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Racial Marginalization in Culletons In search of April Rain tree

Canadian literature is a literary output arising out of a confluence of the two main streams in the English language, British & American. It is the fruit of the British seed planted in American soil; it is a new literature in English qrouring in the North American context. As W.H. New observes, Canadian Literature is not bounded by citizenship nor even restricted to Canadian settings. It is interesting to note that cultural plurality inside Canada has shaped the dimensions of their literature which voices its commitment to causes & institutions. It was in the twenties and thirties of this century when Canadian literature acquired a distinct identity. The beginnings were marked by the voluminous

writings of poetry and a few remark fictions. If F.R.Scott and A.J.M. Smith had established themselves as Canadian poets it was Hugh Maclenan and Sinclair Ross who as novelists changed the course of Canadian fiction. One finds the spirit of an emerging national culture in Smiths poetry and the same consciousness can be seen in Maclenans novels. Since 1950 no single writer has dominated the Canadian literary scene which has been a quantitative as well as qualitative expansion.

During the sixties, Margaret Laurence was one of the outstanding literary figures. Her writings are characterised by a breath of vision, a historical sense in the Eliotean sense and a largeness of texture that are unique and distinct in Canadian fiction. Historically also, she is

important as she breaks away from the narrower patterns of the past. This period has seen a few other noted literary such as figures in Shelia Watson, Mordecai Richler, Margaret Atwood and Robert Kroetsch. The seventies saw the emergence of Robertson Davies who has the range and depth from an ironic mode to a rich metaphysical vein. Between 1930 and 1950 alone, there has been atleast twenty poets who are now considered to be the major poets in Canadian literary world. This only suggests and emphasizes the depth and range of the Canadian literary culture. By the turn of the new found freedom of women in their writings, they considered themselves as part of the female literary tradition which began in the 18th century. The twentienth century has been Canadas plenty in fiction writing. Ethel Wilson, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Larence, Margaret Clarke, Hugh McLenan, Mordecai Richler, Alice Murno, M.G.Vassanji, Marian Engel, Gabrielle Roy, Anne Hebert, Adie Wisemen, Aritha Van Herk, Sheila Watson Jeannette. Armstrong and Rudy Wiebe are the major fiction writers who in their works portray the multi culturalism and multi ethnicity of Canada. Pluralism, heterogeneity and minority

cultures and attempts to look for regional identities as an alternative to the goal of seeking a homogeneous national identity are some of the salient features of the twentieth century Canadian fiction. A reading of the fiction of Canadian women writers maps an exciting new territory of commonwealth literature by examining the ways of Canadianness in their fiction. These women writers are

chronicling cross national boundaries shared by writers elsewhere. These are close parallels between the historical situation of women and that of Canada as a nation, for womens experience of the power politics of gender and their problematic relation to patriarchal traditions o authority have affinities with Canadas attitude to the cultural imperialism of the united states as well as its ambivalence towards its European inheritance. Canadas colonial inheritance of

English and French languages and cultures is complicated by the multiple origins of the Canadian population as a result of multiethnic patterns of immigration and settlement. While Canadians have strong loyalties to racial and cultural origins outside Canada, they also have a definite sense of marginality in relation to those cultures which have disinherited them as emigrants. So a question of inheritance in contemporary Canadian literature, where attempts at revision are problematized by the knowledge that self

definition can take place only within the with traditions that are being questioned. (Howells 2). Canadian writing has always peen pervaded by an awareness of the wilderness, those vast areas of dark forests, endless prairies or trackless wastes of show and the history of Canadas exploration and settlement. Throughout the Canadian literary tradition wilderness has been and continues to be the dominant cultured myth encoding Canadians imaginative writing. Professor Lotta Gutsas comic

suggestion of the fertility of the wilderness myth for Canadian women writers points out the consistent feminization of a national myth from its women tales of nineteenth century to contemporary womens fiction with some modifications in writing responding to specific historical and social circumstances but retaining its original power. Female imaginative space in texts mirrors the outside world and transforms it into the in trior landscape of the psyche. If one looks for distinctive signs of Canadinness in womens novels of the 1970s and 1980s, the most important of these may be found in the wilderness which provides the conditions of possibility for the emergence of Canadian women writers. The emphasis here is the relationship of these contemporary women to their literary and cultural inheritance, where the historical resonance of wilderness cannot be neglected.

