This haunting tale plays on binaries of ethereality and substance, of appearance and reality. It also addresses two of Bjørnson’s common themes of religion and education.
The story is related by a narrator whose two journeys to Skogstad, to the large gard belonging to the Atlung family, frame the events. The journey to Skogstad through the winter forest is an otherworldly experience, “a snow-romance” (232). The snow-engulfed trees create both a solemnity “of well-laden giants” (229) and a comedy of “clumsy dwarfs” (230). The view is at once infinite, setting the white landscape against the black fjord, and at once small-scale, noting for example, “the most delicate twig, a …
Rees, Kathryn Jane. "Stóv". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 May 2017
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35915, accessed 15 December 2017.]