Wild Geese Charachter Analysis - Judith Gare

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Wild Geese Charachter Analysis - Judith Gare by Mind Map: Wild Geese Charachter Analysis - Judith Gare

1. AUTHOR: Martha Ostenso (1900-1963)

1.1. The Author of Wild Geese, Martha Ostenso, was born in Haukeland, Norway in 1900.

1.2. Her family immigrated to Canada and then the USA, where they lived in Winnipeg and small towns in Minnesota

1.3. At the age of fifteen, her family moved to Brandon, Manitoba, after which she attended the University of Manitoba and then Columbia University.

1.4. Ostenso followed her English professor Douglas Durkin to New York (and Columbia University) in 1920. Durkin left his wife and children to be with Ostenso and they worked together for many years and were finally married in 1944.

1.5. Her upbringing in small, rural farming towns is often reflected in Ostenso’s literature as inspiration for the setting. Additionally, in many her most acclaimed works, including Wild Geese, the land plays a crucial role in the development of the plot and characters.

1.6. Martha Ostenso died of liver failure in 1963, while travelling to Seattle with her husband Douglas Durkin.

1.7. Click on the arrow to view a timeline of Martha Ostenso's life.

2. Characters

2.1. Lind Archer

2.1.1. A young teacher from the city who comes to teach in Oleand

2.2. The Gare Family

2.2.1. Judith Gare The third Gare child, Judith struggles the most under the dominance of her father.

2.2.2. Caleb Gare The tyranical partiarch of the Gare family.

2.2.3. Amelia Gare The wife of Caleb and mother of Judith, she allows her husband to completley contraol her life.

2.2.4. Martin Gare Twin to Ellen and eldest of the Gare children, Martin spends his time working the farm.

2.2.5. Ellen Gare Twin to Martin and second oldest child, Ellen is comitted to her life on the Gare farm.

2.2.6. Charlie Gare The youngest Gare child, Charlie is spoiled by Caleb and indulged in all things.

2.3. Mark Jordan

2.3.1. The son of Amelia out of wedlock, Jordan comes to Oleand to care for teh farm of the Klovacs.

2.4. Sven Sandbo

2.4.1. Love of Judith Gare, Sven is a loacl boy who has traveled to the city in search of work and a better life.

2.5. Click the arrow for a more detailed description of the characters in Wild Geese

3. Plot Summary

3.1. Martha Ostenso's novel is the story of a young city teacher who moves to teach in rural Manitoba.

3.2. While teaching, she boards with the Gare family and soon comes to learn of the struggles they face under their dominating father Caleb.

3.3. Through the novel, the plot focuses on the trials of the Gare family, particularly the fiery Judith, as they battle for freedom from Caleb's oppressive rule.

4. Dynamic Change

4.1. Becoming confident in her actions and choices.

4.1.1. Actions In the beginning of the novel, Judith demonstrates how unconfident she is in her choices when she constantly cedes to Caleb’s edict after making the choice to defy him. As the story develops, Judith begins to follow through on her actions, making a choice and sticking with both the choice and any repercussions. This change clearly demonstrates the development of Judith’s confidence in her own ability to make choices and then to act on them.

4.1.2. Events Judith insists on riding with Lind towards the Sandbo’s on the way to get the cows. Part ways down the road she decides to turn back, worrying about the consequences. When Judith decides to sneak down to meet Sven, she prepares herself and then goes down, waiting extra-long for him to come, and follows through on her promise. Although she knows she will be in trouble if Caleb finds out, she goes through with it, ready to face the consequences.

4.1.3. Quotes “’Tonight,’ she said quickly, ‘and don’t be late.’” This quote depicts the crux of Judith’s difficulty with making decisions. It is the point where, although it goes against everything she has been taught and what Caleb has told her, she will secretly meet Sven and learn the giddy delight of choosing one’s own path.

4.1.4. Visuals Image 1 Image 2

4.2. Finding beauty and love in the land.

4.2.1. Actions In the beginning of the novel, Judith sees the land and the work she must put into it as a reflection of the control Caleb has over her. As the story develops, she begins to find the hidden beauty of the rural landscape when she begins to see it without the cloud of Caleb hanging over.

4.2.2. Events When Judith storms out of the house with her dog, she leaves behind thoughts of the situation at the farm and instead immerses herself in the world around her. She strips off her clothes and lies naked in the earth, feeling the richness around her.

4.2.3. Quotes “Oh, how knowing the bare earth was, as if it might have a heart and a mind hidden here in the woods.” During this scene, Judith begins to find her love for the land around her as she hides in the forest and, for the first time, is able to find true peace, tranquility and contentment. This experience allows her to look at all her future experiences with the land in a different light.

4.2.4. Visuals Image 1 Image 2

4.3. Learning to love herself.

4.3.1. Actions In the beginning of the story, Judith is constantly uncomfortable in her own body, especially when she compares herself to the petite Lind. As the story progresses, she comes to appreciate and even love the abilities she has as a result of her body, and what they allow her to do . Through this development, we see Judith become more comfortable with herself as an individual and, indeed, begin to love what she is.

4.3.2. Events On the first night Lind stays at the Gare house she offers Judith a string of amber beads the Judith admires. Judith refuses them, saying that they don’t fit the farm girl she is. When Judith is going to meet Sven, she allows Lind to dress her up and put perfume on her, showing her increased awareness for herself and love for what she has.

4.3.3. Quotes “’My, wouldn’t I look funny with them on! Specially, cleaning the stables. No, thanks. They were made for you, Miss Archer.’” This quote depicts Judith’s first impression of herself, as depicted to Lind. Although Lind has noticed right away that Judith has a powerful beauty, Judith herself does not feel this, clearly depicted in this scene as she feels she is not pretty enough for the necklace.

4.3.4. Visuals Image 1 Image 2

4.4. Becoming confident in her femininity.

4.4.1. Actions In the beginning of the story, Judith sees herself as uncultured and harsh, especially when compared to the neat, polite Lind Archer. As the story progresses, she begins to appreciate the things that set her apart as a woman, particularly when Sven returns and reminds her that he finds her beautiful and alluring. Finally, Judith’s pregnancy solidly confirms her feminine side and allows her to be confident without worrying that she will seem masculine.

4.4.2. Events When Judith rides back in the carriage with Sven they stop to wrestle, and although Judith holds her own, Sven still beats her, reminding her that she is still a woman. This then transfers to their encounter afterwards where they become to entities striving for perfecting together.

4.4.3. Quotes “’Some girl, that, Miss Archer. Look at the are on her. Bigger’ n mine. Heh! Heh!’” This quote occurs when Caleb is talking about clearing one of the fields. It reveals that one of the sources of Judith’s questioned femininity is that he constantly makes remarks which degrade her and make her feel masculine. Only when Judith can release the years of commentary from Caleb is she able to truly accept her feminine side.

4.4.4. Visuals Image 1 Image 2

5. Conclusion

5.1. Through the progression of Wild Geese, Judith Gare begins to discover many facets of herself which she has not had a chance to develop under the domination of her father.

5.2. When Lind Archer comes to the farm, she brings within herself, a role model of a strong, confident and feminine woman.

5.3. This example frees Judith to grow within herself to become confident in her choices and her femininity as well as learn to love both herself and the land around her.

5.4. With the development of her personality, Judith is finally able to take control of her destiny and free herself from the influence of Caleb Gare.


6.1. In the novel Wild Geese, Judith Gare shows dynamic change by opening herself up to growth using different perspectives.