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THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 101 / 185

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Bodyscape: Isolation, Health, and the Woman’s Voice

95

her son – as she is haunted by “yellow dreams” of his death and the image of the man

likening freezing to death with falling asleep.

Gault’s play paints a picture of a man spending night after night alone in the

house trying to find the answer to his tormenting insomnia. His doctor assures Alberto's

wife that he checked Alberto's “bladder, prostate, and colon”. He tried many therapies,

including “tranquillizers, relaxation therapy, hypnosis, but still, he could not sleep.”

But the cause of Alberto's insomnia soon becomes apparent as his wife begins giving

away Alberto's collection of sleeping aids. The items were gifts from the doctor and

Alberto's best friend and were intended to help Alberto sleep. One by one the gifts are

presented to the two men; each gift is noisier than the last. The gifts are: a clock with a

loud “tick tock” intended to make Alberto feel less alone on sleepless nights; a music

box to play a lullaby all night long; maracas, to soothe his restlessness; and an

overwhelmingly thunderous speaker which booms a heartbeat, which the listener

assumes is supposed to recreate the calm of the womb. The womb in this case does not

provide the safety and security enjoyed by Lorraine's baby in Sapergia's Old Crocks.

An artificial womb never could offer such security. The bewildered men leave with the

cacophonous collection of objects. As the wife closes the door behind them, she is left

alone in blissful silence. She utters the closing lines of the play into her quiet house,

“Yes, gentlemen, he may never sleep. But I will.” The play is a dark and whimsical

look into a paternal medical culture where the rush to diagnose and cure with the latest

technology can overwhelm a patient. To cure Alberto, everyone tried everything they

could. No one tried doing nothing. Perhaps if Alberto could have consulted Grandma

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