The Ice Palace
My View of "The Ice Palace"
A young 19-year-old Sally Carrol Happer is a lovely
happy girl who lives in a rich family and is surrounded by supporting friends.
But she falls in love with a Yankee guy Harry and now has to move to the North.
She believes she is ready to give up everything for the sake of love. Before
leaving for the North she has a conversation with her friend Clark who tries to
talk her out of leaving. Nevertheless she goes with Harry believing she’ll have
great future with this guy. Finally she goes back to the South after one not so
pleasant event. She was walking there in a snowy and cold place and
accidentally got lost in an ice cave. Exactly at that moment she understands
that she is born to live another life, she is not a girl from the North so she
Speaking about the main characters we can single out
Sally Carrol and the guy whom she loves – Harry. Sally is a light-minded girl,
though it is quite understandable, she is only nineteen and she spends all the
time sitting at home, dreaming about traveling and adventures. And she believes
the only guy who can give her this life is Harry. She does not pay any
attention to the fact that her family and friends are completely against her
choice. She believes that cold place will give her everything she desires so
much. she does not think about any difficulties she can face and only after
having lost in an ice cave she manages to understand that she has nothing to do
here, even though she has got Harry. This ice palace and ice happiness turns to
be an ice cage for this fragile girl. And that was the last drop for her. She
returns back to her probably boring but so usual and so familiar to her life.
Speaking about Harry I can’t say anything that would
distinguish him from all the other guys. He makes Sally love him, promising a
better life and of course Sally, who’s always ruled by emotions, agrees.
Probably he really loves her but he does not provide her with enough support or
maybe it is Sally who simply is not strong enough to make her dreams come true.
The main symbol in this story is the ice palace. I
think the whole world Sally got into can be called an ice palace. The trees
covered with ice, the ground that is always frozen and heaps of snow. This is
something that is really different from those things she could observe sitting
on a beach in her warm and always sunny place. Seeking for adventures she gets
locked up in this fairy place. Having lost in the cave she starts thinking what
she actually does here. She is jailed into this ice cage and there is no fairy,
no happiness, and no cheerfulness in her life anymore.
In this story the author touches upon many important
issues. But I would like to focus on two main conflicts. The first one is
confrontation of two groups of people: people from the North and people from
the South. That was absolutely unacceptable to Clark
to believe his friend Sally can fall in love with a Yankee guy, with someone
who is supposed to be an enemy, no matter what kind of person he really is.
There can be no love between people who belong to different layers.
And the last problem here is obvious: Sally is very
young, she can’t stand her boring life, she dreams of getting out of this town.
But after having got everything she was actually seek to, she can stand it
neither physically not emotionally. She can get used neither to the weather nor
to people who seem to be so new to her. That was a big temptation for her to
try something new and she did not want to resist it. On the other hand it was
not a mistake, just a good experience for this girl who only starts to live.
Cultural conflicts in "The Ice Palace".
The story is about Sally Carrol Happer, a young southern woman who is bored with her unchanging environment. She thinks that her friends are got stuck in their every-day routine, in this usual town, in this southern way of life. They don’t want to go further, to travel, to learn more or just to act somehow. Her local friends are surprised to learn that she is engaged to Harry Bellamy, a man from the North. But she is confident that she should see "things happen on a big scale." So Sally Carrol travels to the north, during the winter, to visit Harry's home and meet Harry's family. When she arrived, she feels how everything differs from what she was expected. She feels cold both at home and outside, both in appearance of the people and in their hearts.
The story’s climax is the stage when Sally Carrol and Harry visit the ice palace. It is the palace made of solid ice. Sally Carrol finds it wonderful and magnificent. She even supposes that she was unjust toward the North. But when they were walking along the passages, Sally Carrol lost her way in the ice castle. She was frightened and even had hallucinations. When she is found, she demands that she go back home "to-morrow! To-morrow!” and the story ends as it began, with Sally Carrol observing another Southern day from her window.
Sally Carrol and Harry represent not only different parts of country, but absolutely different lifestyles, values, characters. The South is described as old-fashioned, light-minded, agricultural and sunny. And the North is cold, industrial, wise and scrupulous. Sally Carrol views Harry’s life as gloomy and depressing. And Harry thinks that only Southern people can look slovenly and untidy, because they are idlers. That’s why the cultural conflict seems inevitable and it really occurs. The couple's cultural conflict begins when Harry says, that he views the South as filled with lazy and shiftless people, lacking in ambition.” but you know what I think of them. They're sort of - sort of degenerates - not at all like the old Southerners. They've lived so long down there with all the colored people that they've gotten lazy and shiftless”. Sally Carrol is hurt by his criticism even though she also made this observation when she said she didn't want to marry a Southern boy. So she is a child of South, full of life and feelings. May be she feels better, dreaming about something more, but observing a sunny morning from her window.
