One of the most important themes of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is the theme of friendship. Snow Flower and Lily establish a friendship that starts in childhood and ends in Snow Flower's death. The fan is a symbol and a record of their friendship as they write on the blades of the fan in the secret language of the Chinese women. The girls have lived through the shared experiences of suffering through the traditional foot-binding, growing into young women, getting married and having children. They survive life challeges and betrayal, and the in the end, Lily is reminded that Snow Flower thinks they will be reunited when "the heavenly spirits unite us."