This discussion will take place in the Guidance Conference room.

Julia Anastos
Amelia French
Emma Corbett
Molly Maguire
Julia Primeau
Mary O'Donnell
David Clemmer

Student Facilitator(s): Molly Maguire


Whip questions for beginning of the discussion:
  • How did you like the book?
  • How did you respond to a certain character?
  • What did you care most about in the book?
  • Describe your level of understanding.

Leveled Questions
Works well when you find a particularly rich detail or plot event that participants seem eager to discuss.
• When it is hinted at that Ka told the authorities about Blue vs. Ipek decides not to go to Germany with Ka
Everyone composes three questions about the episode on his/her own:
  • Factual: A question that can be answered with the text; Ex: What time of day does this event happen?
  • Interpretive: A question with multiple answers,but answered with the text; Ex: Why does a character choose a certain course of action?
  • Evaluative: A question that includes something outside the text; Ex: Does the situation remind you of a world event?
Go through all the factual questions, then interpretive, then evaluative. Let conversation move freely from the responses. Be aware of the time. Check the group’s desire to move onto to another episode or keep talking about this one.

Discussion Questions:

The motif of snow is obviously important in this book, from the snowflake poem diagram, to the constant snowfall in Kars during the three days that Ka is there. Why do you think the author chose it?

Why do you think the author chose to keep the poems secret in a "book" that was never found? Was that the smartest decision on the behalf of the author?

Who do you think the narrator's relationship to Ka is?

How can this book enlighten us on the Turkish culture and world relevance?

Do you think that a movement of young girls' suicides would ever occur in the United States? Why or why not?

How is Ipek and Ka's relationship different from a usual mature relationship?

When does religion impose constraints and/or cause followers to act rashly, and when does it better humankind?

How does the lack of modernization and available communication to the outside world influence the situation in Kars?

Culture & Context:

What is political history of Turkey and how do the different interest groups mentioned in the book tie in? -Emma

Are there any historical events that actually happened in a town like Kars?-Emma

What opinion do you have on men leaving their wives to pursue a religious career?

How has this controversial book affected Orhan Pamuk and his life?

What role does Westernization play throughout Ka's religion and beliefs?

How can Snow be compared and contrasted to the events that have been taking place in Batman over the past years? (Articles on the Batman suicides: x, x, x, x, x) -Amelia
How can we as readers connect the author's writing of Snow to Ka's publishing of poetry and subsequent exile from Turkey? -Amelia
Pre-Discussion Process:
Characters -
Ka-Poet that has been exiled from Turkey to Germany, returns home to Istanbul and then decides to travel to Kars, wants Ipek to fall in love with him, dies in solitude presumably by a cult of former Blue followers

Ipek-Recently divorced from Muhtar, who had wanted her to wear a headscarf, works in the Snow Palace Hotel with her sister and father, seems to love Ka

Kadife-Ipek's sister who is religious, wears headscarf, is sexually involved with Blue, seems suspicious of Ka, leader of the headscarf girls

Blue-Extremist terrorist, is hiding out in Kars, is involved with many suspicious cases of murder and homicides, says he's never killed anyone, is making a deal with Ka and Turget Bey, is involved with Kadife, dies in a raid by police, evidence leads to Ka telling where he was

Sunay-Coup leader, is in military charge for three days while town is snowed in, is a acting troupe leader who took control of the town through a performance, Kadife shoots him during the play My Fatherland or My Head Scarf

Turget Bey-Father of Kadife and Ipek, never leaves the hotel they run, is persuaded to make a deal with Blue because of his political affiliations

Necip-A religious school boy who befriends Ka, is important to the plot because of his special connection with his friend Fazil, talks to Ka about atheism and introduces Ka to Blue, is secretly in love with Kadife, dies from a bullet in the eye

Fazil-Best friends with Necip, is spiritually connected to him, ends up marrying Kadife in the end because of Necip's death

Muhtar-Ex-husband of Ipek, asked her to get a who runs a political organization, very spiritual and left Ipek to pursue his religion, wants Ipek to remarry him

The story takes place in Kars, a small Turkish town outside of Istanbul, over three days while the acting theater coup is going on. The story is supposed to be set in the late 1980's to 1990's, although this is not overly important to the plot line.

Important plot events -
-Ka finding his voice again to write poetry

Conflicts - Identify and elaborate on the conflicts that drive the plot

Narration (point of view) - Describe how the telling impacts the story
The author is telling the story, however it does not impact the story profoundly because Ka is talked about as if you are sitting beside him through his journey through Kars. The only thing that makes the story a little removed from the reader is the fact that you can't see inside Ka's head and find out what he is thinking about.

Important passages - Have at least 5 important passages on the wiki; a brief comment or question about how and why the passage is important should follow each

"As Ka knew from the beginning, in this part of the world faith in God was not something achieved by thinking sublime thoughts and stretching one's creative powers to their outer limits; nor was it something one could do alone; above all it meant joining a mosque, becoming part of a community. Nevertheless, Ka was still disappointed that Muhtar could talk so much about his group without once mentioning God or his own private faith. He despised Muhtar for it. But as he pressed his forehead against the window, he said something altogether different" (Pamuk 66).

"Ka looked over to where the old waiter had been only a moment ago, but he was gone. The tiny man, still standing in the same spot, continued to point the gun straight at the director, who lay still on the ground. The director was trying to tell him something, but with the TV now turned up so high, it was impossible to make out what he was saying. The tiny man pumped three more bullets into his victim, made for the door behind him, and disappeared. Ka had not seen his face" (Pamuk 39).

"Despite the guilty, fearful silence at the front of the auditorium, few could hear what Funda Eser was saying: that when the angry girl tore the scarf off her head, she was not just making a statement about people of about national dress, she was talking about our souls, because the scarf, the fez, the turban, and the headdress were symbols of the reactionary darkness in our souls, from which we should liberate ourselves and run to join the modern nations of the West" (Pamuk 151).

"It didn’t matter what he was saying; he could be making a threat or pontificating about national interests or expounding his highly unoriginal political views. he was like a child who can’t eat his supper unless it’s swimming in ketchup" (Pamuk iforgetthepagenumber).