Imagery in "The Highland Widow"
Tulloch, Graham John
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The overt central theme of Scott's "Highland Widow" is obvious enough and generally agreed on. The story deals with the passing of the old Highland values of those who 'esteemed it shame to want anything that could be had for the taking' and the imposition of new 'civilised' values appropriate to a 'settled government of laws, that protect the property of the weak against the incursions of the strong'. How then are we meant to feel about this story from the past? One possible way to examine some of the issues at stake is to look at the imagery. There is a persistent strain throughout the story of imagery of the natural world: animals, birds, hills, clouds. An examination of how these images are used provides us with some interesting hints as to how we should respond to the events and characters.