Analysis Of Alistair Macleod's No Great Mischief

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A Clan Connected through History No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod is powerful in its art of storytelling, and provides a clear and concise, yet artistic view into a story told from the view point of Alexander MacDonald, an orthodontist and member of the Chalum Ruaidh clan. Alexander travels regularly to see one of his older brothers, Calum MacDonald, in his apartment in Toronto, Ontario in Canada, where most of the story takes place. The story centers on Alexander more so than Calum’s interactions and memories of childhood. However, tales told to Alexander by his grandparents about his family lineage become entangled with the memories provoked by the visit with his brother. These various tales involve stories of his great-great-great-grandfather, Calum MacDonald, and aspects of his life after coming to the United States as well as other members of the clan, and basically the history of the clan itself. The novel ultimately fuses the past with the present as it seamlessly switches back and forward between the two, highlighting select scenes of the MacDonald family history and its current state. Lineage defines the close-knit relationship held by the members of the Chalum Ruaidh clan in No Great Mischief; this is seen in the interactions between the members of the clan, in the family values held by …show more content…

Throughout the entire story, it is evident that the Chalum Ruaidh clan members have a well woven relationship due to the since of community developed through there interactions. This is seen in the short excerpt from the novel that follows: “Everyone (the clan members of the small town) could see their three dark forms and the smaller one of the dog outlined upon the whiteness over which they traveled.” (p. 48) Before the death of Alexander’s parents and his brother, Colin, who fell through the ice of a strait supposedly frozen solid between two islands, it is evident that the towns people, who were mostly if not all MacDonalds, watched the

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