Rain Literary Elements

Rain Literary Elements


Short story

Setting and Context

1916 year, on the couple of islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Narrator and Point of View

The story is told by the third-person narrator. It helps the author to cover the sides and points of view of all characters of the story.

Tone and Mood

The narrating of the story is mostly neutral, except for the characters’ speech, which is mostly emotional and vivid and it makes the contrast with the author’s words, helping him to tart up the telling.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist is Mr Davidson and antagonist is Mrs Thompson, who wins at the end of the story: she kills the protagonist.

Major Conflict

The major conflict develops between the Christian (Mr Davidson) who wants to overcome the evil (it is in the image of Mrs Thompson). But his instrument isn’t the kindness, but cruelty, so he doesn’t win this “war”.


The climax of the story takes place when Mr Davidson starts his attack in Mrs Thompson: he begins his attempts to “cut” her, to change her cardinally and in a cruel way.


The story shows that among true Christians there are such ones, who just call themselves “Christians”. Their souls are stony in reality. So, the reader mustn’t judge all believers by such hypocrites.


The author uses this method when telling about Mrs Davidson, who judges the Christians by their clothes, not taking into account all the deep of the phenomenon of the faith.


The text often alludes to the Bible: many phrases are taken from there, behavior of the missionaries is tried to be like the behavior of the Biblical heroes.


The author describes each character in details, pointing both their features of appearance and character traits. Thus he helps the reader to feel the heroes at once, not making up them in their minds.


This method is used when Mr Davidson, who was the Christian, said that his God’d always protect and help him. But he was killed. It suggests the thought that, probably, the man wasn’t actually the true Christian.


This method is used when describing two relations: between Mr Davidson and Mrs Thompson and between Mr Macphail and Mrs Thompson. First relations remind the relation between the mesmerist and his victim: she obeyed him without her will, and he, being the Christian, controlled her harshly, in his cruel way. As for the second relations, Dr Macphail was kind to the woman, he sympathized her, even not being the believer.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

The author uses these methods to make the narrating more vivid and clear. For example, he writes that “the steamers…make the people unsettled” (of course, the people on this steamers make it), or constant voices and feet shuffling on the floor under that one where the Davidsons and the Macphails lived etc.


Maugham uses this method to highlight some features of things, making them more vivid, such as in the case when writing that the Stars and Stripes were languid, wheezing of the gramophone etc.

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