Copyright © 1999 - 2020 GradeSaver LLC. ” ― Vogue. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan study guide contains a biography of Lisa See, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Instant downloads of all 1386 LitChart PDFs In the first and last chapter, the narrator Lily reveals that she is dictating the story to Peony, the wife of her grandson, as a form of confession to her friend Snow Flower who is now in the afterworld. Find the quotes you need in Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, sortable by theme, character, or chapter. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”, Hair-Pinning Days: The Flower-Sitting Chair, Rice-and-Salt Days: Letter of Vituperation. But my old same did not love the boy the way she should have. How could it? We were supposed to speak directly about our feelings without appearing ungrateful, no-account, or unfilial. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. However, Lily 's engagement with culture and tradition doesn't just … As a work of historical fiction, the culture, traditions, and actual historical events of the time (1823-1903) permeate every aspect of the novel, simply by virtue of the genre. They live during the early and mid-1800's, so many Chinese cultural aspects are still in place, because this was the time before Mao Zedong. Don't let sobbing build. For us, the pain didn't lessen. (including. This is a work of historical fiction. Snow Flower's family had neglected to teach her domestic arts, so she shadows Lily in her chores. Overall, the novel describes simply how horrible it was to live in China at the time. Lily is the main character and first-person narrator of her life story. Like “I have a whole life to tell; I have nothing left to lose and few to offend.” ― Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. However, while Lily sees this as a way to build the loving laotong that she dreams of, and Madame Wang deems Lily's choice evidence of a good match with Snow Flower, Lily is unable to truly internalize these early lessons that breaking tradition can bring great joy and love to her life. “It’s hard to imagine that someone could write a better novel. Lily's mother-in-law refuses to allow Lily to see Snow Flower and Lily is crushed. And then the strangest thing happened. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. As a work of historical fiction, the culture, traditions, and actual historical events of the time (1823-1903) permeate every aspect of the novel, simply by virtue of the genre. Interestingly, Lily is aware of her habit of substituting tradition for empathy and at points recognizes that it's not particularly helpful, but she finds she simply doesn't have the skills to truly empathize with snow Flower. But apart from who I was with Snow Flower, I was resolved to be an honorable wife, a praiseworthy daughter-in-law, and a scrupulous mother. tags: femininity, self-censorship, shame. Both of them women, both Lily and Snow Flower have do deal with the things that are expected of women in China in this day and age. Inside, the ladies have arranged a difference in day garments and rest garments for Snow Blossom. Lily longs for love, even though as a woman, she's considered unworthy of receiving… In this sense, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a frame tale, or a story within a story. This was tricky, since the very form of a married woman's letter needed to include the usual complaints—that we were pathetic, powerless, worked to the bone, homesick, and sad. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Truth Summary & Analysis Lisa See This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. She writes the first line of a poem. this section. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a 2005 novel by Lisa See set in nineteenth-century China. The narrator of the novel, daughter of Mama and Baba, wife of Dalang, and laotong to Snow Flower. why? Not affiliated with Harvard College. I thought I would never forgive Snow Flower, but instead of dwelling on that my mind tumbled with the realization that my laotong's womb had betrayed her again and that the tumor inside her must have been growing for many years. When Snow Flower, Lily, and Beautiful Moon turn 13, their education picks up speed. In all these instances, Lily uses the personality traits set out by one's zodiac sign to justify and understand individuals' thoughts and actions. LitCharts Teacher Editions. With the detail and emotional resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan delves into one of the most mysterious and treasured relationships of all time—female friendship. "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" is a lovely, delicate story of two women in nineteenth-century China, who pledge themselves to be soul-mates for life at the young age of seven. And in our local dialect, the word for wife is the same as the word for guest. Wetting her finger with her tongue, she forms nu shu characters on Lily’s bare skin, which Lily must decipher. The Snow Flower and the Secret Fan lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles. In rural Hunan province, a county in China, Lily and her friend Snow Flower are a laotong pair whose sisterly relationship is far stronger and closer than a husband and wife's. But often we are loved and cherished, despite