What the Future Holds
Kayla Kyoko Kessler
Certain types of books instantly capture your attention, reeling you in like fish to bait - and then there are others that can be so bad you couldn't even bear to look at, even dreaded, the second page. The kind that make you want to drop it, leave, and forget it had ever been published. "Snow" by Simon Collings falls on the bridge of in between - actually leaning more towards confusion than anything else. Vanessa is a little self-centered, and Robert just acts like a girl; we all know who wears the pants in that relationship. Vanessa has such a strange mind, too, and is constantly second-guessing her future, trying to make it different from her past, but she's just too reluctant to go for it. I understand her position - being afraid of what the future holds. We all come upon that point sometime in our life. I sympathize with her motives and intentions, but it doesn't mean I like her as a character. I will be analyzing the tone and setting of "Snow." The whole story, really, didn't intentionally seemed to be a story at all - but it gave light to things that we are faced with every day, and makes you wonder about you own life, and how it could affect yours.
Since the beginning of the story, Vanessa has been torn with indecision about trying to imagine a future with Robert - "She cannot see herself with Robert for the rest of her life. She wants to break out, but doesn't know where to." Throughout the length of the story, the couple has their ups and downs, due mostly to Vanessa; she distances herself from him, trying to find a way to cope with her thoughts and make her own reality. The tone seems to reflect itself based on Vanessa's thoughts - sullen, worried, pessimistic, even repulsed ("Vanessa hopes he isn't going to touch her") - yet there are times throughout the story that she seems to genuinely care for him ("He play-acts for her benefit, and she laughs" and "). In the middle of the story, they're on thin ice as they stay together in a cabin, making only light small talk, and while she does find ways that he wouldn't fit into her future, she couldn't imagine one without him ("Though she feels she cannot stay with Robert, she cannot imagine the end either"). She "cannot see Robert as the father of her children," because, at that point, she wants the presence of children, to feel "that she has done something with her life." And yet, as the story comes to a close, she begins to realize, as the New Year fireworks flare in the air, that he is her future. All along, she might've just been deluding herself when she thought she could do without him, while, really, she had already made up her mind.
Sincerely, I thought this story was good. Not over the top, because it really had no point, but because it made me think about my future. Not with boyfriends and worrying about having children, but of making it different than it was from my past. Changing it, instead of a constant monotony like Vanessa felt. Nobody wants to go on with their life and not experience the birth of a child, education, meeting a person that could quite possibly be someone you'd want to spend the rest of your life with. We have to go out there and get it - or maybe it's right in front of us, as if it's been there all along, and we just haven't noticed it. We have our worries - and we can control our future. Only if we try.
The setting was one of peace, calmness, a serenity you find rarely anywhere else. Like those times when you want to just sink into a bathtub after a long day and just rest and relax. Open your eyes to a beauty you normally would overlook in everyday life. The setting had an impact on the story because of the surroundings. "'It depends on your point of view,'" is what Robert said. When they had been staying in the cabin, there had been journal entries of the previous visitors who had stayed in their cabin. "In the visitors' book there are entries back to 1996. Many of them are disconcertingly personal, especially the religious ones." The entries provided "talk of private grief and individual heartache, of the healing power of beauty and quietness." The landscape was said to be beautiful, with a calm clarity, a balance. The setting affected Vanessa's view in such a way that it helped her see the beauty of "what comes, comes." She learned to see it differently, and in turn, realized that she did want Robert to be in her life.
Places like where they had been staying make it possible for you to see the beauty around you through new eyes. I think the setting affected Vanessa's and Robert's relationship, because in the beginning Vanessa had been stubborn and a little unenthusiastic, due, I think, to the strange terrain.