The Essence Of Life In Ethel Wilson's Swamp Angel

2168 Words 9 Pages
Register to read the introduction… In escaping her current life, Maggie also leaves behind her best friend Nell, a representation of self-confinement comparable to Maggie’s own unintended self-confinement that results from her misplaced compassion by marrying Edward Vardoe. Maggie doesn’t leave Nell entirely behind though, the two women share a strong commonality in their respective self-awareness’. Nell’s act of sending her beloved swamp angel to Maggie is emblematic of the duo’s departure from isolation; at once, Nell eliminates the final barrier between herself and her daughter and Maggie is reminded that one may let go of the substance but it is the essence that is and must remain eternal. The center of consciousness narrative, one of many utilized by Wilson in the novel, is …show more content…
Reassured by the fact that she had already ventured far enough to avoid any interruptions by Edward Vardoe, she is filled with a renewed sense of confidence as “Tom Lloyd’s own widow again” (34), and recognizes that leaving him in the manner she had was the only thing she could do for herself and had to do in order to pursue her lost happiness and regain a sense of purpose. She begins her pursuit by reuniting herself with the land and stays for three days at the Lake Similkameen cabins. She immediately lies down on the ground beside the “life giving river” where “time dissolved, and space dissolved” and “she was all but a child again” (36). Completely immersed in her environment, Maggie takes pleasure in the sight of a deer, admires the “elegant brownness” of a pine cone and then drinks of the water, an evocative christening complementing her mythic rebirth into the world; the world she longed for while trapped with Edward in Vancouver. Maggie, being a fly-fisherman, decides to cast her line across the “lively stream” and “she forgot – as always when she was fishing – her own existence” (36), but she jumps back to life the moment she feels the line pull and “she landed the fish,

Related Documents