ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Republic of Trees

Updated on July 16, 2014

Living among the trees sounds first


A Bit of Background

This somewhat simple tale is about two brothers, Michael and Louis. You are quickly told that their mother was French and the father was English and that they also both died, leaving the young boys with their aunt in France. They don’t get along with any kids their age so when an English family with two young teenagers move into the village, the boys quickly make friends. They are now joined by Isobel and Alex. After spending the winter together and realizing their future was in own their hands, the four teenagers decide to run away to the forest for the summer.

A look at four teenagers with no supervision!

The ‘Republic of Trees’ by Sam Taylor is mainly a story portraying a long summer filled with sexual angst, jealousy and revolution. Four young teenagers decide to leave society behind and run to the forest.

After finding a livable derelict cottage they each set out chores for one another. The older boys Alex and Louis are on hunting patrol while Isobel and Michael are in charge of keeping everything clean and the cooking.

Weeks go by where they hunt, cook, climb trees and fall in love. It is the perfect utopia. Michael loves history and is particularly fascinated by the French revolution. It is up to him to make the rules, because as we all know, society cannot function without some sort of rules. Michael falls in love with Isobel, she is beautiful, funny and enjoys his company, and also introduces him to sexual experimentation. Over the weeks Michael becomes more and more in love with her and they spend every waking hour together.

Free from adult control they decide their roles in their new home, Isobel, accepting her ‘female’ role stays behind keeping the home, sunbathing and cooking, while the 'men' do the hunting. Louis becomes the intellectual leader, dictating the terms of their society, the Republic of Trees. Alex provides the meat and fish, and Michael, the narrator, is the only citizen.

When food becomes short they steal from nearby houses and towns. Proper rules and laws are set in place along with the creating of a flag. They also re-create the calendar and begin their own language.

Everything meanders forward quietly until the arrival of another young girl, Joy. When she joins the group she not only affects the functionality of the group but the everything they stand for too. She urges them forward in their re-enactments of the French Revolution and how they handle their ‘society’. Isobel forces love triangles between her and the boys, egging on their affections while also being somewhat involved with Micheal. Joy, however less attractive than Isobel, gains Michaels affections due to her interests in Rousseau and the Revolution.They have much more in common and Isobel can't compete agaisnt intellectual similarities. All she has are her looks and she relies on them wholly. The frenzy and madness creeps on the reader as we follow Michaels journals (sometimes written in their new language) and psychotic thoughts. When the building of the guillotine begins and the imprisonment of Isobel in her ‘Cocoon’ turns claustrophobic we begin to realise this won’t be the happy summer tale we thought. Having nearly completely turned on each other and isolated themselves from reality, the system they created together crumbles.


Children of the future

No longer do they debate the French revolution together and play out the scenes, they hide from each other, manipulate and threaten each other, all in the name of maintaining the Republic of trees, the paradise they created. The Cocoon becomes a torture chamber, buried slightly in the ground and completely covering the person inside, they can not eat, drink or think straight. They draw eyes everywhere, so that the people of the Republic know they will always be watched. Isobel gets sent here when she expresses a hope to leave and rejoin society because she is scared.

The tale becomes nightmarish and chilling which follows through to the very last line.

It has similarities with Welle's 'Animal Farm' and Goldings 'Lord of the flies' in that the books portray the development of class tyranny and the human tendency of maintaining and reestablishing class structures in societies that allegedly stand for total equality. They also depict how language is sometimes manipulated to abuse power. Things like the media and the use of propaganda manipulate language in order to compel specific emotions or thoughts on a subject. The Republic's idea to create their own language in order to let go of unnecessary thoughts is an example of this works.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)