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Smothered Isolation

             Throughout the Canadian Prairies many people experience loneliness and isolation. This seclusion can be attributed to many different factors. In Martha Ostenso's novel, Wild Geese; these influencing dynamics are presented strongly through the characters of Ellen Gare, and her father Caleb Gare. As each character develops, the segregation each individual experiences is presented to the reader through many examples, ideally portraying the novel as a tale of loneliness.
             Ellen Gare is a classic example of the loneliness that can occur in the Interlake region of Manitoba. Ellen uses the everyday tasks of living on the farm to replace her need for any human affection. This replacement is strongly implemented to the reader when Ellen has the opportunity to leave the farm, to travel, to escape this daring isolation. The solitude that Ellen experiences throughout the novel can be highly attributed to her being entrenched to the land, however to a degree her own loneliness can be zeroed down to her own actions. .
             Ellen has the chance to leave the farm with her boyfriend, yet she turns this alluring opportunity down. Also the potential to have a great relationship with her family members was also passed up. Ellen's life was led in a despondent state; she relentlessly ignored opportunities to gain something more out of life. Judith, "She hated Ellen-(Ostenso, 225), her own sister, and Ellen had managed to muster such a strong rage in her sister for her own actions. Ultimately, Ellen had the choice to change her lonely and isolated life, however she did not feel that she could leave her other family members with a burdened life, a desolate and bleak life that she had so far experienced. To a degree it can be understood that Ellen Gare felt she had a responsibility to remain lonely and pessimistic, as a way to help the family, in a hope to end her mothers torment. Ellen's actions only add to the discouraging cause that the Gare family has become.

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