Death in "The Snow Child"

Discuss the January 2015 book of the month. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.
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Scott
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Death in "The Snow Child"

Post by Scott » 12 Jan 2015, 22:35

The following is a discussion question from the publisher for the January 2015 book of the month, "The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey. Please do not read this topic until you have finished the book because this topic may contain spoilers.

Death comes in many forms in The Snow Child, including Mabel giving birth to a stillborn infant, Jack shooting a moose, Faina slaying a swan, the fox killing a wild bird, Jack and Mabel slaughtering their chickens, and Garrett shooting the fox. Why is this one of the themes of the book and what is the author trying to say about death?

I think the theme is not just death but loss and struggle in general. We see this also the many times Faina disappears. I think the author is showing that loss, death, suffering, and catastrophes happen and are a part of life. The goal is to not avoid loss or catastrophes or death but instead to do the best you can in your circumstances. Death is part of life; and life is what you make it. I think that's her message. What do you think?
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Post by gali » 13 Jan 2015, 02:39

I agree with you. The book is also about hope, the power of love, overcoming obstacles life throws your way and of course death being part of life.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by HoneyB » 14 Jan 2015, 22:06

I'm not sure what to say that gali and Scott haven't already.

I think the animals' deaths were more to show how to survive Alaska in the 1920's.
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Post by Miss_Jane2014 » 22 Jan 2015, 23:43

I agree that gali and Scott have most of it covered. It is rather interesting to see how death is used to hint toward the seriousness and reality. Through those dark points though, you can start to see hope peeking through.

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Post by Norma_Rudolph » 08 Feb 2015, 15:49

I think the deaths in The Snow Child help to bring out the harshness of life, not only in Alaska, but anywhere. Perhaps it isn't death that is the question, but how we deal with it.
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Post by SharisseEM » 12 Feb 2015, 11:55

I agree with you, Scott. I've always believed that death is a part of living and how we overcome what death brings is what defines us as humans. You can't avoid death but you can make the best of it and come out stronger than before.
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Post by Jenie » 19 Feb 2015, 15:39

The book showed that death is a course in life that every living thing and being has to pass through. It is unavoidable. What matters is the way we handle it by developing strength and hope for each new day that comes, yet grateful for life itself. Death makes you truly appreciate life.
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Post by jannu » 16 Mar 2015, 07:45

This series is a truly unique mix of dystopian and wild west historical. The story line is dramatic and kept my attention very well. The characters are flawed and perfect, they are both realistic and relatable. The second book didn't suffer from second book syndrome as bad as some I have experienced, that is it was not repetitive too much nor did it have no action. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to break away from their genre or look for more differentiation in the ya genre. The only thing to be aware of is the voice it is written in, that is the protagonist was raised by uneducated parents and speaks in broken English, so the books are written in a vernacular as well, but I got used to it.








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Post by gatorgirl_823 » 31 Mar 2015, 12:07

Death is unavoidable and comes along at unexpected times. Authors often use death as a "device" to test characters, challenge them and make them stronger for having survived.
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Post by jannu » 01 Apr 2015, 02:14

This series is a truly unique mix of dystopian and wild west historical. The story line is dramatic and kept my attention very well. The characters are flawed and perfect, they are both realistic and relatable. The second book didn't suffer from second book syndrome as bad as some I have experienced, that is it was not repetitive too much nor did it have no action. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to break away from their genre or look for more differentiation in the ya genre. The only thing to be aware of is the voice it is written in, that is the protagonist was raised by uneducated parents and speaks in broken English, so the books are written in a vernacular as well, but I got used to it.




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Post by MissJane » 12 Apr 2015, 22:43

There is little left unspoken by Scott and Gali! Yes, I do really believe that The Snow Child is not meant to show the power of death, but quite contrarily, the power of life, of hope, of love. It shows us the frailty of life, and that makes it all the more precious while we still have it! Death, struggles, obstacles; they make us just that much stronger...

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Post by L_Therese » 20 May 2015, 06:21

I think it is interesting how much death is emphasized. It isn't just allowed to happen or acknowledged. It is really brought into focus, as is new life. For most of the book, Mabel struggles with the death of her baby, and then she gets to nurture little Jack, who is new life. Garrett is tormented when he kills the fox, but the dog represents new life afterward. So, as people have been saying, death and struggle are a major part of life, but there is also renewal and second chances.

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Post by Taylor Razzani » 04 Jul 2016, 18:11

I was waiting for one of the main characters to die, since it seemed like such a big part of the book. But with death there is also a sense of rebirth. Though Jack and Mabel lost their first child, Fiana came into their lives and gave them a second chance as parents. Even when Fiana lost her fox Garrett brings her the puppy to be her companion.
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