The Diary of an African Nun Setting & Symbolism

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Snow

The snow covers the mountains and only melts away once a year in the spring. The snow represents waste and barrenness to the African nun who feels she is "covered in snow" due to her white robe. The African nun draws this parallel because her childless marriage is like the snow-covered mountains: useless, a waste to herself and others. To her, barrenness represents death.

Mountains

The Ruwenzori mountains by the village are covered in snow except in the spring. When the snow melts, the people from the village plant their crops on the mountain. The African nun views herself as a mountain perpetually covered in snow, which in her eyes is a waste.

Spring

The spring is when the snow melts from the mountains. To the African nun, spring symbolizes the renewal of life, procreation. She longs for her own spring where the snow will melt and...

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This section contains 246 words
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Buy The Diary of an African Nun Study Guide
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