Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower Character Analysis

Daughter of Snow Flower's Mother and Snow Flower's Father, wife of the butcher, and laotong to Lily. Snow Flower is very sophisticated as a child and is obsessed with birds, flying away, and breaking rules, in part because she was born in the year of the horse and has a free spirit. Throughout her laotong match with Lily, she encourages Lily to push boundaries and defy conventions. However, she keeps many secrets that anger Lily, although she keeps them because she fears losing Lily's affection. When Snow Flower marries out to a family that abuses her in a variety of ways, her spirit begins to break. She grieves the loss of stillborn daughters and one son who dies at age five, becomes nearly suicidal at points, and suffers domestic violence at the hand of her husband. Her only joys in life are her friendship with Lily and "bed business" with her husband, although when Lily proves herself unable to show empathy, Snow Flower turns to a group of sworn sisters (Plum Blossom, Willow, and Lotus) for comfort and support. Later in life she contracts uterine cancer that eventually kills her. She loves Lily unconditionally through their entire relationship.

Snow Flower Quotes in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

The Snow Flower and the Secret Fan quotes below are all either spoken by Snow Flower or refer to Snow Flower. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women and Gender Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan published in 2006.
Daughter Days: Snow Flower Quotes

"My mother bound my feet—and me to the chair—even tighter the next time."
"You can't fight your fate," I said. "It is predestined."

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower (speaker), Snow Flower's Mother
Related Symbols: Feet
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

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Daughter Days: Learning Quotes

"Each word must be placed in context," she reminded us each day at the end of our lesson. "Much tragedy could result from a wrong reading."

Related Characters: Aunt (speaker), Lily , Snow Flower
Related Symbols: Lily and Snow Flower's Fan
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

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Hair-Pinning Days: Truth Quotes

All of it was women's work—the very work that men think is merely decorative—and it was being used to change the lives of the women themselves.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower, Snow Flower's Mother
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:

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As I came to the end, I added a few new sentiments. "Don't express misery where others can see you. Don't let sobbing build. Don't give ill-mannered people a reason to make fun of you or your family. Follow the rules. Smooth your anxious brow. We will be old sames forever."

Related Characters: Snow Flower, The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband, Snow Flower's Mother-in-Law
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:

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Rice-and-Salt Days: Sons Quotes

We could not write anything too negative about our circumstances. This was tricky, since the very form of a married woman's letter needed to include the usual complaints—that we were pathetic, powerless, worked to the bone, homesick, and sad. We were supposed to speak directly about our feelings without appearing ungrateful, no-account, or unfilial.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower
Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:

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... Now that I lived in the Lu household, where all the men knew men's writing, I saw that our secret women's writing wasn't much of a secret. Then it dawned on me that men throughout the county had to know about nu shu. How could they not? ... Men just considered our writing beneath them.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:

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With her bold act, I realized the true purpose of our secret writing. It was not to compose girlish notes to each other or even to introduce us to the women in our husbands' families. It was to give us a voice. Our nu shu was a means for our bound feet to carry us to each other, for our thoughts to fly across the fields as Snow Flower had written.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower
Related Symbols: Birds and Flying, Feet
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:

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I retreated to the safety of the formal lines appropriate for a married woman, hoping this would remind Snow Flower that our only real protection as women was the placid face we presented, even in those moments of great distress.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

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Rice-and-Salt Days: Winter Quotes

Certainly Snow Flower would say something on his behalf. He was the first son after all. But my old same did not love the boy the way she should have.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower, The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband, Snow Flower's (Eldest) Son, Snow Flower's Mother-in-Law
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

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The butcher's brokenhearted question was one that appeared in many nu shu stories and songs. I glanced at the faces of the other women around the fire and saw their unspoken question: Could a man—this butcher—feel the same despair and sadness that we women feel when we lose a child?

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower, The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband, Snow Flower's Second Son
Page Number: 206
Explanation and Analysis:

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Rice-and-Salt Days: Letter of Vituperation Quotes

And then the strangest thing happened. An image of my mother came to my mind. I remembered that as a child I'd wanted her to love me. I'd thought if I did everything she asked during my footbinding, I would earn her affection.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower, Mama
Related Symbols: Feet
Page Number: 221
Explanation and Analysis:

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"We might expect this loss of affection from our husbands—they have a right, and we are only women—but to endure this from another woman, who by her very sex has experienced much cruelty just by living, is merciless."

