Theme Of Snow Country

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The setting is the basis upon which the story of a novel develops, as it has a tremendous effect on what happens in the story. In the novel ‘Snow Country’ by Yasunari Kawabata the setting plays a pivotal role in highlighting prominent themes such as, Loneliness, Wasted Love and Wasted Beauty. Snow country is the literal translation of the Japanese title ‘Yukiguni’. The name comes from where the story takes place or rather where the story is ‘set’; a village (rural area) on an island in Japan that receives a huge amount of snow during the season of ‘winter’. The title ‘Snow Country’ it-self induces a slight hint of the setting that the story would be established on. Snow Country explores the mundane relationship between Shimamura, a wealthy- married man and Komako, a geisha who…show more content…
The novel carries the recurring theme of loneliness throughout. The loneliness in the, foreshadows the loneliness in the characters of the novel.
The setting of the story which is cold and isolated; for instance – “The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country. The earth lay white under the night sky” helps to portray the isolation in the atmosphere at the beginning. Even though Kawabata has chosen a Japanese landscape vibrant in natural beauty as the setting for a fleeting-love story the isolation of the entire region adds effect to the theme of loneliness and aids to the characters development. Shimamura isolates himself from his family and from the world to visit a resort in an isolated region where he has a rather mundane relationship which is fleeting like snow, with a geisha (Komako) who suffers from Loneliness; it is evident that the setting influences the development of the character’s characteristic. It is interesting to note that Shimamura possesses striking characteristics; besides being aloof and self-absorbed, he is capable of making memorable and artistic observations of the world around him - “Along the coast the sea
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