Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pigs In Heaven: Meticulous Metaphors: Weather Watchers

Is there a difference in depth-possibility when it comes to rain and the weather in general?

I have discussed, in a previous post, Kingsolver's metaphor of rain. Storms, hail, snow, mist, drizzle, rain. However, in Pigs In Heaven, Kingsolver is much more of a Mother Nature than before. She takes on the entire weather scheme with this sky-covering metaphor. I've already stated (previous blog, once again) how Kingsolver uses rain metaphor: ambiance. The weather is the background to our lives, and as such, it is well-fitting for it to be a metaphor for the ambiance of situations. The environment is Kingsolver's playground as she though up this metaphor, and I will be the thoughtful mage to decipher every weather pattern. Here we go.

First off, and kind of a repeat, are storm clouds. You can see that when I discussed rain, I mentioned rain was sometimes used as a foreshadowing for troublesome events. After some thought, Kingsolver made this metaphor clearer. By that I allude to the fact that this book was written after Prodigal Summer. Here, she puts storms in dialogue very often, having one character look if "that storm is coming in" (Pigs 118). Storms are usually signs of bad weather, however the character that saw the storm coming mentioned that "[they] need some rain," that "[they] haven't had rain in a long time" (Pigs 119). Whether the rain they had a long time ago was beneficial or detrimental, we don't know, but we do know that the people of the Cherokee reservation were looking forward to this storm cloud's rain. They were looking forward to whatever the future brought them. This goes to show what kind of personalities they have: open-minded, optimistic, and wishful.

Now please bear with me as I struggle to separate a thunderstorm from a rainstorm. After looking back at my notes on the novel, Kingsolver only used rain and storms and thunder and lighting as real metaphors. While interestingly mentioning drought, hot desert weather, and the nourishing sun, she never dwells on these things. What she doesn't fail to mention is that "once a turtle bites you, it doesn't let go .... till it thunders" (Pigs 104). Thunder, with all of its might, can ruin even the prettiest picture. And even worse, it may come out of nowhere, at the slightest of an opportune moment.
When in the car, during a storm, "Taylor and Turtle flinch" when thunder strikes, rumbling as it inches towards passing the sound barrier (Pigs 105). Turtle, as you may remember, kept her nickname because of her attachment with Taylor. The steel grip the two have when holding on to each other is infrangible. The thunder, however, is the only thing that could pull them apart. Thunder comes in the form of heritage, in this novel. Indeed, weather has made a connection to the Cherokee reservation. No good came from the thunder, from the eyes of Taylor Greer, who wanted no less than to walk away from the situation with a daughter whom she raised. However, the benefit of the doubt lies with the law, and the law of the Cherokee reservation was clear. Joint custody was a blessing, was it not? Turtle wasn't ripped from Taylor's grasps, because she has partial custody, right?

The thunder strikes and BOOOOM Turtle is in the hands of another man, Cash Stillwater. The thunder strikes and BOOOOM Taylor is fighting for custody over Turtle. The thunder strikes a third time and BOOOOM Turtle likes it when she isn't clasping onto Taylor.

Thunder can be shocking, thunder can be moving. In this case, the thunder was splitting, piercing, and heart-breaking.

~Father Nature, Editor

1 comment:

  1. I think people are very connected to the weather.