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Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow Essay

1159 words - 5 pages

The book I would like to present is called “Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow” by Peter Hoeg. It was the intricate title that called my attention. I immediately thought about the Eskimos that have more than twenty different words for snow, but the question what exactly the book was going to be about still remained open. It was February, a fatiguing winter period and I was longing for someone with fresh approach to “icy” things that seemed totally unbearable by the end of the coldest season. I couldn’t but start the book that was like an enormous glacier, with arctic cold and frosty beauty coming from it. But let’s start from the beginning.
First of all I’d like to introduce the author Peter ...view middle of the document...

Smilla spent the early part of her life in Greenland although her father is a rich Danish doctor, her mother was Inuit hunter who wouldn't leave her homeland or abandon her way of life. During her Greenland childhood Smilla developed an almost intuitive understanding of all types of snow and their characteristics. It was only after her mother died that Smilla was brought to Denmark by her father though she spent many years running away, trying to return "home". She occasionally succeeded, but was always brought back. She's never really settled into Denmark, and still views herself as an outsider. Smilla lives in an apartment block called "the White Cells" close to the harbour - her neighbours are also Greenlanders, a community apart on the fringes of Danish society. She feels "the same way about solitude as some people feel about the blessing of the church". Still, she soon becomes close to Isaiah, the son of a neighbour. Isaiah's mother, Juliane, is an alcoholic and there are times when Smilla takes on Juliane's role - reading to, feeding even sometimes bathing Isaiah. The main heroine is in her late thirties and works as a freelance mathematician and expert on the physics of ice and snow, although she has no formal academic qualifications, having left university without taking a degree. She is also known to the police as a former left-wing activist, which means that they do not welcome her intervention in the case. She discovers, however, that Isaiah's father was an employee of a Danish mining corporation and that he died in mysterious circumstances during an expedition to Greenland organised by this corporation. She begins to suspect that Isaiah's death was also in some way linked to the company and learns that they are organising another voyage to Gela Alta, a small island off the coast of Greenland, although she does not know what the object of this voyage is. Nevertheless, she joins the crew of the ship as a stewardess, just ahead of the police who are trying to arrest her, believing that the key to the mystery lies on this remote island. Smilla does get lucky with her investigation and there are quite a few coincidences, but there's an awful lot more to the book than just the investigation.
Smilla herself is an interesting personality to discuss. In some ways she is a not very appealing heroine. She seems cold and unemotional and can be...

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