The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by

Ann Shaffer

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Trees Symbol Icon

During the war, nearly all of Guernsey's trees were cut down as firewood, leaving the island bare in the present. Because of this, the absence of the trees comes to represent a sort of paradise lost as well as the horrors of the war: the island's trees are just some of many casualties that Guernsey suffered. However, in the present, islanders like Eben and Eli begin to plant trees in the hope of returning the island to its former wooded beauty. In this way, the new trees symbolize the islanders' hope for the future: that, like the trees, the islanders themselves will be able to recover, regrow, and flourish.

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Trees Symbol Timeline in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The timeline below shows where the symbol Trees appears in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One, 10th March, 1946
Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
...wood. There's little wood to practice with as the islanders cut down most of the trees for firewood, but they're planting more. (full context)
Part One, 10th April, 1946
War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
...looks out to sea, she doesn't have to look at the cement bunkers or the treeless land. She hopes that soon, vines will grow over the bunkers. (full context)
Part Two, 27th May, 1946
War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
...Sir Ambrose's big house is just up the drive. Eben and Eli are planting new trees around it to replace those that were cut down for firewood. (full context)
Part Two, 12th June, 1946
War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
...hit the guard. The next day, the guards executed Elizabeth in a grove of poplar trees. (full context)
Part Two, 21st June, 1946
War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
...was awful; there's destruction everywhere. People and tractors are trying to move the rubble. The trees are charred sticks only. The innkeeper explained that the Germans ordered the trees chopped down,... (full context)