Howells, Coral Ann private and fictional words Metheun, London 1987. Contemporary womens writing in Canada is the culmination of a strong feminine literary tradition and they are very conscious of their creativity which lasits origins in their own country. Canadian society and fiction were repeatedly influenced by nationalism, regionalism and new ethnic sensibilities. The present day Canadian writers address the issues of social plurality and cultural differences that inform a diverse and complex population. Their works foreground the tensions and convergence of French and English, or north and south, of indigenous settlers and immigrant cultures, of nation and self, of race and ethnicity and of gender and class Canadian writing, above all, investigates space and history detailing the ways in which territories are inhabited, claimed, disputed and finally re imagined as the texts of peoples lives. Indeed, the history of literatures has been plagued by the cultural chawinism. Although stereotypes of the past are fading now, they are so deeply rooted that they continue to haunt the Canadians still. They have perpetuated through centuries, a negative psychological orientation that has erected a barrier to giving the intelligence of Indians, their culture and their spiritual and aesthetic values, the respect and understanding they deserve.

The 1980s proved to be a more productive period in Canadian native literature than the previous decade. Talented and committed writers from all over Canada came together to form aboriginal writing groups. Among them, the native women writers namely Jeannette Armstrong from Vernon, Maria Campbell from Saskatoon and Beatrice Culleton from Vancouver are noteworthy. They began to write with a sense of optimism and dedication. A number of publishing houses like Fifth House Publications, New West Press and the womens press started contributing to the upsurge among the young native writers. The changing lives of Canadian Indians who increasingly shift to the cities and the problems they encounter these have become the subject of this literature. An amazing vitality emerged, as all writers across the country came to the fore and often gathered together. All of the generating enthusiasm and encouraging native writers, staging festivals to

introduce new native plays and playwrights, forming aboriginal writing groups and conducting workshops to home writers skills. The result is that the native writers all across the country have been imbued with a feelings of optimism and dedication. Native writers continue to be concerned with their social, political and economical history attempting to distinguish once and for all right from wrong, truth from fiction to set the record straight. But now the problems that cities engender, because of skin colour and self

fulfilling stereotypes, have become the new subject of their literature. Understanding themselves in this challenging social context is their task. The Metis found themselves again facing the situation that had driven them from the Red River settlement. They were confronted with the governments ignorance of Metix concerns. They took up arms under Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont in the North West Rebellion of 1885, as discussed by Maria Campbell in Halfbreed. Canada is fortunate to have many native women writers who have produced books which have successfully caught the attention of mainstream audiences, providing a significant advance for native literature in Canada. The writers agree that a biased description of native matters in the school textbooks, the educators low level of knowledge of native peoples and their discriminatory practices are factors which have a profoundly negative impact on the native children. It is Culletons belief that History should be an unbiased representation of the facts. And if they snow one side, equally (Culleton 84). Further, Culleton views subjugation as the foremost contributing factor to the socio economic and moral problems of the contemporary native people. Culletons anger is directed not only towards white ignorance, but also towards demoralized natives who have given up. This anger is expressed through the character of Cheryl : I despire

these people, these gutter creatures. They are losers. But there is a

reason why they are the way they are everythings that once had been taken from them (Culleton, 215 216). Culleton gives a couple of illustrations dealing with these kinds of racist and discriminatory behaviour. Garth, a white boy friend of Cheryl conceals Cheryl from his friends who are walking down Portage Avenue. He left me there and went for a beer with them. Didnt want them to know about me. (Culleton 1983. 1030) Hes ashamed of me (103) she concludes. The native writers are convinced that the attitudes of the white people have negative, profound and disastrous

