Chartier, Daniel. “The Gender of Ice and Snow.” Journal Of Northern Studies, no. 2, 2008, pp. 29–49.
The article’s argument is that through studying the North and Arctic areas as personified beings in novels, narratives and poetry written by French authors as well as some world literature authors, the author has come to the conclusion that winter features such as icebergs, frost etc. have mainly male features. The author also argues that these personifications that are created, are used as a focal point which “allows the reader to enter a complete world of images, colors and values.”
The article is using evidence from a corpus which covers all types of literature but focuses primarily on accounts of sea-faring navigation, missionaries, explorations, novels, narratives and poetry from France, French-Canada (1840-1947) and Quebec (1948 to present day). The article also uses evidence from a few works of world literature and Nordic and Inuit mythology. I agree with the article in most ways. The article discusses how frost, ice, and icebergs are mainly personified with male characteristics such as having cruel intentions, being sharp and being an element of protection in some cases. I also agree with the claim that snow could be personified with feminine characteristics, it protects, covers, soothes, conceals and caresses which are all features of the mother stereotypical female traits. However, the article says that snow can also be mad, monstrous, blinding, cruel, nipping, etc. which could be considered as a hysterical trait which is another stereotype of female characteristics. I would build on these claims more by looking into other examples of how winter elements are being used by authors from England or America.
The article seems to be accurate with its claims on the different stereotypes of winter however, it only uses French literature and a little bit of world literature to support its claims. Therefore, the claims can not be used as universal evidence for all nature personifications. To further the research of this article I would look into authors from different countries and I would look into a similar amount of female author’s works to rule out a bias claim that winter features are more masculine than feminine.