Snow Country ❄️🥀 Book Review of Yasunari Kawabata's masterpiece | Summary and Q&A

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March 10, 2021
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* e m m i e *
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Snow Country ❄️🥀 Book Review of Yasunari Kawabata's masterpiece

TL;DR

A spoiler-free book review of "Snow Country" by Yasunari Kawabata, exploring themes of wasted beauty, decay, and tragic love in an isolated mountain hot spring.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the significance of the snow in "Snow Country"?

The snow symbolizes wasted emotions and energy, as well as the denial of human connection. It acts as a blanket, muffling and suffocating the characters' potential for love and growth.

Q: How does Komako's role as a hot spring geisha highlight the themes of wasted love and decay?

Komako represents wasted love and decay because, as a geisha, she must entertain weekend guests and maintain the facade of being an artist rather than a prostitute. Her relationship with Shimamura is marked by abuse and misuse, leading to her resignation to a life of stagnation.

Q: How does Shimamura's distance from art parallel his emotional distance from relationships?

Shimamura, who writes about ballet without ever having seen it, maintains a similar distance from real-life relationships. This distance is fueled by his fear of emotional connection, resulting in a life devoid of warmth and intimacy.

Q: What is the significance of the color red in the novel?

The color red represents bursts of emotion and human connection against the backdrop of the snowy landscape. It serves as a stark contrast to the white, symbolizing Shimamura's fear of truly engaging with others.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • "Snow Country" follows Shimamura, a wealthy intellectual from Tokyo, and Komako, a geisha living in an isolated mountain hot spring.

  • Despite their lack of true connection and qualifying factors for a healthy relationship, Komako desperately tries to attach herself to Shimamura.

  • The novel explores themes of wasted emotions, decay, and the damaging consequences of denying human connection.

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