Feed on

In “Snow” by Robert Butler, the author really captures the narrator as a person, giving her flaws, interesting quirks, insecurities, and realistic thoughts. She feels like an outsider, a person from Vietnam who has not become an American yet, but has not found a Vietnamese community in the United States either. She thinks this may be because the other Vietnamese people have already become Americans. The author shows how the narrator has insecurities and feels like a loner, not something that is uncommon in literature, but it is done in a way that doesn’t feel over the top. It feels believable and shows a real human desire to want to belong and worrying that everyone else fits in. This idea that she doesn’t view herself to be an American yet carries on throughout the story but when it is mentioned she doesn’t come outright and say she doesn’t feel like she belongs, it is written more subtly. She talks about how she thought all Americans celebrated Christmas, even Jewish Americans, while she herself said she doesn’t celebrate it because she is Buddhist. In this moment she is clearly setting herself apart from Americans who celebrate the holiday, no matter what their religious affiliation is.

Her dialogue also makes her feel like a real person. In some places, it is almost painfully awkward. When she says “I am not a lazy girl” it felt awkward, like she was a real person speaking instead of a character having lines written for her. She also questions herself after she says things, another realistic trait. She sweats, she over-analyzes, she worries.

Another moment that felt real was when she finds out that Mr. Cohen lost his father but she does not feel sympathy for him. That seems like a real human moment when she knows she should be more understanding, but she isn’t. It gives her a very relatable trait that maybe isn’t positive but is real.

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