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:

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Rice-and-Salt Days: Into the Clouds Quotes

I thought I would never forgive Snow Flower, but instead of dwelling on that my mind tumbled with the realization that my laotong's womb had betrayed her again and that the tumor inside her must have been growing for many years. I had a duty to care...

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower
Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:

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So much of what happened reminded me of the didactic story that Aunt used to chant about the girl who had three brothers. I now understand that we learned those songs and stories not just to teach us how to behave but because we would be living out variations of them over and over again throughout our lives.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower, Aunt, Lotus, Plum Blossom, Willow
Page Number: 240
Explanation and Analysis:

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"But you had too much man-thinking in you. You loved her as a man would, valuing her only for following men's rules."

Related Characters: Plum Blossom (speaker), Lily , Snow Flower, Lotus, Willow
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:

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Sitting Quietly: Regret Quotes

As girls we are told that we are useless branches, because we will not carry on our natal family names but only the names of the families we marry out to, if we are lucky enough to bear sons. In this way, a woman belongs to her husband's family forever, whether she is alive or dead. All of this is true, and yet these days my contentment comes from knowing that Snow Flower's and my blood will soon rule the house of Lu.

Related Characters: Lily (speaker), Snow Flower, Peony / Snow Flower's Granddaughter
Page Number: 252
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Snow Flower Character Timeline in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