consequences for the contemporary metis people. First of all, education has affected the personal development of native or Metis Children. They are easily subjected to feelings of alienation by the discriminatory practices which are reinforced by textbooks, teachers and their peers, the lack of legal recognition of the Metis as different people has also tended to reinforce the general state of ignorance in the dominant society. Cultural awareness influences and reshapes a Metis consciousness of who and what he / she is. Maria Campbell is indeed very proud of being Metis and likes her people. On the other hand, Raintree is ashamed of being Metis and hates them. Contempary Canadian literature, passing through the diverse concentric circles, has evolved its own trends and culture. Consequently, there has emerged its own critical traditions in fiction and poetry which

Culletons April

Carole Gerson discusses in her essay changing contours of Canadian literature. She observes A literature that was initially cast as

monolithically Anglo centric and generically dominated by poetry and novel is now being reconstructed as multi cultural and multi generic. Less amenable to revision is its recentricism; despite the prominence of current women writers, their early predecessors are being rescued from the shadows with indue lassitude. She believes that many nineteenth and twentieth century writers like Margaret Atwood, Northrop Frye, D.G.Jones, to name a few, have opened Canadian writing to unexpected, problematic narrative and thematic concerns. The most significant trend in Canadian writing is what is new literary ideologies has been accompanied by new social ideologies, which add to its relevance at the national and international levels. Among the critics, Frye is the first to pronounce that Canadian literature is sufficiently developed, and Merits evalution. He was instrumental in launching the idea of writing a literary history of Canada which added a distinctive status to Canadian literature. Sandra Diwas Canadian Angles of vision; Northrop Frye and the literary History of Canada highlight his contribution towards writing Canadas literary history. Frye suggested to Kulinck admits, Frye remained our

soloman, our last court of appeal. Klincks faith in Frye is an echo of Fryes faith in his land. He suggested that Canada should be considered

as an environment, the place where something happened. However, the literary history is a true and unique revelation of the Canadian mind through the imaginative writing. It represents Literature in the context of history of ideas. (Barbara Godard). In Canada multi racial, multi cultural presences including the south Asians have contributed significantly to its culture and society through their writings. Sumana Sen Bagchee in The Distinct voices of Recent South Asian Fiction in Canada focuses on the works of three South Asian writer. Iqbal Ahmed, Ven Begamundre and Yasmin Ladha. She overs that the individual ethinicities of those writers influence the content of their writing. They reveal the complexities of becoming Canadians, but find nothing to romanticize the lot of exiles. Ladha, a feminist discourse in her work by concentrating on the South Asian womens perspective. However, it is not meant to create a misprison that there exists South Asian Canadian Literature, rather there are as M.G. Vassanji observed, only individual South Asian Writers. Canadian women writers also use scripts with the similar motive in mind, i.e., to displace and reconstruct the fictional devices in order to enhance our understanding of both fiction and reality, and to convey their meaning and resolution! Barbara Godard, in her pioneering essay my (m) other, my self. Discusses the nature of

womens writings in general, and focuses on the subversive potentials of womens perspective. In regard to Atwood and Herbert, she

maintains surfaces are always deceptive. In their works: Distoring, deflecting, the mirrors are all we have. Both writers dramatize the process of self recognition and self development (which include self hatred too) in a womans psychic self. Godard, then, asserts: Every woman is many women, just as every story is many stories in these books. Believers among Canadian writers, understandably confront the problems of reconciling faith in religion with realistic aesthetics. Virginia Woolf once wrote : Great works of art are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common; of thinking by the body of people, so that the experience of the moss in behind the single voice. Her words assume a particular resonance for a Canadian, because the long view of Canadian literature describes this slow cumulative process by which the thinking, over years, by the body of people has only recently begun to coherence in works that are identifiably, indigenously Canadian, works that speak to the experience of the mass. The novels that have been written in the past fifteen years are pioneering novels, novels of family or cultural history, and the poems are often documentary narratives recording responses to place or legal history. Some works lament the loss of cultural memory in gestures of

