The Significance of the Frogs in Magnolia

As we discussed in class, no-one knows for sure why the film Magnolia features a storm of frogs raining down onto the characters. It came as a complete shock to me when it happened, as I was not expecting that whatsoever. The film does give plenty of hints to it however, as there are countless references to Exodus 8:2 throughout the film. This verse states: “If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country.” So why is this crazy occurrence in the film?

With our focus in this class being on the apocalypse, when this frog scene happened I thought that the end of the world, possibly even a rapture in the biblical sense, was taking place. Despite that, it seems that once it stops raining frogs the world goes right back to how it was before. With frogs being a display of God’s wrath, why would God be displaying his wrath in the film Magnolia? Could it be that because of many of the characters’ sinful lives God decided  to intervene with a storm of frogs? You could also try to look at it from a different perspective and just say that it was a random supernatural occurrence. However, with the director making so many clear references to Exodus 8:2 I don’t think that could be the intent behind it. The rain of frogs brings characters together such as Jim and Donnie and Claudia and her mother, and after this event takes place many of the characters begin patching up their lives for the better.

Overall, I don’t think anyone will have a clear answer as to why the storm of frogs takes place in Magnolia. It obviously has purpose, as it brings characters together and marks the start of a change for the main characters, but whether or not it was a direct intervention of God is debatable. Do you think the rain of frogs was a random supernatural occurrence? Or do you think it was meant as a direct intervention?

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