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Lecture 14

ENGLISH 2G06 Lecture 14: English 2G06 - Lecture 14-17 - Three Day Road

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Three Day Road Tuesday November 12, 2013 • 238 – “gripping my rifle with both hands” o Connected to famous scene in Generals Die In Bed o Covers material in trench similar to Generals o Doesn’t use time shifting technique like Boyden uses o Story told through the unnamed protagonist’s voice – only one narrator o Boyden switches up the narrators o Disruptions in point of view, and time o Makes novels pretty different • 345/346 o With his aunt travelling back from the war to home o White world to native world o He is ill, very badly injured (lost a leg), morphine addict o Confused of the real present – transported himself back to the war in the midst of his sentence o Seamless, no authorial voice tell the reader what to make of this – left to their own interpretation o Multiple time frames going on at once • 25 o Starts in the river with Niska o Mental flashback of being carried back to France briefly • 10 o Medicine for the pain, says he can no longer live without the medicine o Morphine eats men “fed on me” o Another time shift – moves from river to the war o Comes with the rain o What’s the significance of the narrative aid (back and forth between present with Niska and another present with Elijah in the war)? o Post traumatic stress disorder – flashbacks o Keep the readers on their toes (re-read for better understanding) o Make readers come to grips with events in the text o Wants reader to interact with things in the book o Suggest the relationship between non-war and war o Canada vs trenches in France being pretty close – literally not much between them o Very closely linked and related – is there also some kind of causal relationship? • 50/51 o Why would Boyden pick up an Indigenous “circle of life” as opposed to a Western way of life? What is the thematic significance? See above o Xavier didn’t want to sleep because he didn’t want to be “pulled back” o Doesn’t want to re-experience the trauma experienced in the trenches • Difference between Generals and 3DR o Suggested in terms of technique o Additionally – fills in a huge gap that was left in Generals o What is not in a text is frequently as important as what’s in a text o Lack of Aboriginal presence in first world war o Boyden recovers out of proportion of enlistment in the Indigenous population of Canada in WWI (Metis) o Lost in historical records – we don’t think about this o This point of view is never shared • This novel is not just a war novel, but something else o What is the major theme in this novel in which the war is a part? o Everything seen through an Indigenous lens as opposed to a “white” lens o Native culture kind of assimilating o How poorly the Aboriginals were treated o When Niska becomes the commentator, we get insight onto her background o That relationship from a Native perspective in relation to the white world around her o Attempt to erase Aboriginal culture (residential schools) o Interesting because the native culture is trying to be removed, but they are also explained as being good at things o Uses the natives because they are good at being hunters o How natives fit into white culture – then they are celebrated o Direct parallel between Clark (Generals) and Breach o Differences between Xavier and Elijah o Elijah falls into velocity of the war ▪ Becomes less controllable ▪ Increasingly savages things ▪ Speaks English with an English accent ▪ Likes attention ▪ He is an orphan o Xavier still talks in native language, he also comes home immediately ▪ Speaks in Cree, doesn’t understand much ▪ He goes insane from war ▪ Doesn’t go into the space that Elijah inhabits ▪ Negative feeling “tingle” sense that something is off about Elijah ▪ Makes him nervous ▪ Inherited spiritual qualities from his family ▪ Xavier is Niska’s heir even though she is his aunt o Why does Elijah take action at the end? What is Boyden trying to do? ▪ Implications of internal colonialism ▪ Elijah doesn’t get rescued ▪ He becomes “whitened” Lecture 2 • 90 o Hudson Bay Company o Seen as part of the romantic history of Canada (coureur de bois, voyageurs) o How the text configures the HBC o “Had to move to the reserve or die of hunger” o Role of the HBC in the establishment of Canada in terms of its power in the country – what is being said? o “Bowel loosening fear” o The language of war o The war between two empires in Europe – yet the real war is the war that takes place between European institutions in Canada and the natives that are originally from the country o Boyden says the enemy has been defeated – Indiginaity cannot be recuperated o Defeated enemy that owes its entire (not good) existence to HBC o Poverty and sense of hopelessness is seen only in relation to the economic institution of HBC • 92 o Text tells us about the disconnect between parents and children o “When the children came back they were different” o Alienation between parents and children o Disruption in normal family life – direct consequence of residential schools o Punished when caught speaking in their own language o Residential schools put in place by federal government – ran majorly by Catholic Church o War in Europe is in some ways less important than what’s going on here o What Xavier and Elijah in war do reflects what happened as a consequence of residential schools • Movie o “3 for St. Paul’s and 2 for King George” o Some to the states, some to the church o No distinction made between political and religious will of the people o Equal effort between two institutions o He sings a WWI French song o No English language at the beginning – but you can understand what is happening o Gives their language the power – shows the audience what the natives had to go thorough o Kidnapping o Agent defends himself using the government’s permission o This remained legal until well into the 1960s/70s o “We have the right to make you civilized” o “Remove the Indian from the child” (become un-savage and un-ignorant) o Troubling as a national narrative Lecture 3 • The Windigo o Elijah as a windigo o What causes Elijah to become mad? o He was “whitened” in residential schooling o Elijah tried hard to fit in at war – doesn’t necessarily mean that residential school succeeded in creating “whiteness” in natives o Addiction to killing paralleled his addiction to morphine o Elijah doesn’t understand how Xavier’s name is “Nephew” as a kinship relation to his aunt Niska – result of residential schools (Christian names) o Morphine is linked to Elijah’s turning into a windigo o Makes him mad “makes him into something else” o Criticism of colonial rule o European war – colonial powers butting heads o Boyden is using gothic representation of Elijah going windigo not to stereotype him, but to show that colonialism is consumptive and cannibalistic • Samuel Hearne o “Present” of 3DR is 1918 o Return to some European for examples of windigos o Examples in early explorer narratives o Field notes/log book would be written at the exact time o Windigo sounds more factual than scary in Hearne’s writings o Gothic elements in the text o The Indigenous do not respond to the windigo with any type of “cod
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