love and longing and get try to establish continuities. In the works of writers like Margaret Lawrence and Rudy Wiebe there is the need to explore the paradox of spiritural homecoming. Writers have a sense of homecoming because for the first time, they can locate their own tradion with confidence. They have the assurance of writing out of an imaginative continuum that stretches over generational barriers. During the post confederation era, the English Canadian literary scene was dominated by a guest for Canadian equivalents of hollowed British (and sometimes American) authors, the purpose of being to forge a national identity without diverging from the mainstream of middle brow literature suitable for the Victorian young person. In poetry, expectations for Canadian Writers were shaped by the English Romantics, Tennyson, and occasionally the new England

Transcendentalists; in fiction the presiding model was Sir Walter Scott. The major poetry of victorican Canada Isabella Crawford, Charles G.D. Roberts, Duncan Campbell Scott, Archibald Lampman and Bliss Carman were hailed not just for the narrative poems and nature lyrics that are studied today, but also for politically appropriate patriotic verse like crawfords The Rose of Nations Thanks

(Welcoming home the troops who repressed Louis Riels 1885 Northwest rebellion) and Roberts popular ode for the Canadian confederacy. Opening with the line, Awake, my country, the hour is

great with change! the latter poem was specifically intended to counter the continentalist vision of Goldwin Smith, outspoken advocate of Canadas union with the united state. In fiction, late nineteenth century authors were canonized for their ability to appropriate Canadian materials to the form of the European national historical romance. Never out of print since its original publication in 1877, William Kirbys monumental The Golden Dog (Le Cheen Dor). A legend of Quebec consolidated the Myth that English Canadas French Canadas colourful history and distinctive society to popular forms of English and American fiction. Regarded in some quarters as our finest novel until the advent of the Tory tradion in Canadian letters (still evident today in Robertson Davies novels, Fifth business and whats Bred in the Bone). Kirby idealized the feudal socio-economic order in effect before the conquest of French Canada (1763), while at the same time presenting the seeds of its destruction in the apprehension of a rising middle class. The laconic rhyms of Canadian speech swallow all the negation in this passage, embracing and surrounding the words. On which the

emphasis falls; born, unlived, lives, died, truncated, stunted, home, citizens, Canada, specialized, deprivation. The bilingual and multilingual situations that essentially prevail in Canada and India seem to be strong fountainheads which help to provide

at atmosphere of natural curiosity and congenial

inclination for

understaking formal and nonformal studies in comparative literary areas in both the countries. Currently, Canada is home to more than 100 ethnic groups who speak 85 different languages, irrespective of the fact the Canadian literature basically involves the study of two main literatures written in two major languages, English and French. These two languages belong to the so called founding nations, and share the same geographic space with vital but European roots of typically colonial origin. Though Canada was a secular state, religion was everywhere in its history and language. The first prime minister, Sir John. A Macdonald (1815-91) (apparently at the suggestion of the New Brunswick Politician Samuel Tillen, (818-96), drew the name dominion from Psalm 72 He shall have dominion from sea to and from the river into the ends of the earth finding the phrase appropriate to the geography and ambitions of the new country. The phrase still services, truncated the national motto first used about 1906. Several decades into the twentieth century the source was generally forgotten, and the term dominion was abandoned when people took it to denote merely a continuing colonial servility. Clearly, politics was everywhere in the language, too. The biases of region, religion, class, gender, race noted or un noted, conscious or unconscious conditioned the way people

view the world. In Canada they help to shape the expectations of the new society and its patterns of expression. As the new nation expand to occupy most o the northern half of North America, these perspectives get altered. A history of literature Canada is of necessity, then a record not only of specific library accomplishments over space and through time, but also an account of ways in which the shaping contexts also changed, and of the interconnection between context and language.