The timeline below shows where the character Snow Flower appears in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Sitting Quietly
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...nu shu, which is women's secret writing. Lily broke tradition for the first time when Snow Flower , her laotong (contractual best friend), sent Lily the fan that now sits on the... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...her death, so that she can explain her actions to her ancestors, her husband, and Snow Flower . (full context)
Daughter Days: The Fan
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...today she'd like to discuss contracting Lily's laotong relationship with a girl in Tongkou named Snow Flower . At Mama's questioning, Madame Wang says that the girls' eight characters (birthdate, height, birth... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...family decides to accept the laotong relationship. Mama helps Lily embroider shoes to send to Snow Flower as a first gift, and Aunt helps Lily compose a nu shu reply. Lily decides... (full context)
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
When Lily is finished with the fan and the shoes, she worries that Snow Flower 's family won't accept the relationship. When Madame Wang sees the fan, though, she states... (full context)
Daughter Days: Snow Flower
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
A few days later Mama carries Lily, dressed simply, to Madame Wang's waiting palanquin, where Snow Flower is sitting. Snow Flower is very pretty and wears a blue silk tunic embroidered with... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Snow Flower suggests they look out the window. Lily scoots over on the bench and the two... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Madame Wang returns and calls Lily and Snow Flower out of the palanquin. They're next to a paper goods stand, and Madame Wang instructs... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Snow Flower says they have to write the best contract ever. Lily suggests they follow the rules,... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Lily feels extremely happy as she walks back to the palanquin with Snow Flower and Madame Wang. The palanquin takes them to the center of the market, where Madame... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
When Lily and Snow Flower return to the palanquin, Snow Flower begs Madame Wang to take them to the taro... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
For the return trip, Madame Wang allows Lily and Snow Flower to sit next to each other, and the two giggle, hold hands, and sort their... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...at Lily's house, Madame Wang bids goodbye to both of them. Lily is ecstatic that Snow Flower is staying, but knows that Snow Flower is used to a better way of living.... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Later that night, Lily and Snow Flower go upstairs with Mama and the other women. Snow Flower suspiciously dabs her fingers in... (full context)
Daughter Days: Love
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...relationship is made by choice. Lily says she felt something special when she first met Snow Flower , and knows she must tend to their love like a farmer tends to a... (full context)
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Lily writes and embroiders notes to Snow Flower , passed through Madame Wang. While Lily writes "little-girl things," Snow Flower responds with messages... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
When Snow Flower arrives, Lily is waiting by the lattice window in the women's chamber. Mama carries Snow... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Snow Flower charms Lily's entire family and can even make Baba and Uncle laugh during dinner. Lily... (full context)
Daughter Days: Learning
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
For the next three years, Snow Flower visits Lily's family every few months. Lily never questions why she never visits Snow Flower... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...rivalry between Madame Wang and Madame Gao is heightened. Madame Gao offers her services to Snow Flower 's family to slight Madame Wang and get revenge for Madame Wang "stealing" her business... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
When Snow Flower , Beautiful Moon, and Lily turn 11, their feet are healed. Lily's are smallest, Snow... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...Beautiful Moon are happy and optimistic, and continue to learn nu shu from Aunt and Snow Flower . Aunt impresses upon them that each word must be placed in context, and that... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
When Snow Flower , Lily, and Beautiful Moon turn 13, their education picks up speed. Snow Flower's family... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
The girls learn from Uncle and Baba too, as Snow Flower takes note of what foods they like and makes sure to serve those foods. Lily... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Snow Flower also tells Lily and Beautiful Moon about their future families. Lily's husband is kind and... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Snow Flower tells Beautiful Moon that she and her husband will also be a perfect match, and... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Lily and Snow Flower have now been to the Temple of Gupo five times. Each time they make offerings... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...as commerce is stalled and families don't have money for dowries. She says that even Snow Flower isn't safe. Though Madame Wang tries to defend Snow Flower's father, Madame Gao says that... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
...to her, and tells her that she may never repeat what she just heard to Snow Flower . Lily promises, but tells the reader that she didn't understand what she heard anyway.... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...at letting Elder Sister go. The women sing of their sadness at losing their sister. Snow Flower reads the couplet that she and Lily wrote on their fan to commemorate the occasion. (full context)
Hair-Pinning Days: Catching Cool Breezes
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
When Snow Flower and Lily turn 15, they pin their hair up in a style that symbolizes their... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
The first night of Snow Flower 's visit, she and Lily lay in bed fully dressed, trying to catch nonexistent cool... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Snow Flower continues to write characters across Lily's torso and hips, writing out the phrase "the bed... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Snow Flower runs her hand down Lily's body and says they have two more lines. Moving to... (full context)
Hair-Pinning Days: Beautiful Moon
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Beautiful Moon returns home the next day. She, Lily, and Snow Flower have all received the first installments of their bride-prices, which include food and cloth. The... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...memory of putting her feet in the river as a child, and Beautiful Moon and Snow Flower speak of their own memories of coolness. Baba and Uncle finally string up a canopy... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...a serene landscape on shoes for her mother-in-law, who has slightly larger feet than Lily. Snow Flower works on a pair of purple and white shoes embroidered with flying creatures, and Beautiful... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
