Theme and message

Finding meaning in life

The theme of the short story “The Meaning of Clouds” by Natalie Cox is finding meaning in life.

At the beginning of the story, Mags feels adrift and aimless, having lost her job and lacking her usual routine. Even though her job did not make her happy, it gave her the illusion of having a purpose, while the busy routine allowed her to feel productive and useful. Having lost that, Mags feels that her life has no meaning: “I am exhausted because I was fired and my life has ground to a halt” (ll. 13-14).

It takes a sudden and potentially tragic event for Mags to rethink her life choices. When Bella goes missing, Mags realizes that Bella is like her own child, despite the two of them not being related by blood (l. 92). After this discovery, Mags begins to realize what is important to her, and how she may find new meaning...

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