(INCOMPLETE BLOG POST)
Lodge describes weather in literature as:
- “…literary interest in the individual self, in states of feeling that affect and are affected by our perceptions of the external world” (Lodge, p 85). A character’s emotions may be displayed through the environment around them.
- “..weather affects our moods” (Lodge, p 85). Lodge mentions within the chapter discussing weather that an individual being moved by the weather is called: “..pathetic fallacy, projection of human emotion phenomena in the natural world.” p 85
- “But used with intelligence and discretion it is a rhetorical device capable of moving and powerful effects..” p 85.
- “…is a precise analogy for the heroine’s feelings.” p 86
Paradise of the Blind
Within Paradise of the Blind, Huong utilizes weather as an element in order to impact the main character in a certain manner. The environment around Hang is a staple companion throughout the book. Readers are able to understand how Hang feels in a situation by identifying the tone that nature projects within the story. Additionally, the pathetic fallacy plays as an important factor as the weather causes Hang to express a certain emotion.
At the beginning of the novel, the initial setting is described to have an “icy blue sky” and “not a speck of green” meaning it was winter or late fall. After reading the chapter, readers are able to infer that the purpose of describing the weather may be to explain the main character’s emotional condition. Hang has received a telegram to visit her Uncle and is reminded that her vacation was over. Death is portrayed as brown earth and trees in the book to represent the fact that her joy of vacation was coming to an end, and that the Uncle she dislikes has reappeared in her life.
The instance of the pathetic fallacy can be seen as Hang experiences the cold weather in Russia. Before being harassed by a drunk elderly man, Hang’s friend comes by and helps her. Hang states that “snowflakes pierced the night with a thousand needlelike points” and “Like a tide held back too long, a wave of sadness, a feeling of humiliation and homesickness, washed over me.” After almost harassed, the snow acts as a tipping point to bring forth the bottled emotions Hang feels. The snow and the friend’s Uncle’s actions were a foreign sight to Hang, and it brings out her urge to go home and the shame she felt of the incident.