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...She looks to Beautiful Moon, who's brushing at her neck and breathing strangely. Lily instructs Snow Flower to get help and Snow Flower runs off on her tiny feet, yelling for help.... (full context)
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...alley and under the canopy and begins howling with grief. Baba and Elder Brother, with Snow Flower on his back, arrive. Uncle picks up Beautiful Moon's body and carries her inside. Snow... (full context)
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...and asks how she can help. When she sees Beautiful Moon's engorged face, she instructs Snow Flower to wrap Beautiful Moon's face in muslin so Aunt doesn't have to see it, and... (full context)
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...unmarried girls in the hope of taking one to the afterworld with her for company. Snow Flower and Lily decide to make a flower tower, or a model house in which Beautiful... (full context)
Hair-Pinning Days: The Flower-Sitting Chair
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...water buffalo for Baba, which makes him one of the most prosperous men in Puwei. Snow Flower arrives for the Sitting and Singing ceremony. She and Lily grow closer still, and believe... (full context)
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...feelings throughout the month as she experiences sadness at leaving and hope for the future. Snow Flower seems neither happy nor sad, just subdued. Snow Flower denies being worried about her wedding... (full context)
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Lily tries to ask about Snow Flower 's Sitting and Singing, which will start right after Lily's wedding. It will be the... (full context)
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The next morning, Lily wakes nervously but Snow Flower comforts her. She helps Lily dress in her wedding outfit and put on all her... (full context)
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...that are much finer than the shoes that Lily made for her. As is customary, Snow Flower escorts Lily from the party and back home, and helps her change into a nightdress. (full context)
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Snow Flower returns and tries to comfort Lily by telling her how virtuous and obedient she is.... (full context)
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...Lily over the threshold, she thinks of everything she's been told about her future husband. Snow Flower guides Lily to the palanquin and helps her in, tucking a note and their fan... (full context)
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Lily reads the happy note from Snow Flower on the fan, and then turns to the embroidered note on a handkerchief. Snow Flower... (full context)
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...goes into the hallway, feeling sick with worry, as she has been since she read Snow Flower 's letter. In the kitchen, Lily's servant girl, Yonggang, has already hauled water and built... (full context)
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...books are read to the bride's new family. Elder Sister and Elder Brother arrive, but Snow Flower doesn't come. Lily is hurt and scared by this. The books contain all the usual... (full context)
Hair-Pinning Days: Truth
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On the fourth day after her marriage, Lily packs to go to Snow Flower 's house for her Sitting and Singing. Yonggang escorts her through Tongkou, carrying a basket... (full context)
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...a washbasin, and when she sees Lily, rises to greet her. She goes to fetch Snow Flower , and Lily notices her small lily feet, thinking it's unusual for servants to have... (full context)
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When Lily gets to the top of the stairs, she tells Snow Flower that nothing has changed. Snow Flower introduces the poorly dressed woman from downstairs as her... (full context)
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Snow Flower cries with shame and embarrassment. She begins to explain that her family was once prosperous,... (full context)
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Lily asks Snow Flower if Snow Flower’s father is alive and in the house, and she answers affirmatively. Snow... (full context)
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Lily thinks that Snow Flower and Snow Flower's mother are unable to escape the belief that a woman's realm is... (full context)
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Lily realizes that Snow Flower must be marrying into a very low family if she needs these practical skills. Snow... (full context)
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...only her special future, and she blames Mama for choosing to not tell her about Snow Flower . She says she was a stupid 17-year-old girl and buried her feelings, but it... (full context)
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...she wasn't sick from the proverbial spoiled meat, so she tried to help. She helps Snow Flower and Snow Flower’s mother clean the house, but can't eliminate the smell. She sees that... (full context)
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Snow Flower lays out her dowry for Lily to see. Lily recognizes familiar fabrics and realizes that... (full context)
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...to her natal home to fetch food and cloth. She asks Madame Wang to bring Snow Flower 's sister for the Sitting and Singing, but her elder sister isn't allowed in the... (full context)
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...next day with three farmers' daughters. Lily leads them in writing third-day wedding books for Snow Flower and bullies them into making wedding quilts. The songs they sing are bleak and sad. (full context)
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...they can make use of the fire. Lily starts a new third-day wedding book for Snow Flower , as her original sentiments no longer pertain. On the Day of Sorrow and Worry,... (full context)
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Madame Wang and Lily watch Snow Flower disappear, and Lily asks if she (Lily) was truly a special child when Madame Wang... (full context)
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Three days later, Lily delivers Snow Flower 's third-day wedding books. There's no feast at Snow Flower's married home, and the women... (full context)
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Lily reads from Snow Flower 's mother's book and then picks up her own. As she reads, Snow Flower's mother-in-law... (full context)
Hair-Pinning Days: The Temple of Gupo
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...to her own level. She calls Mama a liar and brings up her lies about Snow Flower . Mama retaliates by blaming Lily for Beautiful Moon's death. Mama says that she gave... (full context)
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Snow Flower and Lily write each other often, although they can't visit each other. Lily travels to... (full context)
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Lily and Snow Flower meet for the first time since their weddings to travel to the Temple of Gupo.... (full context)
