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Snow Flakes

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Book Overview: 

Hawthorne describes a snow storm in his native Salem and the myriad emotions and ideas this wintry storm elicits.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The cloud-spirits are slowly weaving her white mantle. As yet, indeed, there is barely a rime like hoarfrost over the brown surface of the street; the withered green of the grass-plat is still discernible; and the slated roofs of the houses do but begin to look gray, instead of black. All the snow that has yet fallen within the circumference of my view, were it heaped up together, would hardly equal the hillock of a grave. Thus gradually, by silent and stealthy influences, are great changes wrought. These little snow-particles, which the storm-spirit flings by handfuls through the air, will bury the great earth under their accumulated mass, nor permit her to behold her sister sky again for dreary months. We, likewise, shall lose sight of our mother's familiar visage, and must content ourselves with looking heavenward the oftener.

Now, leaving the storm to do his appointed office, let us sit down, pen in hand, by our fireside. Gloomy as it may seem, ther. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Hawthorne describes the horrors of a harsh New England winter. There are many allusions to death, end and burial in this story, winter even is personified as kind of rough deity! What a great imagination this author has. Best read inside, with a warm drink in reach and no plans to go outside. One of

First published in United States Magazine and Democratic Review, I (February, 1838), “Snow Flakes" is a short familiar essay describing the progress of a typical New England snowstorm, complete with vivid local details (“the passage of a sleigh, with a boy clinging behind, and ducking his head to es