What do relationships, storytelling, and memories have in common? Beattie explores this inquiry in her short narrative, “ Snow ” . The narrative takes topographic point in the state during winter and describes a past relationship between two lovers. Beattie makes usage of a brief, jumpy authorship manner and several symbols in the narrative for a treble intent. In “ Snow ” , Beattie uses manner and symbolism non merely to give penetration into a past relationship, but to analyze the art of storytelling and the elements of human memory.
Beattie ‘s composing manner gives insight into a past relationship between two lovers. A big paragraph is used to depict the adult female ‘s memory. It is edgy, but many inside informations are given. She remembers that “ in the kitchen, a form of white-gold treillages supported violet grapes as large and unit of ammunition as Ping-Pong balls ” ( 114 ) . She besides remembers the narratives that her visitants told, such as a male child and the ice pick truck and adult male happening a diamond ring on the beach ( 114 ) . This shows how much she considered this a particular relationship and wanted to keep on to the relationship by capturing really infinitesimal inside informations and narratives with astonishing and happy terminations. On the other manus, the adult male ‘s memory is described briefly without much item. His memory makes no reference of the wallpaper and he remembers that their visitants “ told the same narratives people ever tell. ” This contrast shows that the adult male did n’t see their relationship as anything particular, it was merely another “ narrative ” the same as anyone else ‘s. The brevity of the narrative, less than two pages long, besides reflects the fugitive nature of the twosome ‘s relationship.
Similarly, Beattie ‘s manner examines the art of storytelling. The adult male states that, “ Any life will look dramatic if you omit reference of the most of it ” ( 115 ) . This indicates that narratives should be short, incorporating minutes and should non be full of every mundane item of mundane life. The storyteller besides states that “ this is a narrative, told the manner you say narratives should be told: Person grew up, fell in love, and spent a winter with her lover in the state. This, of class, is the barest lineation ” ( 115 ) . This conveys the thought that in general, most narratives contain certain basic elements, such as a struggle, and follow a basic lineation. For illustration romantic comedies follow a basic lineation: The male child wants the miss, the male child has to get the better of obstructions, and the male child gets the miss in the terminal, or frailty versa.
Beattie ‘s manner besides examines the nature of memory. The narrative leaps from descriptions of the twosome in winter ( 114-115 ) to the decease of a friend in a hereafter spring ( 115 ) . This random form is brooding of how memories work. One memory can trip another apparently unrelated memory. The storyteller besides states, “ Peoples forget old ages and retrieve minutes ” ( 115 ) . This thought is reflected in the narrative manner. The adult female ‘s memory puts accent on certain inside informations and minutes, the chipmunk, wallpaper, snow, etc. ( 114 ) , instead than on what happened that full month or twelvemonth. Besides, the disagreements between the memories of the lovers ( 114-115 ) stress the fact that people can hold different memories of the same event.
Merely as Beattie uses manner to give penetration into a past relationship, storytelling, and memory, she uses symbolism for the same intent. Harmonizing to the adult female, the chipmunk “ ran through the life room. It went through the library and stopped at the front door as though it knew the house well ” ( 114 ) . In contrast, the adult male sees that the chipmunk “ ran to conceal in the dark, non merely to a door that led to its flight ( 115 ) . This contrast gives insight into the lovers ‘ different positions on the relationship. The chipmunk represents the adult female, who sees herself go forthing her lover as an flight after he states “ What do you believe you ‘re making in here ” ( 114 ) ? i.e. , what are you making in this relationship? On the contrary, the adult male sees her as concealment or cowering. The contrasting positions about the chipmunk are besides declarative of the lovers ‘ differing positions in other countries of life and the fact that they do non belong together.
Another symbol in “ Snow ” is the wallpaper. The storyteller states that she “ idea of the spots of grape that remained underneath and imagined the vine popping through, the manner some workss can doggedly force through anything ( 114 ) . The wallpaper works as a symbol in several ways. It symbolizes the covering up of issues in the twosomes ‘ relationship, which finally come to the surface. This besides symbolizes the dramatic minutes that must attest in storytelling, and eventually it symbolizes the fact that repressed memories may finally come to the surface.
The pool is another symbol that has multiple intents. The pool is “ covered with black plastic that had been stretched across it for winteraˆ¦the screen collected more and more H2O until it eventually spilled onto the concrete ” ( 115 ) . Like the wallpaper, the covered pool is symbolic of the covering up of issues in the relationship, every bit good as pent-up memories. Besides, H2O is by and large used as a symbol of life. The fact that the H2O pushes breaks through the exanimate plastic is declarative of the importance of narratives to incorporate a impulsive force or energy, instead than to be dead.
The snow is the most dynamic symbol in the narrative. The storyteller states, “ Remember the dark, out on the lawn, ankle-deep in snow, mentums pointed to the sky as the air current whirled down all that whiteness ” ( 115 ) ? White is frequently symbolic of artlessness. The whiteness of the snow indicates that the relationship between the lovers is immature and naif. The lovers are “ ankle-deep ” in this immature and naA?ve love. Furthermore, the adult male is described as the “ male monarch of snow ” ( 114 ) , and he “ retrieve ( s ) that the cold settled in phases ” ( 115 ) . This conveys the thought that his love towards her grows cold, merely as the snow is cold. Merely as the snow covers the land ( 114 ) , the twosome masks their issues. The snow besides works as a symbol for storytelling. The storyteller states, “ Love, in its shortest signifier, becomes a word. What I remember most about all that clip is one winter. The snow. Even now, stating ‘snow, ‘ my lips move so that they kiss the air ” ( 115 ) . Merely as snow becomes a word that that captures the love that the adult female one time had, narratives are told with words and symbols that capture of import thoughts. The fact that snow becomes a word besides indicates the fact that memories are triggered by words and “ symbols. ” For illustration, a piece of vesture may convey up a certain memory in person. The vesture is symbolic in that it represents something more than what it truly is.
Beattie ‘s usage of manner and symbolism reveal several facets of a twosome ‘s yesteryear relationship, while noticing upon the art of storytelling, and analyzing the nature of memory. Her alone narrative manner and usage of symbolism work on multiple degrees to bind in these chief thoughts. Merely as the lovers ‘ relationship is summed up in “ seconds and symbols ” ( 115 ) , so are narratives and memories.