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Neither Lily nor Snow Flower becomes pregnant in the next year, so when they visit the Temple of Gupo again,... (full context)
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...feeling ill and vomits. Aunt gets up to wipe Lily's face and smiles. Lily writes Snow Flower to tell her of the good news. (full context)
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...pray for a son on her way to living permanently with them. Lily picks up Snow Flower on the way, and their baby bellies get in the way of a proper hug. (full context)
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Pregnancy agrees with Snow Flower , and she looks radiant. When they reach the temple they enter proudly and compare... (full context)
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Snow Flower and Lily stop at an inn that night to sleep. They lie in bed facing... (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Sons
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Snow Flower writes a message to Lily telling her of her newborn son. Lily is happy for... (full context)
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Lily says that her relationship with Snow Flower seems stronger now that they're in their “rice-and-salt days.” Their letters to each other, however,... (full context)
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At first, Lily didn't have anything bad to tell Snow Flower , as her family's wealth kept life pleasant and Lily’s mother-in-law doted on her once... (full context)
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Lily's mother-in-law refuses to invite Snow Flower to Lily's first son's one-month party. Lily is crushed and confused, but has no say... (full context)
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Snow Flower and Lily write each other daily and Yonggang carries their notes. Lily watches her run... (full context)
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Snow Flower writes Lily to tell her of her abusive mother-in-law and shares that her own mother... (full context)
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Lady Lu makes many excuses why Lily can't see Snow Flower , but Lily knows that she simply doesn't want Lily associating with her. Lily declines... (full context)
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One day, Madame Wang delivers a letter to Lily from Snow Flower . Snow Flower writes that her in-laws forced her to watch them slaughter a pig,... (full context)
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...After they leave the rice balls, Lily gets in her palanquin and heads for Jintian. Snow Flower and Snow Flower's son enter the palanquin, and Lily notices that Snow Flower is still... (full context)
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Snow Flower says she only feels joy when she's with her son. Lily tries to reassure her... (full context)
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Lily is saved from having to respond to Snow Flower as they arrive at her natal home. Lily is happy to be home, and everyone... (full context)
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Lily and Snow Flower continue to write each other after they return to their married homes. As their letters... (full context)
Rice-and-Salt-Days: Joy and Sorrow
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For the Tasting Festival, Lily and Snow Flower (who's also pregnant) travel to Lily's natal home. Lily confides that she hopes they both... (full context)
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Two years later, Snow Flower tells Lily she's had a second son. Nobody can truly celebrate, however, as the Emperor... (full context)
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...has another son and the rebellion begins to take its toll on the Lu household. Snow Flower 's father-in-law dies, and Snow Flower's mother-in-law becomes more abusive. At Lily's natal home that... (full context)
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...terror came to them in other ways, though—but before the terror arrives, she learns that Snow Flower is again pregnant. (full context)
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...of rice pudding). She can smell the dead through her one window and worries about Snow Flower 's family and her husband. (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Into the Mountains
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Snow Flower writes Lily and says that her family survived, although she miscarried a daughter early on.... (full context)
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Snow Flower 's husband won't allow Snow Flower and Lily to sleep together, as is customary, so... (full context)
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...the outer world of men was now pushing into her life. The second night at Snow Flower 's house, they're awakened by sounds and smoke outside. People begin to flee the village.... (full context)
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Snow Flower 's husband lifts his mother, Snow Flower, and Lily into the cart, and he and... (full context)
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The travelers reach a sheltered spot on the mountain. Snow Flower recognizes three families from Jintian and she and her family join them. Snow Flower's husband... (full context)
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...that the emperor wanted to tax the Yao descendants of the woman and the dog. Snow Flower chants that the emperor sent troops to flush them out of the mountain, but they’re... (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Winter
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Snow Flower 's husband, as a butcher, becomes a hero. He's willing to do the necessary things... (full context)
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The butcher punishes Snow Flower and her son one day for eating Lily's food. Snow Flower's mother-in-law wants to turn... (full context)
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Snow Flower 's eldest son begins seeking out Lily. Lily notices that he's not stupid, just uneducated,... (full context)
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As supplies become even scarcer, people continue to die. Lily observes Snow Flower 's children. Snow Flower’s second son is very bright and adores the butcher, while Spring... (full context)
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Snow Flower notices that Lily likes Snow Flower’s eldest son, and asks if she'd agree for Lily’s... (full context)
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After ten weeks in the mountains, Snow Flower 's second son dies unexpectedly. The butcher is distraught and holds his son for two... (full context)
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...and vows to actually earn the title of “Lady Lu.” She continues to care for Snow Flower , but Snow Flower remains depressed. Daily, Snow Flower walks as though in a dream... (full context)
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Snow Flower continues, saying that she and the butcher have been punished for not following the pollution... (full context)
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Snow Flower mentions Lily's aunt and says that thinking of Aunt makes her want to keep living.... (full context)