The term literature in Canada poses a problem: Canadian Literature is not bounded by citizenship (there were writers before there was a Canada, and there have been immigrants and long term visitors since, for whom Canada has been home). It is not restricted to Canadian settings, Neither does it imply some single nationalist thesis. There are exiles and expatriates whose work still connects with writing in Canada; and these are many Canadian born writers (Wyndham Lewis, 1886-1957; Soul Bellow, b.1915; Jack Kerouac, 1992. Whose work bears no obvious connection with Canada. Yet within the country, despite these apartment inconsistencies, a community of understanding has developed. A shared familiarity with popular culture, a localised adaptation to space and distance, a reliance on common civil rights and expectations of behaviour; and a recognition of local forms of speech and intonation (often ironic and often indirect) all underlie the more

immediately observable regional and linguistic disparities. Literature in Canada grows from these social attitudes held in common, as well as from historical antecedents and extra national models. But definitions of a single Canadian identity is suspect. Tracing Canadian literature from the beginning to 1867 requires the reader to think along two political plannes: one observing writers sequentially against a set of events, the other observing written works as formal embodiments of separate attitudes and expectations. There is no denying the imaginative leap of faith required to plan the rail link, or the technological skill needed to build it; the sea of mountains was more than simply a rhetorical flourish; and accomplishments like the spiral tunnel through the Rockies were remarkable engineering feats. That many of the rail road labourers were Chinese, brought in because they worked cheaply, points, however, to growing economic and racial disparities in the society, and to unrest. That the completion date o the rail road 91885) should have coincided with hanging of the Metis leader Louies Riel, moreover, points to another set of tensions that underlay political expansion, tensions which were economic and cultural in origin, and social and narrative in expression. Simply put, as the rail road was built west ward through the prairies, it took settlers with it to farm lands that were once the hunting grounds of several Indian nations and of the half French, half Crue

Metis. With the settlers, (following the establishment of the North West mounted police in 1873) went the arm of the law to reinforce their claim to ownership. Modern Canadians have mythologised this period, of settlement as one of the peaceful, orderly expansion, often contrasting it with the wild west stereotypes of the American frontier. He was also insisting upon the rights of the Metis, their desire for an independent political state, their resistance to the Canada centred idea of nation which did not recognize the validity of their own culture. What mattered more to the Canada centred idea of nation which did not recognise the validity of their own culture. What mattered more to the Macdonald regime was coast to coast territoriality, but it is hard with hind sights not to feel that the failure of negotiations with the aboriginal peoples of the west had. Something to do with ethnic discrimination as well as with political aspiration. The contrast between the Metis negotiations and those of the oblate missionaries with the Blackfoot in Alberta is striking. In Manitoba in the 1860s, attemits to reconcile the Metis and Macdonald claims to territory failed Riels two Rebellions became violent, and Riel was subsequently hanged for trason. During his lifetime, Riel was always newsworthy. The Canadian illustrated news, which was established in 1869, owned much of its success to its reporting of the first Metis protest. After the Massacre at Frog Lake, survival journals jumped into point by Theresa Gowanlock

(d.1899), William Bleasdell Cameronh (1862-1951) and others justifying the governments actions. But with his public death in 1885, Riel promptly became a cultural symbol serving purposes beyond his own. Annette the Metis Spy followed in 1887. Such books used the Riel Rebellion (as in 1837 this term implies an unstated social norm) to feed the anti French, anti catholic attitudes then current in southern Ontario. The quest for identity is of course, not a peculiarly Canadian problem. It is a fate Canada shares with all post colonial or new nations. However, what distinguishes the Canadian problem from that of the other countries is the continuation of the identity crisis over an inordinately long time span. For, although it is more than a century since country by the British North America. Act of 1867, the quest for a distinctive national identity continues to remain an on going preoccupation in Canada. As Dick Harrison says, what might be called the essential act of naming is still) incomplete. This very