The main symbols of the story concern weather conditions. The first is the sun. When Sally Carrol’s town is described the author makes us feel how hot it is. We sit near Sally Carrol and observe the street; there is no wind or rain, only the flaming sun, that doesn’t let Sally Carrol to get up. And in The North Sun can be scarcely recognized.
Ways of expressing emotion are also symbolic. When a southern person smiles, we see that it is a natural smile. And the Northern person does not smile at all "because the climate is very much like their own.” The author uses the symbol of tears. In the South you cry and everything becomes better. Sometimes you just need to have a good cry. Sally Carrol says about the North: "You'll never cry any more. Your tears would just freeze; all tears freeze up here!"
The main conflict is the cultural one. They say Extremes tend to meet, but in the end someone should adjust to another. Sally Carrol and Harry are representatives of different societies and both don’t want or may be just can’t change. This conflict is very urgent even now. People often want something, that they don’t have and when they get it, they understand that they want something else. There is a very good proverb: the worth of a thing is best known by the want of it
The language of the story is also symbolic. The choice of the language is not occasional. When Southern people speak, their language is more vivid. And Northern people speaks in a more reserved and regular way.
The Extremes Do
The story "The Ice
Palace” is full of contrasts. The author introduces the opposite characters to
the plot of the story to show the drastic differences between these
Happer, a 19-year-old girl from the city of Tarleton
in southernmost Georgia,
leads a monotonous and leisurely life full of languishing hours of waiting and
entertainment. She is a summer child as she puts it. Her dream is, however, to
move somewhere to a big city, to marry a prosperous man, to broaden her
horizons. She likes her male-acquaintances and adores spending time with them,
swimming in the river, sunbathing and having fun in the evenings. But she can’t
imagine her future life with anyone of them.
One day the town
has been filled with rumors about her engagement with a guy from the North. At
first, Sally Carrol denies what is being gossiped about her. But she is engaged
indeed. She met Harry Bellaby at seaside resort in Asheville. Harry is tall, broad, brisk, healthy;
he has everything Sally Carrol wants. He is not mournful; actually his
inability to empathize with his beloved is as evident as his readiness to
assent to all her words and thoughts. Sally Carrol is charming; no man can have
his head clear when he sees her. Harry is not an exception; he is mesmerized
with her beauty and mystery. But he is a man of action, a canine, as the girl puts
Sally Carrol is
from the South; her temperament is choleric and melancholic at the same time,
artistic and poetic features dominating in her worldview. She claims she has
several rather clearly defined sides, one of them especially designed to love.
She likes it when there is nothing to do. Her favourite way to spent time is to
dream and to feel the warmth on her face. She detests cold and piercing wind;
she dreads getting frozen in an unfamiliar city.
So what could bind
these two contrasting beings together? Apparently nothing. She doesn’t love
Harry – she loves her dream and her idea of marrying him. "A faintly familiar icy-cold face kissed
her…” – these are her real feelings. Harry would never become kin to her, as
flames and ice would never become friends.
When Sally Carrol
arrives to the north city, she can't seem to get a handle on the way people
live in coldness and endless winter. They all seem to her unemotional, arrogant
and spiritually impoverished. The only person Sally Carrol finds sympathy with
is Roger Patton who has stricken her with his erudition and right sense of
reality. He compares the surrounding people with the characters of Ibsen’s
stories – narrow, cheerless, sorrowful. After a few weeks spent with Harry and
his family, Sally Carrol feels that something’s going wrong.
On the day of the
opening ceremony of an ice palace, she and her fiancé observe the magnificent
view of the icy building. They want to see the isolated labyrinths downstairs
and Sally Carrol gets lost. She is on the verge of dying because of the
uncontrollable fear overwhelming her. When she is rescued, she has no other
idea except for her determination to go back home, to the South. The summer
child always reaches the sun and warmth.
