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Background of the story

Saint Boniface was an apostle of the Germans who made efforts to change them from paganism. His most symbolic act in doing this was to chop down an Oak tree that they used to dedicate to their god, Donar. In trying to challenge their god, he struck the Oak down. As he had started chopping the tree, a strong wind appeared that blew the Oak down. This was a proof that Boniface's God was on his side. His recorded last days were with the Frisians where he tried to convert them and he did not succeed.  His movement was attacked by Bandits from the Frisians and they killed Boniface (Willibald, 46).

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However, when Duggins writes about him, he imagines a different end of him where he tries to make peace with the nature. He also tends to think that Boniface roams around the trees covered with leaves. Duggins work is a suggestion that the act by Boniface to chop down the Donar Oak was a symbolic cat of going against the nature. This is because after Boniface chopped the Oak, he used the wood to build a chapel. Duggins therefore focuses on the relationship between man and nature since Boniface's act was reversing the history of the Germans and the nature (Rhodes, pp 1).

From this story, there is an indication that there the Germanic tribes had attached some importance on the trees. The oak tree, in particular was used for sacred purposes among the Germans especially the Chatti tribe. When it was destroyed by Saint Boniface, it symbolised a mark of Christianization moan some German tribes. Saint Boniface also had another experience with the trees in the town of Geismar in Germany. At this time, he saw a fir tree growing at the bottom of an old oak tree. He interpreted this as a sign of Christianity and told the German tribes to let Christ in their households. By Duggins' saying that Saint Boniface could be roaming in the trees is an indication that the German tribes associate the trees with sacredness (Logan, 56).


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Through the icon and the title that the artists use of Boniface suggests sacredness. In his video, he presents the image of Boniface covered with leaves all over the face. It is along cover that ends with a robe. Duggins is also trying to present man's complex relationship with nature regardless of whichever religion, either Christianity or paganism. His icon is an alternative monk for the last days of Saint Boniface, which according to the title, it is an exploration of his last days. He tries to show the fictitious life of the saints by use of paintings a robe made of oak leaves and of animals eating each other. His title is an indication that the main symbolic contribution of Saint Boniface to changing the Germans was during his last days. The iconic use of trees is also an indication of the significance of the in the believes held by some of German tribes.

Relating this presentation to emotional and subjective terms, the artist's image does not reflect a Christian figure, or a figure of the saint. The presentation is of someone who exists in the bushes and it may be difficult to relate this to sacredness of the Saints. It would have been better if presented as an image that roams among the people of the German tribes since the all the works of Saint Boniface were focusing on changing them to Christianity (Butler, Thurston and Attwater, 442). The artist does not seem to appreciate the work of Saint Boniface. The fictitious image shows a person who was struggling with things that were undesirable and that could not succeed.

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