Canadian Literature: Untold Narratives Essay

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Canadian Literature: Untold Narratives
The relationship between person versus nature is an ever present theme in Canadian literature. This relationship and its relevance to Canadian literature, is in some ways a form of cultural expression. Proof of this is shown in the fact that, “ many Canadians view the natural heritage of Canada as being a vital part of their identity and culture, on both personal and national levels, ( Freedman, Turner 170).” Additionally, Canadian author’s, “ [articulate] their feelings about nature through literary expression, and to thereby gain insight into their empathy for natural ecosystems and native species, and their concern about damage caused to those values, (170).” Thus, the thematic integration of nature into Canadian literature, is a result of the historical conflict between Canadians and their landscape. “In a country with such a high ratio of trees, lakes and rocks to people, images from Nature are almost everywhere, (172).” For this reason, it is only logical that Canadian literature would be filled with mentions of the wilderness that so defines the Canadian landscape.
Margaret Atwood’s, Death by Landscape, and Alice Munro’s, Open Secrets, are prime examples of Canadian literature and Canadian Realism. Reason being that, the writing in both of these works is intended to depict the real life experience of surviving the Canadian wilderness, through literature. Moreover, Alice Munro’s Open Secrets is often seen as a pseudo response to Margaret Atwood's Death by Landscape because of the overwhelming commonalities shared between the two short stories. Both concern the mysterious disappearance of a young girl, while partaking on a camping expedition. In Atwood’s short story, the girl of issu...

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...rom textural allusions in order to develop there own conclusions. In both narratives there is never an answer given for the disappearances of the young girls, instead the reader is provided with hints to solve the mystery. Moreover, although both short stories include narrative omissions, Atwood's short story, provides more evidence to draw and create a plausible explanation for the mysterious disappearance.

Works Cited

Atwood, Margaret. “Death by Landscape.” Canadian Short Stories. Ed. Russell Brown, Donna Bennett. Ontario: Pearson Canada Inc, 2005. 268-284. Print.
Munro, Alice. “Open Secrets.” Canadian Short Stories. Ed. Russell Brown, Donna Bennett. Ontario: Pearson Canada Inc, 2005. 268-284. Print.
Turner, Kate, and Freedman, Kate. “Nature as a Theme in Canadian Literature.” Environmental Reviews 13.4 (2005): 169-97. ProQuest. Web. 1 Nov. 2013.

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