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"Compare the adult world with a child's perception in 'Snowdrops'".

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"Compare the adult world with a child's perception in 'Snowdrops'". Through a child's eyes, the significance of death and all that surrounds it is somewhat different from the reality. 'Snowdrops' is narrated by a boy of the age of six, who actively takes note of the everyday happenings or abnormalities around him but who is not yet old enough or learned enough to associate these with the feelings and responsibilities of adults. One cold March morning (note that the cold weather is significant as it deliberately outlines the community's feelings about the young man's death) the boy overhears his parents talking about a death at breakfast time. His father enters the room and "fills it with bigness", emphasising the seemingly superior position of adults in the view of a child. The boy's father tells his family of the incident in which the boy, whose family they are in contact with, lost his life. He claims that "the Meredith boy" was "friendly" with one of the teachers at his son's school. Without the boy realising, his mother has to warn his father not to give away too much information - the teacher involved is the boy's own class teacher and the mother intends to protect her son from the realisation. Luckily, their son fails to make the connection from his father's mispronunciation of the teacher's surname ("Webber") ...read more.


This is, of course, the reason why it is such a shock to see her so obviously upset by the funeral procession, later in the story. The boy still thinks that Miss Webster did not cry when she hurt her finger because she did not feel pain...in the world of childhood, pain is not a prominent factor of life. Later in the day, as Norris describes, Miss Webster sets her children some artwork to do - she simply instructs them to "draw whatever they liked". An older individual would be puzzled by the simple task set, but unbeknown to the children; their teacher is grieving and is feeling too desperately unhappy to teach the class physically. She is described to be "sitting at her desk, her head in her hands". This is of course not the behaviour of a content person; rather the actions of someone who is mourning and seriously agonized. Still, in order to carry on with the day of teaching, Miss Webster reads her class a story. She "from time to time turned her head to look at the big clock in the hall". None of the children realize that this repeated movement would be in order to become aware of the time of the funeral procession. The teacher's voice "seemed to be hoarser than usual" but the boy does not think to analyze this and therefore cannot come to the realization that his teacher is struggling to conceal her anguish. ...read more.


This is similar to Miss Webster and her crying when she sees the people attending the funeral. It seems as though she is weak and fragile but the reader is aware that as adults the people involved in the story will need to be strong to overcome such circumstances as deaths of those close to them. The way in which the petals of the snowdrops' petals fall forward look like the bowed heads of the mourners at the funeral. Overall, the two worlds of adults and childhood are clearly both presented to us in the story. The boy's father would clearly have liked to go to the Meredith boy's funeral, but cannot because of work commitments. This is the same for Miss Webster, who as the boy's girlfriend should have been at the funeral; but knew that her class would be disappointed as she had promised to take them to see the snowdrops. She could not afford to break down in front of her class for fear of upsetting them as well as herself. In the adult world, the men and women have to fight with their pain and their needs, in order to protect the children. For the children, even though there are many different things going on around them, they are innocent and protected, and so do not notice that anything is wrong. Adults are faced with the harsh reality of deaths and sacrifices for others, but the children are not yet knowledgeable enough to understand. ...read more.

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