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Lecture 4

ENGLISH 2G06 Lecture 4: English 2G06 - Lecture 4-7 - Maria Chapdelaine

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Maria Chapdelaine Wednesday October 1, 2013 • Political allegory and documentary – there are figures in the text • Main male character Francois Paradis – what does he represent in the text? • Maria also has symbolic significance • Eutrope Gagnon • Lorenzo Suprenant • Ite, missa est – last words of a Latin mass • Importance of religion in Quebec • Very far north in Quebec where the seasons are pushed forward (long winters) • “Humbleness of the wooden church” page one o Keep in mind • Sets the scene climatically in a few sentences • April is usually a month of rebirth, but not here • The whiteness and the forest are the two main threats • Parable in which people are under threat • Landscape should be stealing the people’s happiness but it is not • Joyous people – Hémon is creating stereotypes • Constructing an allegory where characters represent much more than just themselves • In this case there has to be stereotypes • (Page 31) Francois – reference into some kind of heroism, reminiscent of the past, heroism (bold, bright, good looking) • Why do characters always bring up the farm? “Have you kept the farm?” o Farm represents stability, sense of identity, ideal pastoral o Ideal Christian family unthreatened by commerce world o Selling the farm means “selling out” (lost all money) o Rejection of tradition o Farm represents some positive value system for Quebecers o Stable, domestic o Two major threats to the farm ▪ People associated with the Natives • Example: Francois – “I could never be a farmer” • He wants to be a coureur de bois, “runner of the woods”, logger • Francois is an allegory • “Paradis” meaning paradise • Page 51 – foreshadowing • He is wearing high Indian boots • Rejects agricultural ways • White folks who adopt Indigenous qualities • “High cheekbones” • Associated with forest, trapping, logging • Maria is the most attracted to him • Perhaps Maria represents Quebec – attracted to heroic and non recoverable past that he symbolizes ▪ Factory workers • Example: Lorenzo “working in a factory” • Francois is known to them, Lorenzo is not known to them • From the States • Industrial • Why is the factory seen as such a danger to Quebec? Why is Maria attracted to him? • “It might have been better to learn the magic of those who preceded us” o Movie: opening credits establishes the Aboriginal world o Relationship between Quebec (French) and the Indigenous o “It might have been better to learn the magic of those who preceded us” Lecture 2 – Allegory • Maria Chapdelaine represents Quebec • Battle between Francois and Lorenzo (past and future) • Francois (Indiginaity/pre-conquest past/heroic past) • Lorenzo represents the future and in particular, issues of progress/capitalism • Francois is a threat to the farm (would rather be in the bush) • Lorenzo says he has given up on the farm • Agriculturalist thesis – rural life is better than urban – stay on the farm • If you’re not on the land you’re not leading an appropriate life – you’re involved with industrialization and capitalism • Quebec and Ontario experiencing rapid industrialization • Especially in Quebec – powerful appeal to be back on the farm (agricultural thesis) • Francois (past position) and Lorenzo are an assault to farming • Intermarriage between French coureur de bois and Native women • Metis (mixed) are a product of this important relationship • Eutrope Gagnon – farmer who will stay • Eutrope is the center of this triple play (courters for Maria) o Francois represents the past of farming, Lorenzo the future • He represents stability and permanence • 71 – Samuel Chapdelaine says “many men and one
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