This peasant story evinces a common theme in Bjørnson’s work: the difficult passage from childhood to adulthood. It is complicated, however, by the protagonist’s overwhelming sense of guilt and fear, derived from the domestic violence in his home.
The opening chapter of Arne establishes its folkloric basis: entitled “How the Cliff was Clad”, it enacts the afforestation of the mountain, using the personified interacting figures of the Cliff, the Juniper, the Oak, the Stream, the Fir, the Birch, and the Heather. Although the Cliff resists colonisation, the process is over hundreds of years, inevitable. On reaching the summit, the trees realise that the forest has also established itself on the plain, showing that …
Rees, Kathryn Jane. "Arne". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 September 2016
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35804, accessed 17 October 2018.]