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Silent Snow, Secret Snow Criticism

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Given the interest in the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud in the 1930s, it is not surprising that early interpretations of "Silent Snow, Secret Snow" examined the story from that perspective. Leo Hamalaian provided an early example of psychoanalytic analysis in his "Aiken's "Silent Snow, Secret Snow"' of 1948. Frederick Hoffman's 1957 study of Freudianism and the Literary Mind, which devotes considerable space to Aiken's fiction, is another case in point, although it should be added that Hoffman later de-emphasized the Freudian aspect of his reading of Aiken.

Psychoanalysis still influences readings of the tale. As late as 1980, Laura Slap invoked the Oedipus complex as the unconscious theme of Aiken's story: "My thesis is that Paul Hasleman's illness is a reaction to his realization of his parents' sexual activity." When the doctor asks Paul to read a passage from a book taken from the shelves, the passage happens to...

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This section contains 481 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Silent Snow, Secret Snow Study Guide
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Silent Snow, Secret Snow from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.