Snow Flower And The Secret Fan Analysis

Words: 2137
Pages: 9

Symbolism is very apparent in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Symbols are a way for the author to share his/her message with their readers. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is no exception to that. This story is about two young girls and their journey through life together as laotongs. There are many symbolic devises used as a way for readers to empathize with Lily and Snow Flower.
The first symbolic devise we see in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is Foot Binding. This symbol is seen within the first few chapters of the book, and is very gruesome. Lily, her cousin Beautiful Moon, and sister Third Sister went through the Foot Binding process at the same time. Things very quickly started to change; Third Sister’s health started to dwindle, and
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Within the woman’s chamber is a lattice window. This window symbolizes the cultural restrictions that are placed on the women. This women’s chamber is like their own little jail. The women spend most of their days in this room and only come out to tend to their husbands. The lattice window is the only window to see out of in the women’s chamber, and women like Lily and Snow Flower spent most of their days looking out this window longing for a life with no restrictions. You could think of this window as a window looking out of a jail cell. You can see everything and everyone going on around you, but you can’t join them in their daily routines. “We pushed our bed under the lattice window, hoping to catch a cool breeze, but there was none, just torrid stillness” (See 84). These girls were forced to grow up at such a young age, and then were forced into seclusion and conformity for the rest of their lives. “Illiterate and isolated, they were not expected to think, be creative, or have emotions” (“Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”). These women stayed in this women’s chamber all day and had only a single window to look out of. Kept from sharing their own feelings and showing their true selves. Chinese women of this time were kept hidden from the realities of the world around them, and rarely ever made it out of the home. They lived with their husband’s family, and were compliant with their mother-in-law until she passed away. The lattice window symbolizes the cultural restrictions the women face. This window is their only escape from their struggling lives at home. Most women will sit and look out this window and hope for a better life, or a new beginning. The lattice window also reminds the women that this is the best thing to do for their own family, and they must follow in their ancestor’s paths. Chinese women accept their lives as they know they will be secluded and have to conform