Cross Country Snow


This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Cross Country Snow” by Ernest Hemingway. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Nick seems to have mixed feelings about becoming a father. He admits that he is glad Helen is having the baby only now, which implies he was not initially glad. There is also the moment when he is surprised that he does not notice from the beginning that their waitress is pregnant. This could suggest that he is still in denial about Helen’s pregnancy and the responsibilities he will have to undertake in the future.

Nick greatly values his relationship with George. The two are fond of each other and enjoy these skiing holidays. One of the reasons why Nick gets on so well with George is because they share a passion for skiing. 

On the other hand, Nick and George seem to have little else in common. George is attending university in France, while Nick is going back to California, where he has a family. George does not share all of Nick’s interests, for example, he does not know too much about wine. Moreover, their conversation keeps going back to skiing. Nevertheless, there is no denying that the two are friends and enjoy each other’s company.

When George wonders if they will ever go skiing again, Nick insists that they have to. The insistence could be because he wants to cling to this period where he does not have any responsibilities, something that he shares with George.

At the same time, Nick is more realistic than George. He knows that he cannot escape his responsibilities forever, and that the two of them might lose touch and drift apart. This is why, when George wishes they could promise each other they would go skiing again, Nick refuses. 

Alternatively, Nick’s response to George’s request for a promise: “ ‘There isn’t any good in promising’ ” could point to Nick’s overall fear of commitment, which reflects itself not only in his attitude towards his wife and future child, but also towards his friend.

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Cross Country Snow

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