“Reconstruction of hardback cover image from the 1948 edition, made by David Nale”
Raintree County Website
Candace Marie Butler asked on Whispered Dreams Theatre
“Since My Sweet Audrina and the Whitefern is coming out. Here is a picture of the Golden Raintree Audrinia was hurt underneath. Is this what you imagined? What are your thoughts on this? We would love to hear your thoughts on this. What impact did the Golden Raintree have on the Adare series? What do you think it signifies?”
It’s definitely an interesting set of questions, and it requires us to know a certain source. Like in the case of the Dollhouse or the Trains, this actually is a higher theory question. Little did Candace know I’ve been sourcing it for some time now.
Here’s what I’ve found so far …
“Trees symbolize some of our noblest thoughts, and, to many, the Golden Raintree symbolizes life, and the search we all execute – a search for knowledge and meaning in our own lives”
Audrina btw means “Noble Strength” and the tree is associated with noble thoughts.
But peer a little deeper into the Raintree mythos and you’ll find something pop up a heck of a lot … A novel called “Raintree County” written by Ross Lockridge Jr – a candidate for the ” Great American Novel”
MSA seems to draw on a lot of inspiration from Raintree County :-
1. Civil War : Raintree County covers the time before the civil war, during the civil war and after the civil war. Audrina has a lot of reference to the civil war and it’s symbolism.
2. It also has an association with Adam and Eve and the tree of Knowledge, and the Tree of Life, we saw something like this in Avatar as well…
“The county as the Garden of Eden, the raintree as the Tree of Knowledge dropping fertile spores on the land”
3. The meaning of NINE :
“The clock in the Court House Tower on page five of the Raintree County Atlas is always fixed at nine o’clock, and it is summer and the days are long.”—Ross Lockridge Jr.
Now, does that shed some light on the significance of Nine ? And what it means ?
4. “his novel deals in heroes, myths, religion, sex, falls and redemption, quests for renewal, and a protagonist who metaphorically returns from the dead”
Well, well… Isn’t that what Audrina is about ?
5. The author Ross Lockridge Jr himself went through a state of deep depression and his treatment : Electroshock therapy, he was released later only to commit suicide at the age of 33. We know Audrina also underwent the electroshock therapy.
6. Just like Audrina. : “The book is often surreal, with dream sequences, flashbacks and departures from the linear narrative.”
Audrina isn’t a linear novel time wise, like the clocks, it sometimes runs backwards, forwards and somethings it just stops. Time like light is “refracted”.
7. The Prism effect : “Johnny Shawnessy tends to view the events of his life through the prism of one or more of these contexts, and to draw parallels to these legends, frequently with considerable justification.” Wiki
8. In the film adaptation starred Elizabeth Taylor, Billie was an Elizabeth Taylor look alike.
9. The human mind
Nat King Coles Song is the theme song to the movie. Written by WEBSTER, PAUL FRANCIS / GREEN, JOHN WALDO
“They say in Raintree County there’s a tree bright with blossoms of gold.
But you will find the Raintree’s a state of the mind, or a dream to enfold.”
Raintree County is a state of mind. It’s Audrina’s mind that actually created this illusion to protect her from a harsh reality.
“In Raintree long ago, for the brave who dare there’s a Raintree ev’rywhere. We who dreamed found it so, long ago. “
The brave who dare… A Dare to Dream…
Yeah, I made this into NINE POINTS.
Raintree County could be simply the key to understanding Audrina. I would go so far into stating that Virginia worked some of it’s concept into her own interpretation and came up with a masterpiece of her own.
Written and Compiled by Neisha Chetty