The Hidden Mines In Ethel Wilson's Landscape Summary

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By deconstructing herself, Maggie is able to gain an objective view of who she is, even if it is to confirm the existence of her identity. For three days, Maggie was in the “margin of a world which was powerful and close... [days that] had been for Maggie like the respite that perhaps comes to the soul after death”, and within those three days Maggie has redefined herself, has changed her own persona by becoming “Tom Lloyd's own widow again” (39;34). In the article “The Hidden Mines in Ethel Wilson's Landscape”, Blanche Gelfant states that “Maggie repossessed herself in a room that she had first to hold private and inviolate so that later she could share [her space] with others who come to it ravaged by the sea and by life... Maggie has gone…show more content…
Even more so, she becomes an active part of that wilderness when she fishes: “In the pleasure of casting over this lively stream she forgot – as always when she is fishing – her own existence... At the moment of the strike, Maggie became a co-ordinating creature of wrists and fingers and reel and rod and line and tension and the small trout leaping, darting, leaping” (36-37). However, in fishing, Maggie replicates life to kill life. When Maggie catches a fish, she unconsciously “broke [the] back [of] the small neck, and the rainbow thing was dead”, and she recognizes the brutality in that act (37). R.D. MacDonald elaborates on this: “Thus in the interlude of peaceful mountain wilderness, Maggie's catching and killing of a fish brings back to her mind an intrusive "thought as cruel and thin as a pipe fish" (39), a guilty glimpse of the pain she has caused her husband. And again as if to, frame the unavoidability of our social bonds, Wilson returns Maggie not only to her getaway bus but to the unwelcome intrusions and demands [of her past]” (MacDonald 1). This allows her to realize the parallel human life and nature, and she thinks back and acknowledges the “dreadful thing she had done to Edward Vardoe” (Wilson 38). Alexandra Collins notes the pluralism within Maggie – how she does have some will to mix nature and urbanity, such as she does at the lodge in hopes to maintain the order she needs, but her

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