The white mulberry tree is a species nonnative to Nebraska, just like the homesteaders who arrive from foreign countries. It is known for being a short-lived species, reflecting the brevity of Emil and Marie’s relationship. Its coloring reflects the innocence of the young love that blooms beneath its branches, and the blood that eventually stains the fruit represents the destructive passion that brings their lives to an end. The mulberry tree also alludes to Ovid’s tragic tale of Pyramus and Thisbe, another young couple that meets a violent end beneath a white mulberry’s branches.
White Mulberry Tree Quotes in O Pioneers!
The O Pioneers! quotes below all refer to the symbol of White Mulberry Tree. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of O Pioneers! published in 1994.).
Part 2, Chapter 8 Quotes
“The Bohemians, you know, were tree worshipers before the missionaries came. Father says the people in the mountains still do queer things, sometimes,--they believe that trees bring good or bad luck.”
White Mulberry Tree Symbol Timeline in O Pioneers!
The timeline below shows where the symbol White Mulberry Tree appears in O Pioneers!. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 6
...Alexandra suggests that they sit in the orchard instead. They head to Marie’s spot under the white mulberry tree , and Marie insists that Alexandra take the seat on the wagon so that she... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 4, Chapter 6
Part 4, Chapter 8