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THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 104 / 185

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

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(represented by illness, injury, distance, isolation, and nature). The lines between good,

healing, and evil, harm, are clear. In Idyll, however, the betterment of society requires,

to John Murdoch, the devolution of technology. When the world seems too crazy, John

packs up his mind and gets away from it all.

Finding escape and comfort in the unconscious is also at the core of Connie

Gault's The Snow Dream. In this play, the central character, Beth, has suffered a stroke

that has affected her speech. Her husband and the nurse cannot understand what she is

trying to say, but the listener can. We hear Beth's voice as if we were in her head; it

echoes. Beth's isolation takes several forms. Physically, she is in the hospital and thus

removed from her home. Psychologically, her isolation is a result of her current

inability to communicate with anyone. Beth imagines talking to her husband and

“being strong enough to tell him to go off and live his own life. And in my own way,

I'll live mine.” Thus she would sentence herself to solitude.

Beth's recurring dream seems to be a result of her frustrated attempts at

communication. The dream finds Beth walking alone through a frozen landscape. The

cold, ice, and snow all conjure up images of isolation and death. Beth encounters a

bridge, which collapses as she walks on it, leaving her alone at the bottom of a frozen

gorge. At the top of the bank, hope appears in the form of her dead grandmother. At

first, Beth is afraid for her apparently frail granny, who dispels any worry by hoisting a

forty pound sack of potatoes easily, then tobogganing down to Beth on a piece of

cardboard.71 It is this dream Grandmother that finally offers some human connection,

71 Potatoes as recurring image: In Snow Dream, Beth's grandmother hauls a sack of potatoes representing nourishment and security. This security and nourishment provided by previous generations and food is echoed in another of Barbara Sapergia's radio plays, Eating Avocados. Sapergia describes the play as being “about issues of women and particularly (at least this was an important theory) the idea that girls

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