The Pine Tree
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Fear Of Heights? What Fear Of Heights?
Rowdy and Arnold encounter a giant beautiful pine tree on their walk to Turtle Lake, and they decide to climb it.
Once at the top of the tree, they can see everything: the whole reservation. The act is a sign of determination and courage... and maybe a little bit of youthful stupidity. Arnold writes:
I don't know if anybody else has ever climbed that tree. I look at it now, years later, and I can't believe we did it. And I can't believe I survived my first year at Reardan. (30.118-30.119)
Equating climbing the tallest tree around and getting through a year at Reardan is no coincidence—they're both super-daring endeavors. Both are more than a little dangerous, but both reveal a view of the world that was unimaginable to Arnold before he decided to go out on a—pun intended—limb.