Experience, Analysis, and Extension
9/23/2018 09:15:50 pm
While reading Snow by Julia Alvarez, I was reminded of the first time I saw snow. Because I grew up in Africa, I'd never seen snow until I was about 7 years old living in London. Looking out from a window, I thought it was the most magical thing, but once I stepped outside I was freezing. Since I was only used to mild to extreme heat, I hated snow (and still do). Alvarez perfectly captured the wonder of a child seeing snow for the first time, not only by using beautiful language and describing it as "...white crystals that fell out of American skies in the winter," but also by adding a little humor when she reveals Yolanda thought the snow were bombs. In a way, the snow could be bombs. Bombs cover everything with ash while snow covers everything with, well, snow. The juxtaposition could also be hinting at a darker side to snow which is that it kills. Snow isn't inherently dangerous, but if it gets cold enough, it could cause hypothermia or frostbite and lead to death. The way everyone laughs it off could also be trying to reveal the fact that we tend to ignore dangers that we can't clearly see or don't directly impact us. The snow wouldn't have affected any of them very much, but for people who weren't as fortunate to have homes or warm clothes, the snow means a time of terrible hardship and usually death since they don't have the money for health care. But, because the people in the school were lucky to have provisions that would help them through the winter, they were able to innocently enjoy the snow and bask in the wonder and beauty of it all, oblivious to what battles their neighbors could be fighting.
9/23/2018 09:39:00 pm
In Julia Alvarez’s story titled Snow, a woman reminisces on her experience as an elementary-age immigrant in New York during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The main character, Yolanda, attended a Catholic school and learned many new things — specifically, she gained many new words in her vocabulary. She learned words pertaining to bomb scares like nuclear bomb, radioactive fallout, and bomb shelter, as well as words used in everyday life like laundromat, subway, and cereal. It was common to have air-raid drills in school where they would practice what to do during a potential bombing. Because of the constant speak of bombs, when Yolanda saw snow — a new concept to her — she mistook it for the fallout from a bomb. After learning that she was seeing snow for the first time, she paid close attention to it — noticing that each snowflake was different from the other.
9/23/2018 09:45:33 pm
Word count: 319 hehe
9/23/2018 09:42:31 pm
The poem Snow, by Julia Alvarez, somehow managed to subvert my expectations. The poem sets up a regular new student going to a catholic school in New York City. Judging by the title and the first paragraph, I had no idea the poem was truly about the cuban missile crisis. Yolanda is a curious hispanic girl who had never seen snow before. The poem uses snow as a way of conveying the unknown. Yolanda doesn't know what snow looks like, or how bombs look. She goes through the drills of a missile strike, slowly gaining fear of the incoming war. The poem explicitly explains Yolanda's thoughts during the drills. She imagines all of her classmates dead and radiated. Alvarez’s diction portrays her fears exceptionally, and the setting puts you in the mind of a student during the war. They are helpless, they can't do anything but hide and cover their heads. The fear of the unknown is what scares these children to no end. At the end of the poem, Yolanda mistakes a snowflake for a bomb. Showing how alert these kids are to any dots in the sky. But they quickly laugh it off and move along their day. The way they quickly forget about the false alarm also shows how desensitized they are to any real danger. They just expect that they're gonna die at any moment that they accept it as a part of their lives. They go through the routines just because it's tradition. Not even their teacher can keep them ready for the dangers to come.
9/23/2018 10:30:38 pm
In the passage “Snow” by Julia Alvarez, Yolanda had moved to America from the Dominican Republic and with that she had to learn English. Yolanda explains that she liked her teachers that had taught her English especially Sister Zoe. She was seated apart from the other students to practice pronouncing words like "laundromat," "subway," and "snow." The setting of this passage is during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the teachers were very precautious. They had practiced air raid drills often so Yolanda was taught to live in constant worry of such an attack. When Yolanda saw snowfall for the first time she yelled bomb in her class and her teacher explained to her that it was just snow. Because of the time period, Yolanda assumed that the snow was the fallout from a bomb however her teacher was able to subdue her fears. The Cuban missile crisis made her put new things in a scheme that was negative. She was later able to come into contact with something new that was positive, unique, and beautiful.
9/23/2018 10:40:06 pm
The first two sentences of Julia Alvarez’s “Snow” are long and contain many commas, which draws attention to the religious setting of the story. She places a lot of emphasis on the fact that the narrator went to a “Catholic” school and describes the nuns as “dolls in mourning”. She also emphasises the fact that she is an immigrant a lot. She states how she was the only immigrant in her class and how the teacher had to separate her so she could be taught English. The words she learns are, “laundromat, corn flakes, subway, snow,” but the is taught the terms, “nuclear bomb, radioactive fallout, bomb shelter.” The words themselves are contradictory, innocent, common-place words contradicted with scary, deadly terms, but they were presented in parallel form. This emphasises the difference in tone and mood from the beginning and middle of the story. It might also be too symbolism the corruption of innocence. In the turn from the beginning to middle of this story, the author uses a term with double meaning to describe the political climate at the time. She says, “holocaust was in the air.” Literally, holocaust means a mass slaughter, commonly done through burning of nuclear warfare, but it also means a jewish sacrificial offering that is completely burned. Most commonly though, the term ”holocaust” is used to refer to the religious genocide of German Jews by the Nazis. At the end of the story, the narrator mistakes snow, an innocent concept, for a nuclear bomb.
