Snow Country Yasunari Kawabata Is there essential emptiness to be found in the pursuit of beauty?


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Snow Country Yasunari Kawabata

  • Is there essential emptiness to be found in the pursuit of beauty?


Fusing a world of opposites

  • Kawabata’s lyrical prose is based on the elements of haiku:

    • Seventeen syllables poems
    • Seek to convey a sudden awareness of beauty by mating incongruous terms
    • Characteristically fuses motion and stillness


The collision of opposites within the novel



Important Motifs

  • Wasted Effort

  • Honesty

  • Mirrors and dreams

  • The tyranny of beauty

  • Friendship and romance

  • Purity (woman and girl)

  • Can you think of any others?



Important Symbols

  • Heat and Cold

  • The Occidental Ballet and Shimamura’s involvement in it

  • Mirrors and their reflections

  • Death of the insects

  • Chijimi

  • Spatial Distance of characters

  • Movement to and from the inn and mountains

  • Kikuyu

  • Colors

  • Seasons (when Shimamura visits: Spring/Winter/Autumn)

  • Architecture

  • Can you think of any others?



Let’s talk about the characters

  • Shimamura

  • Komako

  • Yoko

  • Can you think of any others?




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