Charts & Graphs

Weather-Bound Books

Storms and squalls as literary devices.


Jump-starts the plot by dropping characters into a strange situation

  • cover art for The Tempest

    The Tempest

    c. 1610

    Seeking revenge for the theft of his dukedom in Milan, the sorcerer Prospero shipwrecks his brother, Antonio, and his crew, who seek refuge on the same island where Prospero has been living with his daughter, Miranda.

  • cover art for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


    A cyclone on a Kansas prairie picks up a house containing Dorothy and her dog, Toto, eventually setting it down “very gently—for a cyclone—in the midst of a country with marvelous beauty.”


Brings trouble just as things are looking up

  • cover art for The Odyssey

    The Odyssey

    c. 700 bc

    After seven years of imprisonment, Odysseus finally leaves Calypso’s island. The sea god Poseidon, however, angered because Odysseus had blinded his son Polyphemus, batters the wanderer with a violent storm, causing “a wondrous sea to swell” and his ship to capsize.

  • cover art for Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Their Eyes Were Watching God


    Just as Janie Crawford thinks she’s finally found marital peace, the Okeechobee hurricane of 1928 makes landfall, devastating the Florida Everglades: “The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time.”


Coops up potential lovers until sparks can fly

  • cover art for The Sorrows of Young Werther

    The Sorrows of Young Werther


    When a storm interrupts a village dance, Werther hunkers down with Charlotte. “If something distressing or terrible surprises us in our pleasures, it naturally makes a more powerful impression on us,” Werther notes, “because our senses have been opened to feelings.”

  • cover art for Pride and Prejudice

    Pride and Prejudice


    Drenched by a rainstorm, Jane Bennet recovers at the Bingley house, setting into motion two love stories. “This was a lucky idea of mine, indeed!” remarks her mother, who had sent Jane on horseback rather than in a carriage—“as if the credit of making it rain were all her own.”


Inspires clarity of purpose, for better or for worse

  • cover art for Moby Dick

    Moby Dick


    Though his weary crew tries to dissuade him from continuing the hunt, Captain Ahab is invigorated by the sight of lightning striking the Pequod’s masts. “Lightning flashes through my skull,” he exclaims before waving a burning harpoon and vowing to kill the white whale Moby Dick.

  • cover art for the book Snow



    Trapped by a blizzard in a provincial city roiled by ideological divisions, Ka, a frustrated writer whose name evokes the word for snow in Turkish, suddenly finds himself brimming with inspiration. “The snow reminds me of God,” he tells a local sheikh.