X hits on this document

PDF document

THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 58 / 185

568 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

58 / 185

Timescape: History Plays and Isolation

52

memories of it. Frank moved to the prairies from a different world and was shocked by

the emptiness and isolation, both physical and emotional, he found here.

A woman abandoned on the farm in winter is a powerful image of isolation. Lily

is not the only farmwife left alone in this collection of radio plays.52 The events that lead

to another farmwife left alone on the prairie are told in North of Moose Jaw (1980, 30:00)

by Robert Currie of Moose Jaw. 53 This is another play that deals with the isolation of a

settler’s life. It is the story of Alec, a restless soul tired of his sod house life on the prairie

near Moose Jaw. Near the beginning of the play, Alec and his wife, Jessie, discuss the

palpable weight of isolation inside a sod house in winter:

Alec – It’s a long winter. Jessie – And I thought it was always women who suffered cabin fever. Alec – Well, Jessie, we don’t have to worry about you, do we? You’re tough. Jessie – Sure, tough as nails. Alec – I never figured on a sod house. Holed up like a gopher. That’s no life for a man. Jessie – But it’s all right for a woman, isn’t it? Alec – Come on, Jessie, I never said that. It’s no life for anybody.

Despite Alec’s claim that this is “no life for anybody,” he will leave Jessie alone for that

“long winter” – as we will soon see. Like Frank Dobson in The First Step, Alec wryly

remembers the exaggerated stories that brought him west in the first place: “‘The

healthiest climate in the world’. They’d say anything to get us out to Western Canada.

‘The great fertile plains’. Hah. Those bloody boosters.” When Frank Dobson

encounters the realities of prairie settling, he buckles down and makes the best of them.54

However, when reality crushes Alec’s hopes of finding his own slice of Utopia, he fumes

and plots an escape from sod house life. Alec grumbles to his friends in town, “You

52 53 54

a familiar image in Saskatchewan fiction as well, especially Sinclair Ross and Ed McCourt. another play in the Festival ’80 series.

  • until he dies.

Document info
Document views568
Page views570
Page last viewedSat Dec 03 16:24:49 UTC 2016
Pages185
Paragraphs3491
Words63280

Comments