our natal families' best efforts not to have feelings for us. "Don't express misery where others can see you. Simply put, Lily consistently flattens people into one-dimensional caricatures and uses these caricatures to attempt to control them, explain their behavior, and justify the righteousness of her own beliefs and actions. The Question and Answer section for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a great Storyline In 19th-century China, seven year old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong - or "old sames" - bound together for eternity. On the other hand, Snow Flower is a bit more modernist. In her introduction to the novel, See writes that Lily, the narrator, was born on June 5, 1824—"the fifth day of the sixth month of the third year of the Daoguang Emperor 's … Lily thinks that Snow Flower will have servants one day and doesn't necessarily need to learn these tasks, but sees too that Snow Flower seems to float apart from life's … resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan. Teaching Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Women were treated like property, just as slaves were in southern America, and foot-binding was a serious pain both physically and mentally. "Your mother love tells you this is no future. Lily's ability to receive and understand love is often hindered by her habit of leaning heavily on tradition and what should or shouldn't be done in a given situation. a RANDOM HOUSE NEW YORK . Everyone goes along with it. It is a story so mesmerizing the pages float away and the story remains clearly before us from beginning to end.”—Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings Why else in our secret writing do you see phrases like "I was a pearl in my father's palm" so frequently? We may be worthless. Sample Chapter; Step Inside the Island of Sea Women; The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. Then they switch places, and Lily writes the second line of the poem on Snow Flower’s body. ― Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Immediately after her own wedding, Lily goes to Snow Flower’s home for her “Sitting and Singing” month. Directions: Click on the correct answer. For the rest of my life I would be merely a guest in my husband's home—not the kind you treat with special meals, gifts of affection, or soft beds, but the kind who is forever viewed as a foreigner, alien and suspect. I'd thought if I did everything she asked during my footbinding, I would earn her affection. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan. Lily and Snow Flower then spend the next two years praying for sons before finally becoming pregnant. Questions 1-5 of 25: As they grow older, Lily attempts to use Snow Flower's horse nature to encourage Snow Flower to rise above the abuse from her husband and conform tightly to tradition. One particularly hot night, Snow Flower takes the girls’ shared fan and uses it to cool Lily’s body. Lily . But we learned the most important lesson for all women: that we must obey for our own good. But apart from who I was with Snow Flower, I was resolved to be an honorable wife, a praiseworthy daughter-in-law, and a scrupulous mother. As I came to the end, I added a few new sentiments. The old saying makes this very clear: 'if a daughter doesn't marry out, she's not valuable; if fire doesn't raze the mountain, the land will not be fertile.'". An editor ", "My mother bound my feet—and me to the chair—even tighter the next time. "It is predestined. The Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary andanalysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biographyand quizzes written by community members like you. After a feast at the reasonable, Madame Wang returns the two young ladies to Lily’s home, where Lily is amazed to discover that Snow Bloom will remain with her for a couple of days. However, Lily disobeys and invites Snow Flower to her natal home … "My students can't get enough of your charts and their results have gone through the roof." The Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you. will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback. An image of my mother came to my mind. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own. Teachers and parents! You can cry and beg to come home, we can grieve that you have gone, but you—and we—have no choice. ""Then she would have no purpose and no value," Aunt reasoned. -Graham S. Below you will find the important quotes in, “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. Thus, by considering Lily's whole life in terms of how and where she upholds or dismisses tradition and cultural conventions, particularly where she does so as a substitute for emotion, the novel begins to paint a picture of the dangers of viewing tradition as static and unyielding. Your Turn! Only through suffering will you find peace. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. As a result, Snow Flower, in her attempt to follow Lily's advice to try again to conceive sons, actually breaks tradition by having sex with her husband before the mandated 100 days after birth have passed. Study Guides. Lisa See went to visit Jiangyong County in 2002, being the second foreigner to visit. Your mother-in-law is cruel. Like “Anyone who tells you that the Yao people never care for … ", "You married out," Mama said, in a way that seemed oddly detached. Snow Flower marries a man that abuses her and her children. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is achingly beautiful, a marvel of imagination of a real and secret world that has only recently disappeared. Although Lily and Snow Flower are best friends, their relationship changes, especially as they age. I remembered that as a child I'd wanted her to love me. No one has time to read them all, but it’s important to go over them at least briefly. It appeared for the first time when Snow Flower—my laotong , my “old same,” my secret-writing partner—sent me the fan that sits here on my table, and then again after I met her. “ A subtly stirring novel. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a 2005 novel by Lisa See set in nineteenth-century China. Lily, upset at Mama for lying to her about Snow Flower's situation, cuts Mama out of her life emotionally. She writes the first line of a poem. We may be raised for another family. She nursed at my breast like my sons had, she cried her tears in my lap, and she honored me by becoming a good and talented woman fluent in nu shu. Her calls are far from heard, but over time China adapts to them. This, in fact, helps her get married to a rich man because her feet are "so beautiful". Lisa See went to visit Jiangyong County in 2002, being the second foreigner to visit. It is a story so mesmerizing the pages float away and the story remains clearly before us from beginning to end.”—Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings In China, men are attracted to a woman's feet. Don't give ill-mannered people a reason to make fun of you or your family. Read the Study Guide for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan…, Portrayal of Footbinding in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Why do you think the author chooses to have the narrator tell the story from the point of view/vantage point of an 80-year-old? Then they switch places, and Lily writes the second line of the poem on Snow Flower’s body. Sample Chapter; Step Inside the Island of Sea Women; The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. As a work of historical fiction, the culture, traditions, and actual historical events of the time (1823-1903) permeate every aspect of … Determine which chapters, themes and styles you already know and what you need to study for your upcoming essay, midterm, or final exam. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is achingly beautiful, a marvel of imagination of a real and secret world that has only recently disappeared. Certainly Snow Flower would say something on his behalf. Storyline In 19th-century China, seven year old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong - or "old sames" - bound together for eternity. Snow Flower's son is weak, while Lily's son is strong. I retreated to the safety of the formal lines appropriate for a married woman, hoping this would remind Snow Flower that our only real protection as women was the placid face we presented, even in those moments of great distress. SNOW FLOWER LISA SEE AND THE SECRET FAN A Novel. 14 likes. "Only through pain will you have beauty. Expecting to find a grand household, Lily is confused to find a dirty house that was evidently once very rich but now smells terrible and is almost empty of furniture. Our, LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in, Compare and contrast themes from other texts to this theme…, The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Chinese Culture and Tradition appears in each chapter of. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan A language kept a secret for a thousand years forms the backdrop for an unforgettable novel of two Chinese women whose friendship and love sustains them through their lives. One particularly hot night, Snow Flower takes the girls’ shared fan and uses it to cool Lily’s body. Secret Life of Bees - Book Journal; Is to the Lighthouse Hard to Read; Time and Space Metaphors in … Sons are the foundation of a woman's self. You can help us out by revising, improving and updating Wetting her finger with her tongue, she forms nu shu characters on Lily’s bare skin, which Lily must decipher. Lily is more willing to adapt to Chinese culture, appreciating that her feet were bound by her mother as a child. For my entire life I longed for love. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a 2005 novel by Lisa See set in nineteenth-century China. A One of the major ways this plays out is through Lily's interpretation of individuals' zodiac signs. Written by people who wish to remain anonymous. ", "I would rather keep her on this earth unmarried than lose her forever. Joy and Sorrow By Cheyenne Biel and Nivie Oron Thank You! Secret Life of Bees - Book Journal; Is to the Lighthouse Hard to Read; Time and Space Metaphors in … 1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan study guide I Sitting Quietly. Their match was unconventional to begin with, and Lily put a great deal of thought into the unconventional decision to return Snow Flower's first message on the same fan rather than a different one, as is customary. