Mood and Symbolism in Creative Writing
How does weather alter the mood of a story? Rain is a ubiquitous symbol in literature and film—from the melodramatic scenes of protagonists weeping and wailing in the storm to the poetic celebration of the arrival of rain—the significance of this symbol cannot be ignored.
In one of my Critical Reading and Writing L8 courses, I asked secondary school students to write a short description of a rainy day. Despite the apparent simplicity of the given topic, it is not easy to craft a convincing piece of writing that evokes a myriad of senses.
To do so, my students were instructed to recall a memory from their real-life experience. For instance, the unpleasant feeling of soggy shoes squeaking after accidentally being submerged in a puddle was something that could resonate with almost everybody.
In the piece of work that I showcase here, my student used a variety of literary techniques to immerse the reader in the scene. Instead of simply stating “it was raining cats and dogs,” my student described the reactions of various creatures, as well as that of the main character.
“Splish! Splash!” is an example of onomatopoeia used by her to portray the sound emitted from the rain; “…big, fat droplets launched themselves like miniature missiles” and “…the sky gathered its leaden soldiers” are examples of simile and metaphor respectively. In “a gust of wind tugged at her coat” and “the soft fabric clung tightly around her feet,” inanimate objects are personified. Animal imagery is also seen throughout the story.