Is Micheal dead at the end of Pete Hamill's Snow in August?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Pete Hamill is not completely clear regarding Michael's position at the end of Snow in August. At times in chapter thirty five and thirty six, Michael looks into the windows of a store and does not see his reflection. He and the golem are invisible. This could force some readers to infer that Michael has passed away. Soon after though, Michael sees himself again and challenges Frankie and his gang. Golem and Michael are able to defeat Frankie and his gang (through golem's strength). 

After defeating Frankie, Michael goes to see Rabbi Judah Hirsch. Over the course of the novel, Michael and the rabbi have become a part of one another. Curiously, as Michael ages, the rabbi grows younger. The image of Michael and the rabbi at the end of the novel could be interpreted in two very different ways. First, one could state that Michael gave up his own life in order to save the life of the rabbi. Second, once the rabbi is healed, Micheal is able detach himself from the rabbi and go on with his own life. 

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