prolongation of the debate on identity in Canada, therefore, differentiates the Canadian problem from that of the other post

colonial or new nations and calls for a discussion of the Canadian predicament to discover the factors that disallow an adequate resolution of the Canadian dilemma of identity as well as the means employed /


envisaged by Canadians to cope with the subversive forces and evolve/assert a distinctive national identity. Cultural pluralism and disparity are yet other factors which contributes to the continuation of the Canadian enigma of identity since they thwart the growth of a homogeneous or monolithic Canadian identity: These tendencies, while they reflect and reveal the origin Canadian preoccupation to discover alternative modes to resolve the Canadian problems, they, at the same time, serve to further compound and subvert the already complex problem of acquiring a centred Canadian identity. The tradition of self disclaim and self deprecation has in a profound way compounded the problem of the Canadian identity by its insistence on the myth of inferiority and insufficiently of Canadian culture and literature that eats into the very fabric of socio / cultural and creative / imaginative ambience and disallows adequate perception and assertion of the cultural and literary identity. The colonial outlook within which this self destructive tradition is located issues primarily from the contiguity of the dominating and imperialistic culture such as the U.S.A and constitutes a single major obstacle to the resolution of Canadas identity crisis. While the critics engaged themselves with the task of Inventing Canadian identity in their own ways, the novelist were also similarly engaged in their own ways. The novelists in the post sixties, as George

wood cock notes in possessing the Land, became increasingly concerned with the foundations of history, of excorcing ancient guilts and celebrating ancient heroism, of giving spirit to the land. Four

novelists of the period whose writings typify these basic functions are ; Margaret Lawrence, Margaret Atwood, Rudy Wiebe and Robert Kroetsch. These four novelists posit specific modes to Reckon with the Canadian problems and at the same time typify the dominant cultural and literary preoccupations in the post sixtees stage of the Canadian guest problems. This study therefore attempts to examine the fictional strategies and idea logical propositions obtaining in their writings and ascertain the validity of their strategies and propositions as viable

modes to reckon with the Canadian dilemma of identity at the post sixtees stage of the Canadian guest. Margaret Lawrence, for instance, having witnessed the calcifying effects of the colonial experience in Africa, is able to understand the colonial mentality engendered by the British Colonial experience in Canada which by engendering ambivalence and ambiguity, has severely affected the process of acquiring a whole identity in Canada. In her novels, therefore, she dis-covers the processes of recovering a holistic identity by coming to terms with the past and reconciling it with the present in her women protagonists. There is a guests for individuation and self actualization when novels and they provide, in fictional terms,

metaphoric analogues to reckon with the sense of discontinuity and disolation caused by sense of inadequacy and insufficiency. Margaret Atwood, on the other hand, explores and explodes patriarchal structures of power and dominion in inter personal male female relationships in the narrative guests of her women protagonists and typifies the emergence of the strong feminist poetics/politics in the post sixtees. Moreover, since she equates Canadas subjugation by the U.S.A. with that of the female by the male, her narratives of the woman become the narratives of the nation and metaphorically problematize the question of the American presence that has subverted the efforts to asset a distinctive Canadian identity. Canadians have been taught to sing and quote the hymns of passionate loyalty spawned by the imperial powers who have made Canada a colonial appendage. Like African and many other commonwealth writers, Canadians because of the want of audience have had an the appeal of their work to the larger English language audience especially, Canada an and the U.S. audience. The first major English Canadian born novelist, major John Richardson, published his novel Wasconsta in England in 1832. It was accorded praise in Britain and the U.S. where he was somewhat

lionized. He published the sequel. The Canadian Brothers in Montreal in 1840, sold the bare handful of copies, and after living some very

