Reply to Rita sharma's Post:
I can give you the ideas I have for the story, actually I have already some examples but I need to do it in my own words, so I can send you the idea of the story because this story does not show in the web, it is in my book, so let me know if this can be a help, and thanks for your interest in helping me.
Stories and novels employ images and symbols just like poems do. In Ann Beattie's "Snow," the snow, frozen ground, the chipmunk, the yellow paint, and Queen Anne's lace are all significant.
Recall that in "Snow," the narrator has spent one winter in a country house with a lover, and, looking back on it, she views this time as the most significant time of her life, short as it was. This realization is expressed through the symbols of the frozen ground and snow. Also note that winter is a period of the year when recognizable life is dormant and apparently dead. But this season was the most magnificent part of the narrator's life, and one she remembers longingly.
The narrator recalls a chipmunk jumping out of a pile of firewood and running through the house. She remembers when she and her lover painted the kitchen yellow, covering up garish wallpaper printed with grapes as big as ping-pong balls, and she remembers her persistent feeling that the grapevines were too hardy to be undermined by something as sheer as a coat of paint; she expected them to come "popping through, the way some plants can tenaciously push through anything." Most of all, she remembers snow -- snow so pervasive that it filled the sky like an enormous field of Queen Anne's lace.
These memories are significant, because in every case there is a sense of something indigenous that belongs there being taken over by something that really doesn't belong there. The chipmunk belonged in the firewood, just as to the chipmunk a stack of wood "belongs" outside; he should be disconcerted at finding himself inside, but he runs through the library and stops "at the front door as if it knew the house well." The chipmunk was indigenous to this place; the lovers are the interlopers! Similarly, the dated grape wallpaper belonged to the house, and the new coat of yellow paint seems out of place because the people who applied that paint don't belong there. The metaphor of falling snow as Queen Anne's lace is significant because Queen Anne's lace -- which is a wildflower -- does not belong in the sky, and it never grows in the winter.
She mentions one last memory, which takes place years after the winter she lived there. The gentleman in the house next door dies, and the narrator returns to pay her respects to the widow. She looks back at what "had been our house" and sees several crocuses poking weakly through the April ground. Rather than seeing them as symbolic of the power of life against death, she says the flowers "couldn't compete." Here, the author had put the past behind her. She and her lover have broken up, and she has gone on with her life. But try as she might, she cannot negate the power that winter in the country still holds on her. If we are defined by a single moment in our lives, for her, that winter had the power to define her and her comments about the flowers reflect that power.
This are some examples that my classmates have already made
The first one I saw was the ‘snow', the narrator spent a winter with the one she loved in a country house. That winter was short, but it became the most significant time of her life. "What I remember about all that time is one winter. The snow. Even now, saying ‘snow,' my lips move so that they kiss the air." (Pg. 220). The frozen ground and snow are metaphorically the dormant and apparent death is the rule of the day during winter. "I remember the cold night you brought in a pile of logs and a chipmunk jumped off as you lowered your arms." The chipmunk is another symbol that something indigenous being taken over by something that really doesn't belong there. The chipmunk belonged in the firewood, he runs through the library and stops "at the front door as if it knew the house well." (Pg. 219). The lovers are interlopers; the chipmunk was indigenous to this place. The cover of the pool symbolizes her memory of the gentleman--Allen in the house next door dies, which actually takes place some years after the winter she lived there, and the respects to the widow from the narrator.
it is true that multiple or singular interpretations occur when different people read the same story. Basic on our everyday experiences, we would have different point of views of judgment and analyze things. Except our different background, our beliefs, that we had them naturally will be affecting on our determination. Because of the different standpoints, our understanding will be change. For example, ‘snow' is the main symbol in the story. I could see the other symbols through ‘snow', such as the chipmunk. If I only stand at the chipmunk's point of view, then I will only see the lovers are interlopers to me. We should study the story through various standpoints, which could help us to better understand the story.
This is a second example
Symbols I see in the story are the snow, the chipmunk, the black cover of the pool, the crocuses, and the pool it self. I believe these all sum up to the narrators relationship with her lover. Yes, I believe the snow is a symbol. The narrator talks about a relationship she had. It seems like the narrator's lover was not optimistic about the relationship with the narrator. "It's pointless to throw birdseed on the ground while snow still falls fast". It seems as if she was giving her all in vain. Personally, snow does not symbolize anything to me. However, I believe in the story snow symbolizes the narrator's lover and his emotions towards her. Snow can symbolize chilled and unexpressed emotions and this is most likely one of the reasons why they are no longer together. "Who expects small things to survive when even the largest get lost?"(pg 220) The way she talks makes me feel as if he was repressing his emotions and was emotionally cold and unresponsive towards her. I believe the pool cover symbolizes the narrator's limit of emotional strength. "It had rained, and as rain fell, the cover collected more and more water until it finally spilled onto the concrete" (pg 220). The "cover" was how she tried to keep her feelings (the pool water), bottled in from showing and coming out of her. However, things happening around her like her friend dying, and her break up with the love of her life (the rain) kept collecting unwittingly. Until finally the water (her feelings and emotions) "spilled onto the concrete" (pg 220). I believe the chipmunk could be a symbol. It symbolizes the narrator leaving her lover. "I remember the cold night you brought in a pile of logs and a chipmunk jumped off as you lowered your arms" She would soon jump out of his arms because of him being so careless about their relationship. "What are you doing in here" (pg 219) he obviously was not attentive to what he was doing, just as he was not attentive towards her, her love and their relationship.
In your postings, address how and why multiple or singular interpretations occur when different people read the same story.
All I can say is that because we are all different we will always have a different view or interpretation of almost everything we come across. Whether it is a book, or a movie, or music, or even a person we will have our own interpretation of it. This is mostly because we judge and analyze things according to our personal experiences. Most of the time the way we live, the way we were raised, our beliefs, how educated we are, and our surroundings have an enormous impact on how we determine and interpret things. This is why I believe different people have different interpretations after they read the same story. I believe we should always try to have an open mind about everything, when reading a story I try to put myself in the place of each of the characters to get a better understanding of why they feel, act, or talk a certain way. Of course, not everyone thinks this way, while reading a story some people just look at the surface of a story others look much deeper in to it.
This would be a third example
People forget years and remember moments. Seconds and symbols are left to sum things up". Their were multiple symbols in this story. The snow is a symbol for the winter spent with the author's loved one, and her loving relationship. On page 220 she says, "What I remember about all that time is one winter. The snow. Even now, saying snow, my lips move so that they kiss the air." The snow symbolizes love to the author, it sums up the time they spent together.
The cover of the pool symbolizes a memory of her close friend and neighbor. Allen who is now deceased. His pool cover was on his pool as it always was, as if he was still alive, but it's just a memory now.
The chipmunk could be a symbol for the fun they had that winter, the unpredictable things that were happening and the spontaneity of that winter.
On page 219 in the first paragraph, it says, "People liked the idea of our being together, leaving the city for the country". To me this symbolizes new life, they will be moving away from everything familiar to them and starting a new life together in a new place to both of them.
The fireplace could symbolize serenity, it is a comfort zone where all of their guests gather around and tell stories. It is a happy place to reminisce on good memories.
On the bottom of page 219 and the top of page 220, it says " Allen's pool covered in black plastic", this might symbolize a body bag because he is dead now and dead people are put into body bags. His pool was also not in use anymore and it was covered up.
Multiple interpretations can occur to different readers because we all have had different life experiences with these symbols. The author loves the snow because she was enjoying her time in it. If I had been in the snow and my friend died there, I might not ever want to go back, it could symbolize death to me.
Hope this helps Thanks!