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pieds de la vieille dame, souhaite très fort s'aproprier l'arbre des
Éventurel.' (124; She has been without roots forever and she dreams of a
great tree anchored in the night of the earth … her family tree and per-
sonal history … The little girl, without father or mother, who sits at the
old lady's feet, longs to appropriate the Éventurels' tree for herself [101].)
Here the tree, ever present in the French-Canadian landscape, emblem of
solitude for Pierre Cadorai and sign of fruition for Louis Hébert and
Marie Rollet (77), is a symbol of identity for Flora, not the reason for exile
from the garden of Eden but the means of recuperating one's roots. 17
These means and thus roots are denied to Flora by her grandmother's
pronouncement to her daughter and son-in-law, Flora's new parents,
that they will never make a lady of her - 'Vous n'en ferez jamais une
lady' (125) - a recurrent phrase that clarifies an earlier episode for the
reader (30) just as it resurrects for Flora the seeds of her resentment.
The older Flora now refuses to leave her hotel room, and 'c'est dans
la solitude de la nuit que de grands pans de mémoire cèdent' (127; in
the solitude and the night … broad sweeps of memory give way [104]);
as the walls of repression crumble, obscured memories come to light in
chain-like fashion, from recent to remote, from disappointing to disas-
trous, from voluntarily forgotten to traumatically repressed. Recollection
of the orphanage fire stemming from the Esplanade scene brings back
the names, then faces, then location of her fellow orphans consumed in
the conflagration, as she would have been had it not been for an older
girl, Rosa, whose name brings tears to Flora, a sort of baptismal fluid
that signals her rebirth (128). And from the fire emerge more detailed
scenes of the Éventurels' apartment on the rue Bourlamaque, site of her
adoption after the fire and of her scarlet fever, which, along with the
trauma of the blaze, now explain her repressed memories - 'sans passé
et sans mémoire' (130; without past or memory [107]) - and, coupled
with her change in name, her loss of identity: 'Elle n'a pas encore de
nom propre, étant entre deux noms.' (131; She does not yet have her
own name, she is between two names [108].)
Having breached the wall of repressed memories, the older Flora is
now determined to pursue the past: 'Régler ses comptes avec la nuit, une
fois pour toutes. A présent qu'elle est seule dans la ville. Débusquer tous
les fantômes. Redevenir neuve et fraîche sur la terre originelle, telle
qu'au premier jour, sans mémoire. L'histoire qui vient est sans fil visible,
apparemment décousue, vive et brillante, pareille au mercure qui se
casse, se reforme et fuit.' (134; Come to terms with the night, once and for
all. Now that she is alone in the city. Flush out all the ghosts. Become
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