The concept of a lone island called San Piedro, deeply secreted by the harsh weather of a ‘wind driven snowfall’ provides an image of solitude.
The island, with a town called Amity Harbor, distant from all outside communication, coveys a secluded, close-knit relationship within the community. They can’t be touched. Any strangers are seen as suspicious and they feel somewhat invaded by outsiders because they are not used to them and their individual ways. The following shows three instances which demonstrate this:
Firstly, ‘At school they were strangers…because she was Japanese and he wasn’t’ proves their racial separation from one another in their community. Secondly, Ishmael, a news reporter who left San Piedro because he was unhappy, returned and was socially rejected by Hatsue, wife of Kabuo after their short-lived romance many years ago, and thirdly later found himself turning away from the ‘fraternity of fishermen’ as he knew he couldn’t fit in. The problem was that ‘he wanted to like everyone. He just couldn’t find a way to do it.’ This can show his social inexperience and inability to be liked, but more predominantly, it displays the community’s unhealthy spirit to engage in nothing, except their day-to-day business and their way of acting in an unwelcoming nature towards outsiders.
So, as the population find it hard to accept new people into their community, they are sensitive over who they talk and expose their feelings to. This can be seen as antisocial behaviour to any newcomers, but to the existing town, it is just protection of their privacy. However the end result is that meanwhile, they are isolating themselves from the outside world.
It is unfair on the Japanese, that the core of the community keeps pushing the ‘Japs’ away without accepting them into their social group. This is somewhat ironic because the
Japanese are relied upon for business. Their dependency is really crucial, as the Japanese provide the workforce for the strawberry-picking sector.
Whilst on the topic of their day-to-day business, the fact that the town’s livelihood relies on the strawberry picking and fishing conveys limitations and fragility in the sense that there is no backup to their routine. The title, ‘Snow Falling’ is self explanatory, as it firstly proves that weather plays a major part in the novel, but secondly, and more importantly, the weather, which is known to be constantly changing, conveys unpredictability, which can have a negative effect on their routines seeing as they depend on the natural outdoors. The potentially and realistic harsh weather shows vulnerability of the group as it can jeopardise their only form of income and survival. This shows that the community is averse to change. However, their routine shows their strength and ability to carry out their tasks effectively with a solid way of living.
Lastly, Their lack of communication as a group limits their trust with one another, as they can’t really get to know anyone new to the area. It doesn’t exactly help to improve the morale of the town either. They are almost segregated from the ‘Japs’ and living in different societies. They can also be seen as leading a primitive lifestyle, by choosing not to interact with the rest of the world.