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  1. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #1

    Red face Snow Maiden

    hello :)

    In "Little Women", Amy is described as:
    "A regular snow maiden, with blue eyes and yellow hair curling over the shoulders, pale an slender ..."

    I searched all over looking for the meaning of "snow maiden". It seems to refer to a russian character. But the novelist here uses the phrase to describe a certain type of extreme European beauty.

    So, can I say X is a snow maiden meaning that she is really beautiful? Or it is not used?

    Thank you.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Snow Maiden

    I don't recall this phrase, but I assume the author meant she had very pale skin.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Snow Maiden

    Thanks.
    Here is the page:
    Little Women - Louisa May Alcott -


    From the context, It seems that she mean more than the reference to her pale skin. Is she using "snow maiden" to describe "Californian beauty"?


    The other hypothesis, is that she means that she is heard-hearted, just like to snow maiden who had no heart in the first place:

    This is the story pf the snow maiden
    In one story, she is the daughter of Spring and Frost, who yearns for the companionship of mortal humans. She grows to like a shepherd named Lel, but her heart is unable to know love. Her mother takes pity and gives her this ability, but as soon as she falls in love, her heart warms up and she melts.

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    #4

    Re: Snow Maiden

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducklet Cat View Post
    Thanks.
    Here is the page:
    Little Women - Louisa May Alcott -


    From the context, It seems that she mean more than the reference to her pale skin. Is she using "snow maiden" to describe "Californian beauty"?


    The other hypothesis, is that she means that she is heard-hearted, just like to snow maiden who had no heart in the first place:

    This is the story pf the snow maiden
    The "Snow Maiden" is from a Russian childrens' fairy tale. The children roll snow balls together to create the figure of the character.

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    #5

    Re: Snow Maiden

    "Snow" and "California" don't usually go together in peoples' minds. If you said "California beauty" I would think sun-tanned skin.

  4. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Snow Maiden

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    The "Snow Maiden" is from a Russian childrens' fairy tale. The children roll snow balls together to create the figure of the character.
    I see. But a snow maiden when used to describe a woman means what?
    - An extremely pale woman?
    - A perfectly beautiful woman?
    - A hard-hearted woman?

  5. Ducklet Cat's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Snow Maiden

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Snow" and "California" don't usually go together in peoples' minds. If you said "California beauty" I would think sun-tanned skin.
    Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
    I've always though that California beauty is epitomized in Barbie, who has a pale skin.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Snow Maiden

    It is impossible to tell what was in the mind of the character who used those words. I would guess that the first of your suggestions is rather more likely than the other two,

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Snow Maiden

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducklet Cat View Post
    I see. But a snow maiden when used to describe a woman means what?
    - An extremely pale woman?
    - A perfectly beautiful woman?
    - A hard-hearted woman?
    I don't know if it can be said to have only one meaning. The Snow Maiden in the original Russian fairy tale is a half-mythical, half-real being. Of the three possibilities you suggested, I would expect perhaps #1 and #3 to be possible, but probably not #2. However, the context of the rest of the piece where "snow maiden" is used should give you an idea of what the writer meant by it.

  8. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Snow Maiden

    Since the paragraphs that follow say that the characters of the girls will be discovered later, I think you can be fairly sure it applies only to her appearance. She's light-colored all over - light eyes (blue), light hair (blonde), light skin.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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