Study Guide

Life After Life Snow and the Silver Hare

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Snow and the Silver Hare

Snow Bunnies

Ursula's birth is often depicted as a cold and dangerous affair. The first time we see it, it's described from her point of view as "An icy rush of air, a freezing slipstream on the newly exposed skin" (2.1). And every time she dies, she starts to feel the snow as she's fading into darkness. It's a little scary, the thought of death as just cold blackness. But then again, being born is cold, too. The cold, then, perhaps represents the shock of being born and dying.

The silver hare is a little more comforting than the snow, however. It hangs from Ursula's carriage, with "the sun glinting off its silver skin" (4.71). The silver hare also looks after Teddy, Sylvie's other "little bear" (6.26), referencing the connection he and Ursula share.

As a child, the silver hare provides Ursula with comfort. Perhaps because of this, sometimes she even sees it as she's dying, too. The silver hare is "the prettiest thing she had ever seen" (21.250), so when she sees it as she dies, it may be a little reminder to her that she's going to be reborn and that everything is going to be okay. It certainly reminds readers of this. So as much as death and birth are associated with cold, the hare infuses both ends of life with comfort and calm, too. Go team.

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