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Anthology notes

Course Code
Robert Mc Gill

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October 28, 2010
Duncan Campbell Scott
The Onondaga Madonna
The Battle of Lundys Lane
Jessie Georgina Sime
In-class essay
Duncan Scoot known for implementing the Indian Act
Sonnets from 1928, the first two, the last 20 years later
Certain sympathy and structure, racial past, tribal and violent, women represented as
subdued, passive in the contemporary. Familiar stereotypes—noble savage. Proud but
primitive. Solitary—no interaction with others. Suffering silently—full throated, lips, whoops
from the reservation but no speech from her. Doomed Indian—processes of vanishing is
going to happen through interracial breeding.
The Onondaga Madonna
Parody of Christian symbol—Mary and Jesus
Jesus as a savior, symbol of redemption but in the poem it is flipped to bring doomed
Irony that the baby is also completely pagan not Christian
Comparing the mother “stained by past relationship, to Mary who had an immaculate
Simply in the fact that the baby is paler than his mother – active by being
2 white men
Father of child: interracial relations, this is what is spelling the doom of the aboriginal
people. Intent is to suggest the relationship but that the consequence of it is isolation. Put
apart because of their relation un-belonging, are not apart of either race. Textualization:
isolated from other people and each other. The baby seem as almost parasitic.
Speaker: white because he trades in all of these stereotypes. Man because of the gaze used to
view the woman. Sexually objectifying. White male desire: of the father to create the child,
but of the narrator.
Cultural hybridity: a cultural identity that is dynamic, interstitial, and synthetic, not fixed or
discrete, and that draws on multiple traditions. – Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture
Title: recognition of the two languages, possible mixing of the two languages, linguistic
Frowning upon racial hybridity.
At the same time the poem itself becomes a hybrid thing.
Baby is almost antagonistic to the mother
Almost a civil war – the baby as antagonistic—treacherous half-breed—stereotype—‘names
for them are still rooted in classification, somehow physically divided.
Sense of division in the 19th century feed into that ideal, their loyalties would be divided.
Racism: the belief that certainraces are inferior or superior to others in some respect:
practices expressing this belief
Racialism: the belief that groups of human beings belong to distinctraces, practices
expressing this belief
Racial determinism: the belief that onesrace” inherently and inevitably contributes to
shaping ones identiy
Wyrd—attention to the future fate of the Iroquois
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In the blood itself lies the woman identity—if the culture is in the blood than the dilution of
that blood than interracial relationship will doom aboriginals
primal warrior gleaming in her eye” contrasts with his isolation from mama
Who is the primal warrior?
Ancient foes? Is the mother interracial?
The poem starts to become ambiguous, borders start to blur—dominant reading and then this
other possibility to spite itself, contradiction in its sympathy and then prediction that they are
The poem shifts conspicuously from past to future
Past is aggressive and violent
Present is passive, dependant
Biblical parody: garden of Eden after the fall, Indian women has fallen into the future where
her culture is obliterated. “Apple” and “snow-snake”,now clothed”
Battle of Lundy’s Lane”
dramatic monologue, Rufus Gale speaking to auditor
written in 1916—context of first world war
population of Canada at the time 8 million – 600 000 men enlisted to fight—60 000 died.
Moral is down at the point in which he is writing—debate about enlistment, conscription—
Duncan Campbell Scott wrote this to influence opinion—propaganda—hyperbolic instance
of rhetoric
How does it say that war is a good thing?
Why the war of 1812? Patriotic war, brought Canadians together, glory still remains – “glory”
is a repeated word in the poem. Archaic notions of battle and marshal virtue, Britain
reinforced Canada so they need to reinforce Britain. Brings it closer to home.
Father and son fighting together. WW1 young men got angry, that old men were sending their
young off to war to die. Minimizes that tension, that everyone is in it together.
Core of the poem is the argument that Rufus and his wife have
How does the poem allow Rufus to win? Honor and God, the alternative—life—has no glory,
debate is being staged so that he can win. Gender argument, it is the man who puts forth the
marshal values and the mother who is the grieving parent. Only a women would protest war.
No sense of sympathy for mother, she is made stereotypically irrational, as in arguments
against war are irrational—powerful rhetorical poem.
He cries when the man says that he is right not when his son dies, more explanations than the
poem is giving—he is right, they are reconciling, that he is not right?
Comic: the profoundness of war is funneled into two parents argument over the death of their
Patriotism and family do not reconcile, demands of country vs. family fears
Jessie Georgina Sime, written a year after the war
Unusual relationship with gynecologist (married), worked in his office she saw taboo topics
that accumulated in her book of 1919 Sister-Woman
Opportunities of Women at war not solider
Stephan Leacocksthe woman question” (1915)
Story begins with a journey—going out to the factory
Civic space—working class, females
Optimism and defensiveness—it recognizes the audience that would frown upon it and argues
for their ‘goodness
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