UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

From tree to tree Robertson, Ina Virginnia


This thesis consists of a number of original stories and poems. The works attempt, in experimental forms, to portray certain basic human dilemmas in order to communicate their social, political, psychological or philosophical aspects. "The Butternut Tree" deals with different sets of relationships, some severed forcefully though desired, others forced to continue past the point of endurance. In "The Tamarack", deprivation forces one faction of society into robbery, then atrocities, then cannibalism. "Big Orchard" is intended to be the expression of the transition, or progress, from one condition, or level to another. In "Yesterday We Prayed" the condition of blind faith is presented in the moment before it is to be proved absurd. "The Panel" describes an obstacle which, having been created by a small misunderstanding, subsequently disallows any kind of successful relationship or progress. In this thesis an attempt has been made to reinforce and objectify meaning through form. In "The Butternut Tree" the form is designed to correspond to the kinds of consciousness expressed by the two narrators — one a very young child, the other a naive insect — and to suggest the back and forth movement from inside to outside. Poetry gives way to prose in "The Tamarack" as the action quickens and becomes more immediate to the narrator. Speeches are juxtapositioned on the page in "The Panel" to give the words the appearance of having been forced to a stop by an invisible barrier. Objects of nature, particularly trees, suggested ideas for form and provide the vehicle for the various levels of meaning. Trees also serve to connect, thematically, the various items.

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