Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Chapter 1 opens with a lightning-rod salesman declaring that a storm is coming. No storm arrives. Literally speaking, anyway. Instead of old-fashioned thunder and lightning, we get an evil carnival. The lightning-rod salesman moreover warns that the storm will strike Jim's house rather than Will's, and this is true, after a fashion. Jim is far more susceptible and attracted to the temptations of the dangerous carnival than his friend Will. In short, no literal storm arrived, but a big old metaphorical one blustered in.