Image, symbol, and the life of the imaginaton in the works of Sinclair Ross
Master of Arts
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Until very recently, studies of the works of Sinclair Ross have over-looked his literary artistry to focus on his place among those writers whose time and place is the Canadian prairie during the Depression, Ross’s importance as a literary artist goes beyond this restricted time period. His imagery and symbolism explicate a view of life which is timeless. This thesis examines, in particular, the imagery and symbolism of the horse and the wind as representative of the polarized but co-existing elements of benevolence and destruction in the world. In chapter one—a discussion of Ross’s short stories about childhood—the horse, as symbol of the creative, benevolent side of life, dominates. The wind, symbol of destruction and malevolence, dominates the lives of Ross’s adult characters, as shown in chapter two. However, neither symbol can exist exclusive of the other. As a result, the duality of Ross’s vision of life is shov/n more fully by the interplay of the horse and wind symbols in the novels discussed in chapter three. This study concludes with an examination of the horse and wind symbolism in Ross’s final novel which re-inforces and solidifies his view of the human condition into a single image illustrating the co-existence of the benevolent and malevolent elements of life.