difficult years emigrated to New York, reissued the Canadian Brothers as Matilda Montgomerie with all parts ozffensive to the U.S. In 1887 a budding Canadian novelist who subsequently gained international success, Sara Jeanette Duncan, at a mere twenty six years addressed the question of audience in Goldwin Smiths periodical The Week. There she said Canadian writers were going to have to learn to create their fiction from a point of view that would interest the U.S readers because they made up the big, English speaking market. From earliest times the real exigencies of audience have made Canadians quite apart from political considerations aware of longer than Canadian interest in subject and treatment. Dispossession is the Canadian way in institutionalized culture; deracination is the common experience. The responses of artists native to the country is various; sell - out to empire is one way; a guide of innocent cosmopolitanism is another way; mixed struggle and

deracination provides a third way; quiest, consistent repossession and appurtenance is a forth. The fifth way awaits artists to fill the category, and it will come when the need for national liberation is greater than the bribes that can be won by sell out and compromise. The native Canadian has endured as fantasy figure drenched in a sprit world of pagon and quaint associations, in the Canadian literary diaspora. Since the colonization of Canada, the white and the red have

set up a principle of opposing prerogatives and consequently in English Canadian writing the natives have remained on the fringes to be used as the other in relation to themselves. The native consciousness of their indigenous culture did not find an expression even as late as the 1960s. When Dorathy live say argued for a renewed examination of the roles of native people in English Canadian literature she expressed a typically white view point in these words; . Bit by bit and almost without being aware of it the Canadian writer has had to find himself by finding the Indian. Many commentators have tried to define the precise

characteristics of Canadian nationality.

The views of literary

commentators novelists have generally been regraded as impractical or irrelevant yet novelist, writing in English, provide and illuminating commentary on attitudes towards nationality that have evolved in

Canada since the middle of the eighteenth century. The history of Emily Montague is an early novel which describes Canada as a colonial or provincial outpost with its action set in the period immediately following outpost with its action set in the period immediately following wolfes victory, the novel consists of letters exchanged between protagonists who are drawn largely from English army personal, their relatives and friends, one of these correspondents writes.

It [Quebec city, or Canada] is like a third or forth rate country town in England, much hospitality, little society, cards, scandal, dancing and good cheer; and excellent things to pass away a winter evening. The image of Canada as an outpost of empire lasted for almost one hundred years after the History of Emily Montague. This image can be seen, for example, in the novels of John Richardson who wrote in the first half of the nineteenth century and was the first Canadian born novelist to achieve wide recognition. Richardson attempts to define wholly Canadian sentiments and attitudes, in his forth novel The Canadian Brothers; After confederation, attitudes towards Canadian nationality underwent a change that is reflected in the literature of the second half of the nineteenth century. Novelists no longer viewed Canada as a colonial output lacking established local customs and manners; they saw instead a colonial nation, that is, a country that retained story social and political links with England but still possessed an independent culture of its own. This ambivalent portrait of a colonial nation is deproduced most vividly in the novels at Sara Jeanette Duncan. In her best known work, the imperialist; the patriotic, Canadian hero Lorne Murchison loves England with as much devotion as he does Canada. In Canada, Margaret Atwoods surfacing celebrates the liberating effect of life in the Canadian north, away from civilization and

technology. Similarly, the heroine of Marian Engels novel Bear perceives deficiencies in her WASP Canadian cultural inheritance, when she comes into close, sexual contact with a bear brought to her by an old aboriginal woman in a remote island in northern Ontario. For all that, it remains debatable whether recent books by white writers tells the readers a great deal about the actual conditions of aboriginals living in Canada today. Apart from the writing of aboriginals fro Pauline Johnson to Tomson Highway, some of the best accounts of aboriginal living Canadians are to be found in non fiction works by Canadian writers. In his poem The Pride, for instance, the poet John Nowlove has suggested that a truly independent all embracing, national identity will only emerge in Canada after whites recognize essential links of

contunity with the peoples who first made their home in Canada. Until at last we become them in our desires, our desires mirages, mirrors, that are theirs, hard riding desires, and they become our true forbears, moulded by the same wind and rain, and in this land we