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The next day it's deemed safe to return to the villages. The butcher carries Snow Flower ’s mother-in-law while Lily, Snow Flower, and the children follow. Bones litter the path, and... (full context)
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When they reach the butcher's home, he runs on to Tongkou to notify Lily's husband. Snow Flower pulls Lily upstairs and helps her wash and dress in some of Snow Flower's clean... (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Letter of Vituperation
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...their lives. Lily vows to never again enter the outside world of men. She and Snow Flower see each other often, and their husbands allow them to sleep together. They also continue... (full context)
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Lily's husband warns her that Snow Flower isn't as strong as Lily is, and says that not every man is like him.... (full context)
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In the middle of August, Snow Flower and her children plan to visit Lily for the Mid-Autumn festival, but Lotus appears on... (full context)
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...is and falls back on conventions rather than feel her emotions. She begins to assess Snow Flower 's faults until she's found a pattern of deceit and betrayal that went back to... (full context)
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A week later, Lotus comes again with a letter from Snow Flower , asking why Lily hasn't written. Lily burns it, as well as the next few... (full context)
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...months later. Lily knows that Madame Wang is a shrewd businesswoman, but her love for Snow Flower is her greatest weakness. (full context)
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...reads the note on it, which is nearly the same as what Lily received from Snow Flower many years ago. Madame Wang calls Lily out on severing her match with Snow Flower,... (full context)
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Lily tosses the fan at Madame Wang. Madame Wang agrees to pass the message to Snow Flower , and then kindly says that while Lily once had nothing but pretty feet, she... (full context)
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On the day of Snow Flower 's cousin's Sitting and Singing ceremony, which Lily and Snow Flower had planned on attending... (full context)
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The bride's mother asks Snow Flower to tell them of her life, and Lily is shocked to hear Snow Flower announce... (full context)
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...Letter of Vituperation in retaliation. She says that all women know hard lives, but that Snow Flower thinks her own hard life is special. Lily cries as she tells Snow Flower that... (full context)
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...thought she was free, but realizes now that she was becoming trapped in hatred for Snow Flower . Snow Flower, crying, addresses Lily and says that the women in her village don't... (full context)
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...of every other woman there by exposing a woman who did not conform, and destroyed Snow Flower in the process. Lily's Song of Vituperation became known and news of Snow Flower's disgrace... (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Into the Clouds
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...is set to marry a rice merchant, and Lily has worked hard to forget about Snow Flower . (full context)
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...bowl, but the girl stands and Lily recognizes Spring Moon. Spring Moon tells Lily that Snow Flower is very ill and will die soon, and that she’s been asking for Lily. Lily... (full context)
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At Snow Flower 's house, Lily meets the butcher. He says he can't watch his wife suffer anymore... (full context)
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By this time Lily and Snow Flower are alone while the other women make dinner. Lily pulls back the quilt. She sees... (full context)
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Lily starts planning to fetch a doctor and a diviner for Snow Flower , but Lily the narrator says that she still didn't understand that you can't control... (full context)
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Snow Flower only lives another two weeks. Lily doesn't leave her side. At night, Lily sleeps next... (full context)
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Plum Blossom tells Lily that Snow Flower is only playing along with these attempts for Lily's sake, and begs Lily to let... (full context)
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Lily begins working on burial shoes for Snow Flower and embroiders curly-wing bats and deer on them. Snow Flower's feet and legs start to... (full context)
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During their final conversation, Snow Flower asks Lily to be an aunt to her children. In Snow Flower's final hours, Lily... (full context)
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In the main room of Snow Flower 's house, Lily, Lotus, Willow, and Plum Blossom dress and prepare Snow Flower for burial.... (full context)
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Lily learns then of her greatest shame. The sworn sisters say that Snow Flower wasn't actually their sworn sister. Lily cites the message on her fan, and they ask... (full context)
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Lotus, Willow, and Plum Blossom continue to tell Lily exactly how she hurt Snow Flower . They say that Snow Flower did bed business with the butcher too soon after... (full context)
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Lily realizes that Snow Flower 's loss of appetite and paleness were due to the tumor. Lily then realizes that... (full context)
Sitting Quietly: Regret
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...and she's too tired to shoo flies off her hands. She's lived too long. After Snow Flower died, she mentally began her years of "sitting quietly," even though her rice-and-salt days were... (full context)
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Lily says that she needed Snow Flower 's children so she could try to make amends to her laotong, but it's hard... (full context)
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Next, Lily turned to Snow Flower 's son. He'd recently married and his wife was pregnant, and Lily hated the thought... (full context)
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There was one child, though, that Lily desperately wanted: Snow Flower 's granddaughter, the daughter of Snow Flower's son. Lily's husband obliged her wishes, and Lily... (full context)
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...coffin. Peony is now 37 and has five children. In their faces, Lily sees both Snow Flower and herself. Lily is content knowing that both her blood and Snow Flower's will rule... (full context)
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...water buffalo. Hearing these stories made Lily consider her own life, in which she treated Snow Flower , the one person she truly loved, like a husband would treat a wife. Lily... (full context)