What is the story about and its theme?
“Snow” is a short and beautiful story about developing love. It describes how two people come together in the United States from cultures at opposite ends of the world—Vietnam and Poland. Both major characters have been displaced from their native countries; both have lost their fathers; and both share a common fear of snow (which nevertheless unites them). Miss Giàu had lived in Vietnam, a tropical country, and first encounters snow in St. Louis after moving to the United States. She fears snow, she says, because when it first fell it
“came so quietly and everything was underneath it, like this white surface was the real earth and everything had died … and was buried” (paragraph 49).
Cohen has similar negative feelings about snow because after leaving Warsaw in 1939 he associated snow with the death of his father during the Holocaust. There are many other reasons for which men and women are drawn to each other, but in this story the similar attitudes toward snow seem to be sufficient to draw the two together despite the differences in age between Cohen and Miss Giàu.