It is evident the chief
conflict takes place between the nature and the dreams. The author emphasizes
that what is inborn can’t be overcome. Sally Carrol can be metaphorically
defined as summer. And her plans for the future represent winter – that is, businesslike
approach, efficiency, prosperity and well-being. But she doesn’t realize it is
not her nature. Her tiredness of the routine and listless mood finds an outlet
in her desire to see the world, to grow, to mature. But to each his own, as the
proverb goes. Sally Carrol could not withstand her nature, her real life
assignment, her essence. And it is important that after all she was able to
realize that her life and happiness had been left back home, in the little town
of Tarleton, Georgia, where a rusty ancient Ford
of Clark Darrow keeps squeaking and rattling.
Focusing on the Main Character
The story "The Ice Palace”
has a lot of plains. And it can be investigated from different perspectives. In
our analysis we have decided to focus of the main character of the story. When
commenting upon her story line, we will also come across the problematic of the
story, the themes raised and, of course, certain symbols because the short
story is very symbolic.
Carol, the main character of the story, was born in southernmost Georgia, where
the sun heat is an indispensable part of everyday life and where the warm
weather makes people's hearts warm too. On the one hand, Sally Carol is a
typical representative of her society, she's optimistic and a little bit
light-minded. On the other hand she's a kind of girl you are likely to call
"screwy” – her favourite place in the town is an old cemetery where she dreams
about the past looking at the graves, imagining the people she has never known
and events she has never participated
in. "Margery Lee. 1844-1873. Wasn't she nice? She died when she was
twenty-nine. Dear Margery Lee <...> She was dark, I think; and she always
wore her hair with a ribbon in it, and gorgeous hoop-skirts of alice blue and old rose...”
friends, who regard their life as the only possible one, Sally Carol longs for
some changes. She's bored with the place where she lives, its peaceful and
rather lazy nature. "I want to go places and
see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big
scale”. She falls in love
with a man from the northern part of the US and makes her mind move to his
own state, in order to start a new life in a place where people "want to change things or think or go ahead”.
But soon Sally Carol understands that this northern town
is far from being ideal and it's not only about the weather. Covered with snow,
cold and dismal, it makes her depressed and dispirited. Her boyfriend Harry is
not so caring and devoted as she used to believe. She finally understands that
they are completely different and it's not the situation when the oppositions
"You see I always think of people as feline or canine, irrespective of
sex", she says before. Before we get to know that she and her boyfriend don’t
suit each other. She claims that she and most of the Southerners are feline,
while Harry and most of the Northerners are canine. So, we see that
withstanding from of the characters from the very beginning of the short story.
the story itself, it is curious to admit that it has a frame structure. It
begins and ends in the same way, only with slight modifications. The story
begins with Sally sitting "up in her bedroom window” and watching Clark come to her. She is yawning, eating an apple. Clark invites her to go swimming and she agrees.
end of the story the weather is also sunny. Sally is sitting on her windowsill
again. And again is she watching Clark come to
her on her Ford. They have the same dialogue. Again is she invited to go
swimming and again does she agree. The only detail that is changed is what she
is eating. This time it is a "green peach”. And that is definitely a symbol. Sally has
come back from the North. The setting is the same. It seems as if nothing has
changed. As if the flow of life is all the same. But Sally is different now.
She has become more mature. She has tried to grasp the truth of life. She has failed
to escape her daily routine. But what is more important, she has given it a
try. The ones who do not risk and try will never achieve success!(By Rina & Asya)
A warm girl in the ice palace
Sally Carrol is a ninety-year-old lady who lives in a
small southern town. She is a romantic person and a real dreamer. She wants to
visit other towns and countries, meet different people. She also wants her mind
to grow. She likes her friends and her town, but she understands that nothing
changes. People don’t want to achieve anything, to explore the world. What they
have is enough for them.
Sally fells that she doesn’t live, but only exists. She
thinks that people in the North are more purposeful, that they are real
adventurers and conquerors. That’s why she intends to leave the South. The fact
is that Sally doesn’t understand that the problem is in her mind. She will
achieve everything even if she stays here in the South.
When she visits the North, it seems really cold. Southern
and northern people have different mentalities. Sally has been reared in the
South. She is full emotions, but these very emotions aren’t welcomed in the
Sally’s inner desire to seek and to achieve has been
brought up by the South. She just hasn’t been taught to hide or suppress her
emotions. Fortunately, Sally understands that the North is too unfamiliar for
her and decides to come home.
She can never live in the great ice palace of North
always being a warm little girl from the South.