are their people, come back to life again. With such suggestions, Canadian writers contribute more and more to readers understanding of the historic role played by indigenous people in the establishment of a Canadian nation. Marian Engels novels and stories examine the domestic and social activities of well to do, professional Canadian women, a large majority of whom live in the province of Ontario. In Engels first novel No clouds of Glory the thirty year old Toronto heroine Sarah Perlock reflects on the subject over and over again the middle class, puritan moral code that is the basis of her aflument, white, Anglo saxon, protestant culture. This culture is dominant in Ontario, Canada, and North America, and Sarah nurses a deep seated resentment against it, criticizing it with seemingly compulsive indignation. None of Engels first four books provides firmly unified narratives in the scene of plots consisting of meaningfully linked episodes. All four consist of an almost casual assembly of incidents, anecdotes and occasional commentary. Yet her success, especially in the first two novels, suggests that short, eposodic or anecdotal forms of writing are wholly effective in dramatizing the degrading and shattering consequences of puritan inhibition on Engels characters.


In the story Only God My Dear a wife cooks dinner, talks to her children, and washes up: that is all. In Texts for Gandy Dancer, children play, eat and suffer cuts and bruises. The authors point is that it is furtile to ask for more than that. Her anti wordsworthian point of view is intended to stifle any urge to wrest deeper, more coherent meaning out of raw human experience. Austin Clarks novels, The meeting point, storm of Fortune and The Bigger Light provide the most comprehensive portrait in fiction of west Indians in Canada. The chief characters who reappear from novel Boysie Cumberboatch, his Wife Dots, their friends, Henry White, Esetelle Stepherd and Bernice Leach are shown struggling for survival and acceptance in a new, Urban, North American social environment which is more tightly structured and harsly competitive than anything they had previously known in the West Indies. The attitudes and behaviour of Clarke Characters are partly

influenced by their conditions in Toronto. Unemployment, poverty, racial discrimination and cultural alienation are standard features of west Indian cultural behaviour on one hand, and the Canadian cultural context on the other, that forms the chief theme in clerks Toronto trilogy. Novels written in Canadians of South Asian origin during the 1970s may either contain subjects, themes, or references from South

Asia and Canada, or reflect elements of a point of view that is recognizably Canadian or reflect elements of a points of view that is recognizably Canadian or South Asian, Horald sonny Ladoo, Bharathi Mukherjee, Saras Cowasjee, Stephen Gill and Reshard Gool originate from South Asia and have written novels in English. Since immigrating to Canada. Ladoo was born of Indian parent. Trinidad, where he grew up. Bharathi Mukherjee came to Canada from India, but after a few years moved to the United States. Cowasjee and Gill also came from India and still live in Canada and have produced novels in English, for example, Balachandra Rajan and Samuel Selvon, but they are not included here because most of their novels appeared before they moved to Canada.

Not all South Asians now living in Canada come directly from India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. Many came from India, via Africa or the Caribbean, where their ancestors had settled in British colonies either in the nineteenth century or the early nineteenth. After most of these colonies gained independence from Britain in the 1960s, many of the Indian citizens immigrated to western countries such as Britian, Canada and the United States. They immigrated for a variety of reasons economic deprivation, ethnic rivalry, political victimization or steel

physical insecurity. Whatever their reasons, since many of these Indo Caribbean or Indo Africans who had migrated for a second time, becoming thereby doubly displaced from India. As such, these novels provide a foretaste of the essentials of Indo-Canadian Society Physical toil, economic hardship, pain,

frustration, uncertainly, and entrapment. Indians came to the Caribbean to replace African slaves who had been freed from British owned sugar plantations in the 1830s and Indians in Ladoos novels still bear the marks of this plantation inheritance, as evidenced by the harsh and demanding circumstance, in which his characters are forced to struggle for basic needs.