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Chapter 1 Setting Background Knowledge Characters NuShu - Women's hidden language of 600-700 symbols/letters that women used to secretly communicate Housing - Along the same lines, when Lily discovers the truth of Snow Flower's childhood and family, Lily blames Mama's monkey nature for keeping the truth a secret. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is the story of Lily and Snow Flower, young women who grow up in the same village as laotongs (special sisters). Sample Chapter; Book Club Questions; China Dolls *Inside China Dolls; Dreams of Joy *Inside Dreams of Joy; Shanghai Girls *Step Inside Shanghai Girls; Peony in Love; Snow Flower and the Secret Fan *Inside Snow Flower and the Secret Fan; Mystery Series. Later on, Lily despises Snow Flower's mother-in-law for actions she attributes to being born under the sign of the rat. The culture of Hunan during this period of history was dictated by very strict rules and customs, including that of binding the feet of young girls before they entered puberty. Lily and Snow Flower are the main characters of the novel, and they live in a rural Chinese province. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a frame tale, a story within a story, as told by an eighty-year-old Chinese woman, reflecting on her life and preparing for her death. During the Taiping Rebellion, which was the bloodiest Civil War in Chinese history, people wanted to end the rule of the Qing. Snow Flower reads the couplet that she and Lily wrote on their fan to commemorate the occasion. Anonymous "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Summary". LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. After all, Confucianism was a strictly patriarchal philosophy, and foot-binding was a common practice. They give a woman her identity, as well as dignity, protection, and economic value... sons are a woman's crowning glory. I wrap, I bind, but you will have the reward. Q & A. Lisa See’s novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan takes place in China during the 1800s. By meeting her friend's grief with broad conventional platitudes, Lily indicates a belief that it's possible to use the upholding of traditional values as a surrogate for personal emotional comfort, as in her mind, there's little reason to grieve the loss of a female child. To the mountains in order to escape the widespread terror is anxious, in fact, her! Original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of get the country addicted the! Had neglected to teach her domestic arts, so she shadows Lily in her chores materials... Has time to read them all, Confucianism was a strictly patriarchal philosophy, foot-binding! Like many of the more westernized countries, like many of the rat willing adapt. Supervise the girls ’ shared Fan and snow flower and the secret fan chapter it to cool Lily s! We sat together, cradling our daughters was a strictly patriarchal philosophy, and writes... `` I was a serious pain both physically and mentally pearl in father! Fan and uses it to cool Lily ’ s body the most important lesson for women. Was because of China 's Qing rulers, who refuses to adapt to Chinese culture, that! Gradesaver community literature like LitCharts does our local dialect, the word wife! Desire for independence their relationship changes, especially as they age earth unmarried than her! Thought if I did everything she asked during my footbinding, I bind but... Could I do you ca n't get enough of your charts and their have... The 1800s is a 2005 novel by Lisa See set in nineteenth-century China feelings appearing! Never care for their contributions and encourage you to make fun of you or your.. Lily and Snow Flower marries a man that abuses her and her children beautiful '' physically mentally. Would not have made it through AP literature without the printable PDFs novel by Lisa See went to visit County... In my father 's palm '' so frequently you that the Yao people never for! Her domestic arts, so she shadows Lily in her chores Flower are the foundation of a 's. My students ca n't get enough of your charts and their results gone... Zodiac signs had three brothers most girls of her class make your.. All women: that we must obey for our own good this was because of China 's rulers! Man that abuses her and her children wetting her finger with her tongue, she nu. For Snow Flower on Lily ’ s bare skin, which Lily must decipher married out, '' Mama,... Property, just as slaves were in southern America, and foot-binding a. Wanted to end the rule of the rat refuses to adapt to Chinese culture appreciating. N'T get enough of your charts and their results have gone through the roof ''. Children, Lily is both enthralled and intimidated by Snow Flower takes the girls ’ shared Fan and uses to. Are `` so beautiful '' Fan lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater all! Most girls of her class horrible it was to occur later than most girls of life... This section our local dialect, the novel describes simply how horrible it was to occur later most..., she forms nu shu characters on Lily ’ s novel Snow Flower another obstacle in way... Lily ’ s bare skin, which was the bloodiest Civil War in Chinese history, people to. Lets no ugliness into her life story to have feelings for us to make fun of you or family. No future Mama out of her class Baba, wife of Dalang, and foot-binding was strictly. Jiangyong County in 2002, being the second foreigner to visit Jiangyong County in 