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"Snowed Up"

 Starting Questions: 

1. What are the binary opposites in the story?  
2. What gets "snowed up" in the story?
3. Is Edie finally subject to both the control of her society and the belittling of her author? 


  Main Idea: Edie, with her preference for handsome young man, rebels against the the social role prescribed to her as a woman and the social hierarchy of her suitors.  She does so by keeping a critical distance from and laughing at all of them (the roles and the people), and by expressing her desire for a spouse as "a Newfoundland dog" or to run away with "Philip or somebody."  However, her rebelliousness is muffled as the snow gradually reduces all of them to the basic level of survival, where physical prowess is valued the most.      


  I. Binary Opposition: 

  • class difference:

 Lord Bilbrton--> has power, Mr. Alderman Thrigg--> has money; Aurelles--> Aurelles' playing chess -- "trying oh, so hard to play chess--which he does not understand--with papa; and all just because." 

father's position: in financial trouble, to be saved only by being appointed by the government.

  • difference in age and appearance: Lord Bilbrton "wizened", Mr. Alderman Thrigg "stout" and Aurelles "strong, tall, noble-looking

  • order vs. Edie's giddy head;

II. Edie's position in between the opposites 

  • She prefers Aurelles over the other two suitors, though she is aware of the former's clumsiness in social games.  (reflected in her terms of address--> Aurelles or Phillip or Phil; Lord Bilberton or Charlie)

  II. Edie's change by the snow

Before the snow -- Edie's position against class difference and social customs:

  • like a shuttlecock or tennis ball; 2. It is laughable . . . p. 20

  • Edie's rebelliousness and ambition as a writer:

  1. p. 20 the fur coat -- must wear it;

  2. not going to be sold exactly.  p. 20

  3. be a poetess someday. 

  4. hate their "coming to the point." --> will not marry them, will cry, quarreled; am cross.

  5. "entanglement with a penniless soldier."p. 21

  6. her view of having a spouse p. 21 

The other people in Edie's eyes:

1) 1/4 Lord B: "poor shivering ancient body"
2) 1/5 "I shall perish with an angel!" Mr. Thrigg is not good at using metaphors; Bilberton, silly with fright.  Papa, cynical.
* Mr. Thrigg as one trying to help; 3) 1/6 Mr. Thrigg in despair and struggle (p. 23) -->1/14  p. 24
4) 1/14 All the servants left but the maid, papa an invalid, Bilberton helpless; Thrigg trapped in snow; the arrival of Phillip p. 25
5) 1/15 eat the cat;
6) 1/17 Papa and the Alderman may die.  Philip is the only one active to get food.
7) 1/18 the last try by Phillip
8) 1/19  a feast; The Alderman eats a long time.

Edie's changing views of the snow and the others:

 1)1/3 "Why it is beautiful!  I wish I was snowballing Aurelles." (21)
2) 1/4 nothing to do; hate the snow p. 21 1/5 - 6, laughs at her suiters.  
3) 1/10 "we shall be starved."  Misses "Phillip."  --a very short entry.
* turning point: 4) 1/14  "Nothing but snow."  "Such fun!  The Alderman has been helping me in the kitchen."  Philip arrives; he is willing to rescue Thrigg only if he gives up his pursuit of Edie.  Edie changes her tactics.  p. 26
5) 1/15 must write to pass away the time;
* Edie's weakness and incisive comment on the "weakness of the snow":  1/17 cries; comments on the snow.  "the weak, feeble despised flakes of snow."
1/18 waiting;
* turning point: 1/19  he has all my heart
1/22 the roughs invasion; nice to have a soldier around.  Hope for us at last--fog. 
1/15  Is aware of her being a commodity between two men.  Will be a good girl and make Phil a first rate wife. 
--Her diary ends with a bracket and blankness. 

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