I first read this book in a class on Humor last semester (with Dr Ellis). It was the first book of the semester so reading it again, and searching for an entirely different light was even more interesting.
Reading it again made me feel less confused. I am still trying to make sense of Rainbow so having to reread something that I already understood was GREAT. In searching for the ideas of travel, as opposed to humor they are more evident now that I am reading the book a second time. All of the characters within each small story seem to be on some kind of literal journey. Since the island is not real it makes it kind of comical at first, but the obvious traveling that is going on is something that one cannot ignore.
Even though the Biblical themes are very visible, I also see the obvious human side to what the characters are going through as people. In a way, it sort of mirrors the journey of Christ. I am not sure if Hau'ofa planned it that way, but the amount of struggle and pain they go thorough makes me think of the Stages of The Cross. That is more of journey than getting from point A to point B; it is a spiritual journey which is a lot more enriching.
The other area that is very strong in the theme of travel is the idea sin. Several examples that illustrate this point are interwoven to make the satire richer, but one that stands out is the character of Zero Zero. He told "a one percent truth (8)" when he stole the money. And all the jurors sympathized with him. What else can this be, but Hau'ofa making fun of sin. In this exagerated example he also uses the illustration to show that we are all capable of messing up. Unfortunately we do not live on a backwards island, but we all make istakes and have lied to try and get out of it; its part of being human. That point is whta caught my eye mot while reading the book for a second time.