Scott Hicks's film Snow Falling on Cedars and Peter Hoeg's novel Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow

Scott Hicks's film Snow Falling on Cedars and Peter Hoeg's novel Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow

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Scott Hicks's film Snow Falling on Cedars and Peter Hoeg's novel Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow Both Scott Hicks's film Snow Falling on Cedars and Peter Hoeg's novel
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow create images of natural beauty and
purity and also of power and destruction with the same motif: snow.
The snow obviously shapes Smilla's world in a very conscious way, it
is her ally in her struggle; whilst Ishmael's world is under attack
literally and symbolically from this powerful natural force. The
flickering lights of the courthouse capture the fragility of human
reason and decency as the snow beats against the roof. Yet in both
endings the snow comes to represent freshness and purity, and it is
through the stories of Smilla and Ishmael that Hoeg and Hicks explore
this transition. The snow falling in Smilla's world is quanick, large,
light and magical and the fog obscuring Karl's world, possesses an
equally mysterious quality. From these points of departure, both
Hoeg's novel and Hicks's film begin to create worlds characterised and
shaped by formidable weather. Both stories are powerfully conveyed by
the vivid imagery of their settings. Hoeg opens his novel with a
powerful prologue, set at a funeral; Smilla instantly informs us that
weather, the seemingly limitless "December darkness", has influenced
her mood. Smilla's connection with her environment is stressed
throughout the novel and is strikingly apparent in the conclusion. She
is left alone on a pure-white glacier, in the freshly fallen snow. The
natural order has returned, inviting her to a new beginning. ...


... middle of paper ...


...s as the stories progress, sustains the
characters' reality. The delayed impact of these motifs, due to their
intrinsic connection with the narrative, furthers the author's and
director's formation of theme and its relevance to the reader or
viewer. Connecting the imagery directly with the plot, Hoeg and Hicks
implicitly shape their readers'/viewers' understanding of their
natural yet human worlds. Ishmael's world ends covered in the truth as
white as the snow in Smilla's biblical allusion, whilst Smilla ends
alone in the pure white, fresh snow. She faces a new beginning and
with it the knowledge that there is no single truth and therefore no
certainty in beginning or conclusion.



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[4] Dialogue in film.

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[6] Page 64

[7] Dialogue in film.

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