The Choiring of the Trees Summary
Donald Harington

Everything you need to understand or teach The Choiring of the Trees by Donald Harington.

  • The Choiring of the Trees Summary & Study Guide

The Choiring of the Trees Summary

The pastoral theme is central to the novel. The pastoral opposes life in the country to life in the city. It depicts a world of simplicity, of shepherds and shepherdesses, and a time that seems an endless summer when everyone is young and in love. From a less idealized perspective, the pastoral implies nourishment, as a pasture feeds the sheep, and spiritual comfort, as the Lord's Prayer suggests the pastoral world to be. In the pastoral nature works in harmony with humankind.

The singing of the trees that Nail hears when he enters the death chamber is a magical moment when the life forces of nature cry out for the living to stay more. To exemplify the pastoral theme, Harington opposes the "civilized" penitentiary and its deadly and brutal technology to the simple, bucolic life of Stay More, especially as it was lived by Nail Chism, Stay More's...

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The Choiring of the Trees Short Guide