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INTRODUCTION:

ISOLATION, RADIO DRAMA, AND SASKATCHEWAN

Historically, Saskatchewan has been known as a province with a great deal of

space and comparatively few people to inhabit it. Saskatchewan residents telling stories

of lonely settlers’ shacks facing howling winds are familiar, if not especially current. The

howling winds remain, but the settler shack has since become the stuff of archival photos

and museums. However, a larger percentage of Saskatchewan’s residents than the

national average still live in rural areas. There is an enduring power to themes of

isolation in stories from Saskatchewan. Powerful treatments of themes of physical and

emotional isolation are found in the Saskatchewan radio plays stored in the CBC files of

the Saskatchewan Archives Recorded Sound Collection.

Based on the examination of these plays in their audio format, this thesis hopes to

address two larger questions: 1. To what extent are themes of isolation and the struggle

to relieve it developed by Saskatchewan playwrights on the radio? And 2. If the most

acute geographic and demographic isolation experienced by Saskatchewan residents was

historic, i.e. during the history of European settlement, why are there still strong thematic

currents of isolation appearing throughout Saskatchewan radio plays written after 1980?

The terms of argument:

Isolation, as it will be used in this thesis, will stay fairly close to the definition

provided by the Oxford English Dictionary1:

Isolation - 1. a. The action of isolating; the fact or condition of being isolated or standing alone; separation from other things or

1

http://dictionary.oed.com/

1

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