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Silent Snow, Secret Snow Essay

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Bertonneau is a Temporary Assistant Professor of English and the Humanities at Central Michigan University, and Senior Policy Analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. In the following essay, he surveys the various critical interpretations of Paul's mental disturbance in Aiken's "Silent Snow, Secret Snow."

Critics do not interpret Conrad Aiken's short story "Silent Snow, Secret Snow" (1934) in a literal way. Upon initial examination, they consistently regard the story as something other than what it is. Thomas L. Erskine, for example, in his 1972 psychoanalytical interpretation of the story, claims that "Silent Snow, Secret Snow" is about the "balance" between "two worlds" and the "discovery" that results by leaving one to enter the other. For Erskine, each of young Paul Hasleman's deformed or defamiliarized perceptions of the world amount to an "epiphany," an intense vision with deep symbolic meaning.

Appreciating the story on purely aesthetic grounds, Elizabeth Tebeaux...

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This section contains 1,503 words
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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.