Posted at 10.08.2018
Seeking a way to avoid the forthcoming of a seemingly unavoidable and grey-veiled matrimony is the first and foremost motivation of the poor and underestimated Kezia Barnes, residing in the snowy little town of Port Marriot. In order to break from the rueful restrictions of the Barclay family and the problematic inferiority Kezia suffers every day, she actually is urged to explore her wittiness and so to finally discover the situation where she can utilize her features of do it yourself-realization. Upon sensing that she would only be tossed even further into subjugation within the confinements of any relationship to Mr. Hathaway, she finds herself in a series of situations alluring with a probability showing her wittiness and freedom. The first outward manifestation of the occurs through the journey, when realizing how to best reach Bristol Creek. She proves her ideas' worth, as well, when along with Mr. Mears she actually is stuck in the middle of the woods inside a forsaken hut, pursued by the freezing winds of the night time. Her last and almost unquestionable way to overthrow the undesired promises of the apparently hopeless matrimony is her most powerful idea to become just a little more independent than she actually is under the control of the Barclays.
When aiming to the frosty trip with Mr. Mears, she proposes her notion of the way they ought to travel. Raddall's concept of self-made man, in cases like this woman, becomes published at this point. "Tom Raddall is definitely a man of rugged freedom, self-made"(Heath 79) as Andrew T. Seaman points out. Here Kezia's disinterestedness about the horses and Mr. Mears shows how she actually is, indeed, capable to mingle her wits with selflessness. The ride-and-tie process grants or loans each of them, including the horses, a time for a few recovery and comfort while, at the same time, improving towards Bristol Creek. The audience knows Kezia's reluctance to marry Mr. Hathaway which is, in fact, quite a twofold distribution from her part to still try and do her best to reach the village and still try to manage the journey so that the young preacher and the old equine could both be maintained away from tiredness. However, this subjection is evidently dual-natured; it is Kezia's own decision to keep carefully the priest and the animal safe from becoming exhausted, but it is outside her will to arrive at Bristol Creek. In this particular part, she is still "a meek little thing" and subjugated but already exhibiting traces to be capable of indie and pointed thinking. It really is totally her wish and decision to protect the comfort and rest of her companions.
Arriving to the vacation cabin within the windless shelter of the woods, Kezia's meekness commences to alter towards durability, and her dominance over her partner becomes even more express in her activities. Due to the disappearance of the horse, the struggle to reach Bristol Creek becomes even harder and longer. "Raddall  recreates an atmosphere of a global inhabited by real people involved in real battles. " (Bevan and New 28) This struggle, however, is defeat by Kezia and her mindful control over the problem. Her character takes on the image of an determined but nurturing mother on the childish and uncomfortable body of the young and humble priest. His clumsy helplessness strengthens Kezia's controlling figure and the one becoming posted is the priest. His identity never once dominates the happenings and occasions and his submission towards Kezia is constantly emphasized. This seems to be one of Raddall's tools to delineate the introduction of Kezia's character, from a peaceful and meek Kezia towards a still delicate, but grittier, more unwavering one. The timid and childlike demeanor of the priest offers a opportunity for Kezia's well-defined thinking, as well. Her ideas regarding the marriage become fully valid and recognized by the very end of the storyplot; however, Raddall already implies in this part of the quest that Kezia is up to something. Her insistence on "bundling" alongside the priest, wrapped up in bearskins, and her sharp reasoning beside the idea already evokes the idea of escaping the annoying marriage to Mr. Hathaway. The priest's most important devotion to protect his associate from freezing and fatality denies him the possibility to think in any other case therefore, finally, he relatively doubtingly but agrees. His audible prayers and affirmations made towards God are evident indicators of his regarding the act as slightly dubious and dangerous. His thoughts, however, are quite the contradictories of his thoughts; the smell of Kezia's freshly washed hair reminds him of his mom and gently pushes him in peaceful dreams. His understanding of Kezia, to be in any way similar to his mother is another signal of the change in Kezia's amount. When she wakes at night time, she already seems resolute about something. This is implied in her function of kissing the priest's cheek, which, on her behalf, "seemed a very natural thing to do. "
Her cheerful welcoming of the horses is an integral notion in the story. Upon the entrance of the pet, the question increases: why would she so gladly welcome the equine once she actually is so reluctant to reach the confines of Bristol Creek? Her love for the horse is obvious, but is it reason enough on her behalf contentment? Probably, the answer is no. As the storyplot develops towards day, her resoluteness becomes clear. She no longer has at heart addressing Bristol Creek; instead, she proposes her idea of marrying the priest. This is where her meekness converts completely to becoming an initiator and a person in charge. Here the another question emerges, particularly, whether she prefers the matrimony to the priest instead of Mr. Hathaway, because she feels more dominant and motivated, thus avoiding the inferiority awaiting her beside Mr. Hathaway or rather, because she really adopted love into the priest? Both appear possible; the storyplot does not provide a clear, sufficient answer. She alternatively allows to be poor but liked and being cared for as equal, rather than becoming richer but left over inferior. Next to the priest, her self-reliance would become somewhat accessible and realizable, a concept she'd never have the ability to totally realize beside Mr. Hathaway. The kiss on the cheek is also a sign of her liking the young preacher; however, her objective not to marry anyone in any way, stated at the start of the story, might imply normally. It seems that the only possibility to escape the constraining relationship with Mr. Hathaway is to marry the priest instead; even if she will not desire to marry anybody. This might assign a fairly tragic undertone to the final outcome of the storyline; the concept of self-reliance and being self-made may never be totally achieved. It is only accessible through compromises, this means she would never be entirely independent.
The story truly represents the struggles of the constrained, meek female to achieve a certain amount of self-realization, even if it can only be achieved beside a straight humbler human being, a priest. Kezia's makes an attempt at self-realization, in truth, remain only tries; the audience never gets to know how unbiased she could really become if not for the clumsy number of the priest. Her situation rooted in the rigid confinements generated by the Barclays seems unable to ever before provide her real chance for freedom. The story, however, will not leave the reader with a fully bitter tastes in the mouth; it can provide some spark of hope for Kezia. It shows that life next to the priest will never be so sour as it could have been in the dark and rankling matrimony with Mr. Hathaway.