham- Rain The Significance of Rain in this short story. ...read more.

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