The Mountian And The Valley symbolism Essay

  • Просмотров 228
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 16

The Mountian And The Valley -symbolism Essay, Research Paper The Mountain and the Valley : The Symbolic Mountain of David’s dreams and hopes. “The mountain slopes were less than a mile high at their top-most point but they shut the valley in completely.” (Buckner , 7). Our first view of the Mountain in Buckner’s classic The Mountain and the Valley prepares us for its importance throughout the novel. Its presence haunts David throughout his life ; it is symbolic of fulfilment and David’s desire to leave the Annapolis Valley, but due to circumstances remains unsurmountable. The mountain is a symbol that deeply influences Buckler’s narrative and t pervades the story, by representing both David’s dreams and inability to leave : beginning in his childhood, continuing

through his adolescence, his young adulthood, and finally following him into the grave. In his youth the protagonist of the story, David Canaan , is a sensitive boy who becomes increasingly aware of the difference that sets him apart from his family and his neighbours. He views his first trip to the mountain as a large step in his life, even at the age of eleven. Buckner portrays David’s childish delight (at finally being big enough to go fishing on the mountain ) as an adventure : ” As they came close to the mountain , it was so exciting that David was almost afraid.” (Buckner 22) This attempt to scale the mountain fails, as do all David’s attempts to climb the mountain except his final one, “they were crossing the bridge to start to climb the mountain when they heard

the voices”(Buckner 23). David’s father ends their excursion because of the death of valley farmers Pete and Spurge. The tragedy and death in the valley makes David’s journey to the mountain impossible. Before he faces the news that he knows is bad from the other valley men approaching , he must “touch it , [the mountain road] anyway , before he knew indisputably that the day was over” (Buckler, 34) , symbolically searching for what he missed. The mountain, in David’s mind, represents something better, or grander, than his rural valley life. The prevailing theme of David not quite getting beyond the mountain begins here, in his youth. Later in the novel, when David is twelve , on the trek up to find a Christmas tree , David asks his sister Anna “If anyone walked

through the mountain , weeks and weeks, I wonder where he’d come out …”.( Buckler, 56) The mystical question of what was beyond the mountain is lingering in his mind even during this happy moment, in David’s innocent youth. The mountain throws its influence into childhood of Anna, David’s twin sister, in a different way. Anna sees “A rainbow arched from mountain to mountain”. (Buckler, 29). This symbolises Anna’s later flight from the Valley and ability to mesh – although she never quite gets it right- both the city life of Halifax and her country existence in the Annapolis Valley. The rainbow appears “almost faded over the valley” (Buckler 22). This shows how Anna will become detached from her childhood home, as she makes the premonition that she later

fulfils of marrying a sailor. In David’s adolescence,the mountain takes on a more defined shape in his mind. At age 13 ,”The mountain across the lake looked like a far-off furniture of a dream.” (Buckler 88). David’s thoughts of his future, while pondering death and helping his family fix the old graves in the cemetery, are very positive. He shudders to think of Anna in the cemetery, but does not picture himself there. He believes he will be something great, and his dreams are still attainable in his mind, and “the mountain looked to him as if , with one great leap, he could touch it.” (Buckler , 88) Just as, when he’s 14, “the afternoon, in a steady hush seemed to bring the mountains closer” (Buckler, 96). David begins to push the mountains, and what they