Snow represents both rebirth and the unpredictability of life. It is found most prevalently in the scene of Ursula’s birth, during which there is a giant snowstorm. Dr. Fellowes and Mrs. Haddock are both prevented from reaching Fox Corner because of the snow, and Ursula dies because of the cord around her neck. In other timelines, Dr. Fellowes is able to make it and Ursula survives. Thus, the snowstorm evokes the randomness of life and the fine line between two different possible outcomes. Later in the novel, snow appears usually just before Ursula is about to be reborn again, affirming the snow’s association with fresh life. The fact that the snow is white also puts it in contrast with the darkness, which aptly comes to signify death in the story.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Snow appears in Life After Life. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Snow (I), 11 February 1910
Snow (II), 11 February 1910
Four Seasons Fill the Measure of the Year, 11 February 1910
Snow (VI), 11 February 1910
...thinks to herself that childbirth is a brutal affair. Sylvie goes to the window; the snow has “obliterated everything familiar.” She sees George Glover riding one of his horses through the... (full context)
Snow (VII), 11 February 1910
Peace, February 1947
Snow (IX), 11 February 1910
...help as Sylvie says there’s no point in calling Dr. Fellowes—he’ll never get through the snow. Bridget informs Sylvie that the baby is blue, strangled by her own umbilical cord. Sylvie... (full context)
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (I), November 1940
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (II), November 1940
A Long Hard War, June 1967
The End of the Beginning
Snow (X), 11 February 1910