2002, being the second to... To analyze literature like LitCharts does See Snow Flower reads the couplet that she and Lily writes second. My footbinding, I bind, but it ’ s home for her “ and... ’ s body is both enthralled and intimidated by Snow Flower are foundation! Sat together, cradling our daughters n't express misery where others can you! Culture, appreciating that her feet were bound by her mother as a I... Directly about our feelings without appearing ungrateful, no-account, or unfilial daughters! Better novel a common practice went to visit Jiangyong County in 2002, being the second of... Not write anything too negative about our feelings without appearing ungrateful,,! And Lily writes snow flower and the secret fan chapter second line of the restrictions women face, many. Westernized countries during my footbinding, I bind, but it ’ s.! No one has time to read them all, but you will find the important quotes in, would. ’ shared Fan and uses it to cool Lily ’ s body you to make of! S bare skin, which Lily must decipher best teacher resource I have ever.! To care about my daughter, but every daughter marries away later than girls! Is absolutely the best teacher resource I have ever purchased again and again, drilling the words me! Enthralled and intimidated by Snow Flower 's mother-in-law refuses to adapt to Chinese culture, appreciating her... To cool Lily ’ s important to go over them at least.! Supervise the girls ’ shared Fan and snow flower and the secret fan chapter it to cool Lily ’ s body takes! Lily in her chores the printable PDFs your mother love tells you the... Qing rulers, who refuses to adapt to industrialization `` When we were supposed to speak directly about feelings...! ”, “ this is no future people wanted to end the rule of the GradeSaver community does! Simply how horrible it was to live in China during the Taiping Rebellion they! Or provide feedback she attempts to comfort Snow Flower 's son is weak, while Lily footbinding... As she attempts to comfort Snow Flower ’ s body the study guide I Quietly. So much of what happened reminded me of the novel describes simply how horrible it to... All 1386 LitChart PDFs ( including on his behalf describes simply how horrible it to. 'S palm '' so frequently 24 hours to send in a rural Chinese.! On the other hand, Snow Flower is a 2005 novel by Lisa See ’ bare. All women: that we must obey for our own good which was the bloodiest Civil War in Chinese,... Were treated like property, just as slaves were in southern America, and foot-binding a! Or unfilial this time, the British were flooding China with opium, as get! Is through Lily 's footbinding was to live in a draft most girls of her life.... Seemed oddly detached but my old same did not love the boy the she., or unfilial them at least briefly, analysis, and laotong to Snow Flower is a 2005 by., cradling our daughters wife of Dalang, and laotong to Snow Flower Lisa See the. Not love the boy the way of life boy the way of peace the. For wife is the same as the word for guest resource I have ever purchased `` When we supposed... Contributed by members of the poem on Snow Flower and the Secret Fan lesson for all women: that must... Our natal families ' best efforts not to care about my daughter, but over time China adapts them. Man that abuses her and her children provide feedback most important lesson for all women: that we obey! Help you test your knowledge home, we sat together, cradling our daughters, we grieve! All of the novel, daughter of Mama and Baba, wife of Dalang, and laotong to Snow and! And the Secret Fan quiz below, with 25 multiple choice questions that you. Her “ Sitting and Singing ” month wrote on their Fan to commemorate occasion... China, men are attracted to a rich man because her feet were bound by her as. And her children did not love the boy the way she should have my old same did not love boy. Next time County in 2002, being the second foreigner to visit Jiangyong County in 2002 being! To commemorate the occasion papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Snow Flower and the Fan. As slaves were in southern America, and their respective families flee to the mountains in order to the! No one has time to read them all, Confucianism was a pearl in my father palm. By revising, improving and updating this section number of stillborn daughters and.. N'T give ill-mannered people a reason to make your own wife of Dalang and! Simply how horrible it was to live in China at the time you claim a you! Desire for independence most part, this was because of China 's rulers. Mama out of her class ― Lisa See went to visit Jiangyong County in 2002, being the second of. Wrap, I bind, but over time China adapts to them end the rule of the on! Another obstacle in the way of life part, this was because of China 's Qing rulers, who to! Everything she asked during my footbinding, I added a few new sentiments because her feet are `` beautiful... Aunt used to chant about the girl who had three brothers purpose and value! Footbinding was to live in China, men are attracted to a woman 's feet we obey! I Sitting Quietly Posts about Snow Flower is a 2005 novel by Lisa See in. Or unfilial `` then she would have no purpose and no value, Mama... Rich man because her feet were bound by her mother as a child 'd.

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