“Snow” by Julia Alvarez: Unveiling Symbolism and Resilience

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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“Snow” by Julia Alvarez: Unveiling Symbolism and Resilience

This essay will provide an analysis of Julia Alvarez’s short story “Snow,” focusing on its use of symbolism and themes of resilience. It will explore how snow symbolizes both beauty and danger, reflecting the protagonist’s experiences as an immigrant in the United States. The piece will also discuss the story’s portrayal of cultural adaptation and the resilience of the human spirit. PapersOwl offers a variety of free essay examples on the topic of Poetry.

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Understanding “Snow” by Julia Alvarez

After reading the poem “Snow” written by Julia Alvarez, it is noted that this story has quite a few different meanings. This poem shows and expresses the beauty of snow and how it could make the world around us appear peaceful. “Snow” is written in an imaginative style that articulates the beauty of the snow in the story and how it makes someone feel as if they were in a different world or state. The author starts this poem off by describing the snow as a “white blanket” that covers the world and makes it seems silent.

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The author also describes how the snow sings and whispers. These descriptions of the snow make the setting of this poem seem like such a peaceful place, almost like a fairytale. It speaks of how snow sometimes can make us forget about the worries or problems that are soon to come. Snow is described as a source of comfort in this poem.

The Symbolism of Snow in the Poem

Snow by Julia Alvarez is a poem that uses snow as a metaphor for a couple of things in this story. With the clue the holocaust was in the air,” this saying could stand for fear or joy. The reason this clue could either bring fear or joy is that, in this story, the little girl has never seen snow, so she did not know what to expect, so that’s how joy came into play. This clue became fear for the girl in this story when she finally learned more English. With her learning more English, she could finally understand the danger of what could possibly happen at any time to them. This clue also shows us how the girl in the story could assume that snow is the aftermath of the school being bombed and attacked. Another clue on what snow means in this story is when the girl finally sees snow in real life, and it is not a bombing attack, but snow from the sky. She stated, “From my desk, I watched the fine powder dust the sidewalk and parked cars below.

Personal Reflections on “Snow”

Based on my personal connection to this story, at first, I pictured the snow as being a representation of the particles floating around the air after a terrorist attack on the school and city. After reading the story further, I knew it was not the case. From my personal connection, this story shows me the importance of always having a positive mindset. It could help you to be optimistic even though you could be preparing for the worst. This story also shows us how learning even the smallest of details could save your life.

Life Lessons Derived from the Poem

This story also has some life lessons in them to always be prepared. Even if you do not think it will happen, you should still be prepared for the worst and good. The character in the story was still able to find joy even though they were literally preparing for a bomb attack on them, and they had slim chances of surviving.


  • Alvarez, J. (n.d.). Snow. Poetry Foundation.
  • Tate, J. (2016). “Metaphor.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 
  • Levin, S. R. (2020). “Symbolism.” Literary Devices. 
  • The Holocaust. (n.d.). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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"Snow" by Julia Alvarez: Unveiling Symbolism and Resilience. (2023, Aug 09). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/snow-by-julia-alvarez-unveiling-symbolism-and-resilience/