Hunters in the Snow Questions and Answers
by Tobias Wolff

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How is the setting meaningful in "Hunters in the Snow"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The setting of "Hunters in the Snow" is significant as the snow disguises objects and pathways, and many of the markers and boundaries are hidden. The cold of this environment is also reflective of the unemotional reactions of the two other men to Kenny's injury.

While the three men hunt together, they seem to lack any real fraternity; there are no lines visible, just as the snow covers the earth. In the snowy woods, any warmth that does exist among the men is also covered over. Kenny ridicules Tub for his obesity, Tub lags behind and is not partnered with either of the others, and Frank makes little effort to include Tubs or give him any sympathy. Their selfishness is evinced early in the story as Kenny and Frank do not worry about picking Tub up, and he must wait an hour in the cold. Indeed, there seems to be a camaraderie that is missing in the relationship of the three men whose humor is acrid rather than warm. When they do converse, it is often in sharp retorts to one another. 

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Asher Wismer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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toffoletto | Student

It can be said that the cold, hostile environment is an outward expression of how the men behave towards one another. Kenny is rather hostile to Tub, while Frank is cold and indifferent to Tub and his pleas for help.