9/24/2018 12:16:02 am
The Passage “Snow” is a great example of how negativity can affect our mindset of something so pure. “Snow” used war to twist the concept of snow into a more dark and gloomy thought.
9/24/2018 05:10:43 pm
This poem by julia Alverez is telling two e same time that how the poet feels about the time she is going through right now how everybody is confused about everything. The poet has divided poem into two parts the upper part of the poem tells about the current situation and how everybody is feeling while the lower part tells us about the peaceful things, those beutiful things. The poet is talking about her life as a newyorker and a new student at catholic school where she is learning new words of english and how she is scared at the same time. The poet is talking about that how in 1960's she and others had to go through different drills how everybody is scared of the cuba and the threats during this cold war. Nobody has any idea what is going to happen after just 1 second. She uses "snow" as a reference to peace but she is not sure wether the snow is really is one of the signs of peace or is it just another stage of weather. Everybody has no idea what is wrong what is right the girl thought that snow was a bomb but she was wrong because the confusion had messed her up with the chaos. She connected her poem's both parts by refrencing snow with peace but is it the really sign of peace. She has no idea everybody is scared but they believe that this tension will not last forever it's not gonna punish them for that much long there will come a time when everybody will finally get the peace they want right now. Julia Alverez refers her poem to the changing of the season just like after autumn the season changes and comes the winter her current life is like that. Everybody loves snow that how they enjoy it so is her life snow means hope in this poem which she is trying to find. Wc:325
9/24/2018 07:41:22 pm
In “Snow” by Julia Alvarez, the author describes how the paranoid environment the main character, Yolanda, currently has to live in influences her perspective on ideas that are pure, yet unfamiliar to her. The first paragraph sets up the stage for the rest of the passage; Yolanda explains how she sits by the window in class and is beginning to learn english by learning simple words such as “snow”. In the next paragraph, there is a shift in the passage; she begins with “Soon I picked up enough English to understand holocaust was in the air.” Alvarez’s choice of “holocaust” in this sentence reveals how learning and understanding English opened a new world for her. Even though she now has the ability to communicate with others, the sense of danger lingers and influences her thoughts. When Yolanda mistakens a snowflake for a bomb, it reveals how strongly our fears can control and manipulate the way we view things. Rather than curiously gaze at the falling snow, Yolanda had immediately assumed the worst possible situation at the time. We become so aware of the negatives in our lives that we fail to accept that there is still good out there. An example of this is the increased number of public/school shootings in the US. After the shooting in Parkland, FL, students across the country feared for their lives while they attended school; there had been one case where we had a fire drill, and many students hesitated to get up as they feared it was a plot to lure them outside. Rather than view the drill as something that should be done for their safety, they viewed it as one of the worst things that could happen to them.
9/24/2018 07:41:52 pm
Word Count: 340
9/24/2018 08:24:16 pm
The passage “snow” by Julia Alvarez starts off as a simple story about a girl named Yolanda who had just recently moved to New York. Then, the passage shifts in tone when it starts to describe the atmosphere of world war 2 from a child’s perspective. The brief passage does an excellent job at portraying the great loss of innocence in such a small period of time. Towards the start of the story young Yolanda is being taught English. The words she learns are, “laundromat, corn flakes, subway, snow,” then as the war approaches she has to learn words like “nuclear bomb, radioactive fallout, bomb shelter.” These words are directly juxtaposing the earlier terms as being more violent and corrupt. Alvarez uses describes the political climate at the time when says, “holocaust was in the air.” Literally, holocaust means a mass slaughter and iis used to refer to the religious genocide of German Jews by the Nazis. At the end of the story, the narrator mistakes snow, an innocent concept, for a nuclear bomb due to the fact that instead of being taught “normal” things taught in schools, Yolanda’s first impression of America as a whole was very dark in that she learned what to do when a nuclear bomb is dropped rather than what to expect when seasons change.
9/24/2018 09:33:47 pm
The poem “Snow” by Julia Alvarez is about a girl named Yolanda that is not from America and is in a catholic school class. One day the students were in class and saw white stuff in the air, but thought that it was bombs in the air since they had drills of what to do if there were bombs. It was at a paranoid time for everyone when Russians were making bombs aimed for New York City, and the President of t.v warning people. “All my life I had heard about the white crystals that fell out of American skies in the winter. From my desk I watched the fine powder dust the sidewalk and parked cars below” (Alvarez). This piece of text is very elaborate and shows that Yolanda is still a young innocent child that is unaware of many things. “Soon I picked up enough English to understand holocaust was in the air” (Alvarez). The author uses the word holocaust to illustrate fear that was going around (air) about the concerns of being bombed. The deeper understanding of this poem is that snow is the resemblance of peace because since there was fear of bombs, the snow shows a more calm peaceful idea of safety for Yolanda and the students. “Each flake was different, Sister Zoe had said, like a person, irreplaceable and beautiful” (Alvarez). This shows that it took everyone's mind off of the drills and the fear of destruction and fallouts and put there thoughts on a more “beautiful” thing/idea. The snowflakes were basically a distraction for the kids innocence of being corrupt and placed in a time of fear. Towards the beginning of the poem the tone was more of a gloomy straightforward but towards the end of the poem the writer is more joyful to see snow, especially since she has heard about it being in American and her first time actually seeing it in person.
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