X hits on this document

PDF document

THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 38 / 185

678 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

38 / 185

Timescape: History Plays and Isolation

32

rotten horsemeat; his refusal to follow the standard calendar; and his overt hatred and

mistrust of women, whom he calls “witches.” As neighbours and relatives retreat from

his life, Sukanen retreats more and more into his own reality. He is often described as

standing alone beside his ship, a hammer in each hand, pounding metal onto the hull of

his boat for hours and days at a time. Neighbours and relatives do not trust his sanity and

have him committed. He dies alone in the North Battleford Psychiatric Hospital after a

lengthy coma. His last act is, in Schroeder’s creation, to stand up and recite the precise

location of the hospital, in latitude and longitude. He knows exactly where he is. His

way out is death.

There are differences between Schroeder and Mitchell’s retelling of Sukanen’s

life story. Mitchell focuses on the tragic one man of vision struggling against everyone

around him. Jaanus’s only real friend is his neighbour, Bender. But even he cannot

protect Jaanus forever. Eventually, Jaanus breaks from sheer exhaustion and lack of

community support. The action takes place, for the most part, in the then-present tense.

Mitchell includes a narrative voice in the form of Anna-Marie. She represents, at

different moments through the play, both Jaanus’ daughter and the love he left behind in

Finland. Anna-Marie speaks of Jaanus in the past tense. She is outside of the timeline of

the play looking back on Jaanus’ life. The fact that Mitchell names his character Jaanus,

as opposed to Sukanen, also re-enforces the play’s function as a fictionalized account of

Sukanen’s life. Mitchell stresses the mythic story over the reality.

In Dustship, Sukanen’s life is explored largely through the eyes of his neighbours

and relatives years after his death. Schroeder uses Sukanen’s name in the play and his

novel. The play was written in serial form; each of five episodes featured a different

Document info
Document views678
Page views680
Page last viewedSat Dec 10 00:15:06 UTC 2016
Pages185
Paragraphs3491
Words63280

Comments