Canadian author, W.O. Mitchell, is fascinated with the meaning of life. Whether this is a result of growing up during the depression or simply indicative of Mitchell’s deep philosophical thinking, this theme constantly shows up in his work. In both his humorous drama, The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon and the eloquent children’s Canadian classic, Who has Seen the Wind, Mitchell tackles the age-old question with grace, humor, and care. Not only is Mitchell concerned with the minute details of human existence, throughout his work, Mitchell constantly evokes a Canadian persona and creates literature based on the country. Despite Wullie MacCrimmon being a Scottish character, the drama itself is set in Canada during a curling bonspiel. Who has Seen the Wind is characteristic of Canada’s prairie provinces and creates an accurate portrayal of a child growing up in this landscape. Wullie and Brian are both concerned with the existence of God and evil forces in the world and their faith is tested throughout the texts. As Who has Seen the Wind is a post-depression text, Brian’s world is bleak and the thought of God is difficult to discern. In The Black Bonspiel, also a post-depression text, it becomes difficult for Wullie to trust in God as his church undergoes changes in its belief system.
Who has Seen the Wind is a fascinating experiment in literature, as it is written through the lens of a child. While this is a difficult literary exercise, Mitchell’s story which is told through the eyes of protagonist four to eleven year old Brian, Who has Seen the Wind is a heartwarming, beautiful tale of the pride and hardships of growing up in Canada’s prairie provinces. “Using the prairie he had known as a child … to stand in for...
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...believes that the parts of the story that Kurelek has chosen to illustrate are not key moments in Mitchell’s narrative and are the most depressing of the story.
Butala, Sharon. “Prairie Godfather.” Macleans 111, no. 10 (1998): 60. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Nov 2013.
Mitchell, W.O. Who has Seen the Wind. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland & Stewart Inc, 1947. Print.
Mitchell, W.O. The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon.
Nodelman, Perry. “Bow Down Your Heads--A Monumental Wind Is Passing By.” Essays on Canadian Writing 67 (1999): 223. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 Nov 2013.
Sheremata, Davis. “The Enduring Legacy Of W.O. Mitchell.” Alberta Report / Newsmagazine 25, no. 13 (1998): 40. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Nov 2013.
“Alan Dilworth: Directing The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon.” Globe Theatre Live (2011). Web. 25 Nov 2013.
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