Abstract

The significance of Lehi's life tree is that it gives life. Lehi's tree expresses the nonverbal, renews Lehi, effectually creates a culture, and keys the structure of a literary, viable, and contemporary scripture. My thesis chapters grow out of my reading of myth, tree mythology, and Lehi's dream. I see Lehi 1) traveling a polemic course toward the tree, 2) confronting the tree's death, and 3) by suffering, opening the symbol to his inner vision.
Lehi's first dream images, a dark and dreary wilderness vs. a man in white, suggest the birth of mythic creation. By traveling through and reconciling opposites, Lehi eventually achieves mythic fulfillment and eats the fruit of immortal joy.
Lehi's tree represents a highly visible life meaning yet conceals its death meaning. Only after Lehi overcomes a mythical death can he understand and gain the tree's life power.
Lehi's death confrontation suggests that he, in isolation, suffers a limitless sphere. The requisite suffering eventually yields a complex desire that is not only filled, but also increases.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; English

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

1986

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etdm441

Keywords

Book of Mormon, Nephi, Criticism, interpretation

Language

English