Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband Character Analysis

Snow Flower's husband. Being a butcher is considered to be one of the worst professions, but he doesn't seem to dislike it. He is physically abusive to Snow Flower, especially in the aftermath of each stillbirth or miscarriage she experiences, and even induces miscarriages through beatings. However, despite his negative qualities, Lily comes to see him as very competent, filial, and both willing and able to care for Snow Flower in regards to food, shelter, and sexual intimacy.

The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband Quotes in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

The Snow Flower and the Secret Fan quotes below are all either spoken by The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband or refer to The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband. 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.
Hair-Pinning Days: Truth Quotes

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: 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:

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

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.

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:

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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The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband Character Timeline in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

The timeline below shows where the character The Butcher / Snow Flower's Husband appears in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Daughter Days: Learning
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...future family headman. Beautiful Moon will marry into a Tongkou family of the same clan. Snow Flower's husband 's family is in nearby Jintian. Madame Wang promises that Lily and Beautiful Moon will... (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Sons
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...before having sex, but she congratulates her anyway. Snow Flower says that her husband the butcher tells her it's better to have a dog than a daughter. (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...two mandarin ducks that enjoy it. Lily is bewildered, especially when Snow Flower admits that Snow Flower's husband won't respect the rules about bed business after birth. (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Into the Mountains
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Snow Flower's husband won't allow Snow Flower and Lily to sleep together, as is customary, so Snow Flower... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...her. In the late afternoon she sees a palanquin from Tongkou coming towards Jintian, but Snow Flower's husband refuses to let her stay and wait for it. He insists that she come with... (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's husband lifts his mother, Snow Flower, and Lily into the cart, and he and Snow Flower’s... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
...mountain. Snow Flower recognizes three families from Jintian and she and her family join them. Snow Flower's husband leaves to look for firewood. Lily and Snow Flower are too tired and scared to... (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Winter
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's husband, as a butcher, becomes a hero. He's willing to do the necessary things for survival like hunt, cook... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
The butcher punishes Snow Flower and her son one day for eating Lily's food. Snow Flower's mother-in-law... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...Lily observes Snow Flower's children. Snow Flower’s second son is very bright and adores the butcher, while Spring Moon is beautiful. Lily struggles to tell the reader that despite the hunger... (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
After ten weeks in the mountains, Snow Flower's second son dies unexpectedly. The butcher is distraught and holds his son for two days, lamenting his loss. He buries his... (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
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
Snow Flower continues, saying that she and the butcher have been punished for not following the pollution laws. Lily greets all of Snow Flower's... (full context)
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...reverie, and she and Lily return to the camp to write on their fan. The butcher and Snow Flower do bed business that night, and afterwards Snow Flower whispers to Lily... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
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... (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
When they reach the butcher's home, he runs on to Tongkou to notify Lily's husband. Snow Flower pulls Lily upstairs... (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Letter of Vituperation
Women and Gender Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Pain, Suffering, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...not every man is like him. Snow Flower confirms this when she admits that the butcher continues to beat her often. Snow Flower refuses to leave her husband, though, saying that... (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
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...her match with Snow Flower, and Lily replies that she cannot match Jade with a butcher's daughter. She continues that Madame Wang told them years ago to not allow "concubines" into... (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
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...begins telling the room everything she can about Snow Flower, including that she and the butcher don't obey the laws regarding having sex after birth. (full context)
Rice-and-Salt Days: Into the Clouds
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 Snow Flower's house, Lily meets the butcher. He says he can't watch his wife suffer anymore and that she's better off with... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
Chinese Culture and Tradition Theme Icon
...Willow, and Plum Blossom dress and prepare Snow Flower for burial. Three days later, the butcher and Snow Flower’s son bury her. Lily burns most of the writing from her relationship... (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
...how she hurt Snow Flower. They say that Snow Flower did bed business with the butcher too soon after birth to try to adhere to Lily's calls to try again for... (full context)
Sitting Quietly: Regret
Love and Family Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Communication Theme Icon
...and his wife was pregnant, and Lily hated the thought of her living with the butcher's family. Lily asked her husband to help, and Dalang hired Snow Flower's son to collect... (full context)