The trees in the story symbolize the many life-giving qualities that B. Wordsworth himself represents. Indeed, the story begins with trees that are brimming with life—the bee-infested palm trees in the boy’s front yard. A short time later, the boy visits B. Wordsworth’s house to “eat mangoes” and is struck by the variety of fruit trees in his front yard. In the middle of the story, B. Wordsworth responds to the boy’s question about why he keeps “all this bush” in his yard by telling a story about how the overgrown yard, trees and all, are meant to keep alive the memory of a wife and her unborn child who died. The story ends with the absence of trees as the boy passes the place where B. Wordsworth used to live and notices that the house, trees, and yard have been torn down and replaced by brick and concrete. The trees in all these instances reflect B. Wordsworth’s own vital, life-giving, generative qualities as a would-be poet, qualities that he models for the boy. When the boy eats the mango from B. Wordsworth tree, for instance, the juice drips down his chin as if from an overabundance of sweetness and delight. The trees throughout the story represent an ideal in which life, joy, and creativity manage to transcend hardship and suffering. Their final absence in the story suggests a kind of defeat, one that leads the boy to question whether B. Wordsworth, so closely associated with nature, ever actually existed.
Trees Quotes in B. Wordsworth
His English was so good it didn’t sound natural, and I could see my mother was worried.
She said to me, ‘Stay here and watch him while he watch the bees.’
The man said, ‘Thank you, Madam. You have done a good deed today.’
He spoke very slowly and very correctly, as though every word was costing him money.
He lived in Alberto Street in a one-roomed hut placed right in the centre of the lot. The yard seemed all green. There was the big mango tree. There was a coconut tree and there was a plum tree. The place looked wild, as though it wasn’t in the city at all. You couldn’t see all the big concrete houses in the street.
He wasn’t looking at me. He was looking through the window at the coconut tree, and he was speaking as though I wasn’t there. He said, ‘When I was twenty I felt the power within myself.’ Then, almost in front of my eyes, I could see his face growing older and more tired. He said, ‘But that—that was a long time ago.’
I walked along Alberto Street a year later, but I could find no sign of the poet’s house. It hadn’t vanished, just like that. It had been pulled down, and a big, two-storeyed building had taken its place. The mango tree and the plum tree and the coconut tree had all been cut down, and there was brick and concrete everywhere.
It was just as though B. Wordsworth had never existed.