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THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 94 / 185

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

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to better supply the institutions with employees and allow family and friends easier

access to visiting patients. Even within The Fort itself, there are varying degrees of

isolation. Eddy, who is nearing release, is able to wander the hills near Fort San and

pick Saskatoon berries. Lorraine, who is not benefiting from treatment, is confined to

bed-rest in her room. There is also talk of babies born inside Fort San, and how they are

placed in “preventoriums” to keep them safe from TB. These layers of isolation are all

explored in the plot of Old Crocks.

The story is told through Lorraine, a twenty-three year old patient. The whole

play takes place in her room at Fort San. The story unfolds both through Lorraine’s

dialogue with other characters entering her room, and her own inner monologue. The

play begins with the revelation that Lorraine and Eddy, a 43-year-old farmer and family

man, have been having an affair while “chasing cure.” Eddy is responding well to

treatment and will soon return home to his farm and family. Lorraine, however, is not

responding well to treatment and is soon to undergo painful surgery (thoracoplasty).

Eddy can't wait to be released. He imagines returning to his farm and experiencing,

“the taste of wheat, the feel of sunshine” and being able to “plant my first crop in five

years.” His eagerness is reminiscent of the Utopian view of farm-life presented in the

settler stories of other plays in the Festival ’80 series. Where it differs is that Eddy

would be returning to his own farm, as opposed to setting out to create one like Frank

Dobson of The First Step, for example. Eddy does share some of Frank’s rose-coloured

delusions, however. After all, it is 1937, the Great Depression. Even if Eddy can grow

a crop, will he be able to sell it? Lorraine, in contrast, expresses fear over the thought

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