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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Transcript of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Presentation By: Colleen Steward
"This was horrible! I looked out the lattice
window toward Jintian, wishing that I could
at least see Snow Flower. I felt terrible knowing
that she was suffering and I couldn't put my arms
around her to comfort her" (See 159).
Symbol: Cultural Restrictions
Confined to the women's chamber, women longingly looked out their lattice windows, yet were held captive in their own homes by cultural restraints.
Women, such as Lily and Snow Flower, spent their lives on the inside looking out at the world. In regards to this project, we are catching a glimpse of their lives inside the women's chamber represented by the shadowbox.
Symbol: Binding Friendship
& Broken Promises
"We believed the sentiments on that piece of paper would last forever, but we could not see the turmoil that lay ahead" (See 51).
As young girls, Snow Flower and Lily promised to be true friends for life. However, tension, misunderstanding, and bitterness would eventually tear their friendship apart.
While at first symbolizing the genuine, strong childhood friendship between Lily and Snow Flower, in the end, this contract represents broken promises and heartbreak.
Ultimate Symbol of Snow Flower and Lily's Friendship
However during this project,
I explored other meaningful symbols.
Symbol: Friendship and Loyalty
" 'We will be in the women's chamber, visiting together, embroidering together, whispering together. If we buy carefully, we will have memories we can make together for many years' " (See 53).
Whether buying the thread on their annual trip or embroidering together, the colorful strands represent how Lily and Snow Flower's lives are woven and tied together.
Third Day Wedding Books
Symbol: Culture, Power of Nushu
"They would only have the words in their third-day wedding books to console them" (See 77).
Women married out to strangers and moved into new families. Their third-day wedding books offered them comforting words from their natal homes.
Through nushu, women could express themselves in a culture that didn't always value what they had to say.
Nushu was a way for Lily and Snow Flower to grow closer together. However, it was also a nushu misunderstanding that tore the friends apart.
Symbol: Dependence, Position
"My goal was to achieve a pair of perfectly bound feet with seven distinct attributes... If I could attain all that, happiness would be my reward" (See 26).
Was it worth it?
Are we that much different today?
After catching a glimpse of their lives, ask yourself...