“He could smell it, the earthy scent of rain on dirt, but also the electric, restless smell of ozone. And he could see it: a hazy gray sheet of water blocking his view of the mountains… It was heavy and dark, and he knew he would get drenched if he stayed outside… he just stood there and watched it approach. Even at the last minute, as he heard the rain pounding the flat grass.. He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him” (242-243). – Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King

This section from the text has contradicting elements. One, is the dark, impending storm, and the second is the appearance of water. The former shows to be a growing threat and the latter acts as a purifier. There are three significant interpretations of the rain and the storm. All of these interpretations tie into one another because they all represent an important change relatable to living, such as consequences, or a new, freeing beginning.

  1. Although the storm could be seen as an ending, the water is like rebirth. Rebirth is the traditional interpretation of water. “He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him,” purifies him and saturates him. The approaching storm will cleanse one of their worries.
  2. Another insinuation of the water and the storm could be reviving or waking up the character from a numbness. He interprets the storm with his senses, “He could smell it… And he could see it.” These introduce the first two sentences, building the scene. The description of the sky as “electric, restless smell of ozone” and the “heavy and dark” of the impending rain storm shows the focus on the senses and creates a vivid, very alive reaction to the storm. The rhetoric makes the rain feel real to the reader, you can see the approach of it, the smell, and the feel.
  3. The third insinuation of the section would be that the character knows of the consequences of the storm, or something else that may be descending upon him, and still deciding to stay… “He could smell it… And he could see it” and “he knew.” “Even at the last minute” he chose to stay, he had time to leave and escape but the storm but he did not. The storm could insinuate that sometimes things may seem terrifying or daunting (“[hearing] the rain pounding the flat grass”) but that it may bring something new and it may bring change.

All three insinuations combine and come back to initiate a change approaching, a new start, and having the character embracing and understanding these changes. “He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him” may be a sign or a feeling of relief because of how water acts as a purifier. The “hazy gray sheet of water” shows the vague future that is approaching. Instead of heading inside of the house, the character embraces the future.

This may be a signal of great change or he could just being embracing the rain- perhaps it doesn’t come around very often.


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