Hunters in the Snow Questions and Answers
by Tobias Wolff

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How does the cold, hostile environment in "Hunters in The Snow" relate to its meaning?

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In some ways, this story is reminiscent of pieces written by Naturalism writers like Stephen Crane. A major component of those pieces is nature's uncaring attitude toward the plight of human struggles. Humans simply exist and shouldn't be given much more thought than that. We don't deserve nature's kindness. Readers can see that in this story in how nature never seems to help out the three hunters. They struggle to find deer, they struggle to move through the snow, and they struggle to get over, through, and around natural obstacles. There seems to be a cold indifference or even hostility from nature toward these three men. Those feelings fit quite well with the story because nature is essentially reflecting how the three men treat each other. The men might be friends, but readers can't help but think that maybe each man would be happier without the others. Kenny ridicules everybody, Frank intentionally feeds Tub's gluttony, and nobody seems to care that Kenny is wounded in the cold...

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