“Snow” by Ann Beattie
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The short story “Snow” written by Ann Beattie is a short yet complex story with much underlying thought to it. This story is about two people who fell in love and decided to spend the winter together in the countryside. The story is told from the point of view of the girl looking back on the memory of them being together. At first glance I found this story to be a little confusing but after reading it through more and giving it deeper thought I really realized just what this story was about. The girl describes the times that that they were together in a very elaborate and detailed way. Whereas when she talked about how the boy remembered it she described it in a very dry and very simple way. For example, to her when everyone came over during the big snow it was because they loved the idea of them being together and the fireplace would make them tell all these amazing stories. But he remembers it as the stories that people always tell.
In this story it included a lot of metaphors. For one there was the ‘house secrets’ one was the wallpaper under wallpaper. I think finding out the house secrets might have been a metaphor for finding out secrets in their own relationship, which may have been why down the road they broke up. Another one was the fire (fireplace). It says in the story “People liked the idea of our being together, leaving the city for the country. So many people visted, and the fireplace made all of them want to tell amazing stories; the child happened to be standing on the right corner when the door of the ice cream truck came open and hundreds of Popsicles crashed out…”. There is the saying ‘if you play with fire you’re going to get burned’, I think that Ann Beattie incorporated the fire to show sign that somewhere down the line some one would get ‘burned’ so to say.
Meaning that even though everyone loved them being together and loved the idea of them sometime in the future it would end in heartbreak. And lastly and I think I’d the most significant metaphor is the snow. Snow is a very complex thing while though it may look pretty and almost innocent so to say it’s also deadly. This is almost exactly describes their relationship; from the outside the relationship may have looked like nothing was wrong, but if you really knew the situation you would realize that it did have problems and that it was close to ‘death’.
But in the end of the story she describes the snow in a different way; “Love in its shortest form, becomes a word. What I remember about all that time is one winter. The snow. Even now, saying “snow”, my lips move so that the kiss the air”. So while the snow may have hinted that their time together was coming close to an end it also really signified their love. The py fell in love in the winter, snow surrounding them all the time, some of their best memories were probably in the snow. Snow is a bittersweet word because yes their love died but they will both always have the memories of each other and the snow.