The short story Ice Palace by Sc. Fitzgerald is
about a Southern girl who falls in love with a Northern guy and leaves the
South. Sally Carol is a young girl who lives in Georgia. She spends her time
hanging around with friends and enjoying her life. She has a lot of potential
fiancés, but she thinks they are all featherbrained. Once she meets a Northern
guy, Harry, whom she falls in love with and soon she goes to his own town in
the North. She is welcomed with open arms. At first everything’s ok, but soon she
has a first quarrel with Harry, and moreover she understands that the North is
a cold and gloomy place, and neither skiing nor sledge riding, nor sweet
professor of literature won’t make her feel well and comfortable here.
Meanwhile, a huge ice palace is being built in the town. After it’s finished,
Sally visits it with her future husband, but unfortunately she gets lost in it.
Being lost within its wall, she feels that the whole North is like the ice
palace – cold, snowy, icy, huge, depressive and oppressive, despairing and of
little joy. During her confinement, she has a vision of an old southern woman
whose grave she visited shortly before she left to the North. The ghost is
calling her back – to the South. She is finally rescued, but in the last part
of the story we see how Sally is sitting on her porch in her hometown and the
scene with her friend giving her a lift to the pool repeats – we understand
that Sally has come back to Georgia again. She failed to survive the depression
of the North.
The main characters of the story – are sally
and harry. Sally is a southern girl whose inner world corresponds to the non-pedantic
and open-minded South, which is juxtaposed to the chilly, prim and proper North
by Fitzgerald. Perhaps due to her young age she is seeking for love looking for
something different from what she used to see around her all her life. She
believes all the boys in her town (but not in the whole south, as mentions
later in the story) are failures, which is, losers. She falsely wants more stability, or at least
she considers that happiness lies in success or something. But the simplicity
and plainness is what she is actually about. She is a typical representative of
a young southern girl who is depicted by Fitzgerald in opposition to Harry who
has absorbed all traits of a typical northern boy. Harry is a mannerly and well-bred boy, whose
connections with the family are very strong. We learn much about northern
family traditions, but we know nothing about Sally’s parents – Fitzgerald
underlines how much a family for a Yankee means. Harry doesn’t have strong
feelings against sally, I believe and this is explained by the fact that as any
other northern, he is too restrained to express his feelings. Sally is treated
very coldly in the north; actually the whole image of the north is built upon
the notions of cold and ice, so that allusion is based on the semantics of the
word "cold”. Finally, I must say that these two characters reflect the
difference between the North and the South. We can’t say now that these lead a
war against each other, implicit or explicit, but a great difference between
them is seen in everything. Probably, the main conflict of the story consists
in this discrepancy.
The story is full of symbolism magnificently
presented by the author to the readers. The main image in the story is the ice
palace. It surely represents the North – vast and cold. Sally gets lost in the
palace, she nearly gets frozen to death, just as the North devours her depriving
her of bright and simple existence she had in the South. Fitzgerald skillfully
plays with images in the story. When Sally is in the South, she describes
wonderful landscapes and warmth and everyday pleasure. Just as Sally moves
towards the North, we feel cold of the train, wet and frozen feet of Sally, and
finally her despair in the palace where it’s dark and cold, and wall are forty
inches thick. The ghost of the woman sally sees in the palace is another
symbol. It represents the South. The vision soothes Sally, helps her get over
this terrific cold and darkness. It warms her up, supports her in the North.
Finally Sally is rescued, and similarly she escapes the North.
The conflict in the story is surely between the
North and the South, represented by the main characters. The gloomy and
melancholy of the South is juxtaposed to the joyfulness and pleasure of the
South. It seems that the conflict is unsolvable, because it always existed and
it will always be between two general types of people in America. Fitzgerald
describes how this conflict evolves, until it reaches the climax – the scene in
the palace – and perhaps the conflict is solved for Sally, but speaking
generally, we can’t undoubtedly say that the conflict ceased to exist. Sally
just ran away from it, but didn’t find a solution. Probably, Fitzgerald
suggests that to some extent the conflict is more cultural, and it exists at
the national level. Overall impression of the story makes me feel that
Fitzgerald disapproves of the North and stands for the South. It feels like the
North is the antagonist of the author, which plays the role of a "negative
character” in the story. I’m inclined to think that this is a subjective
opinion of the author.
The language of Faulkner is generally more
complicated than the language of Fitzgerald. I should say that Faulkner is more
detailed in his descriptions of scenes; he uses sophisticated language to
present the reality of his works to the reader as much closely as possible.
Fitzgerald in his turn stakes on rich images.