Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (650,000)
UTSG (50,000)
English (1,000)
ENG252Y1 (100)

Susanna Moodie and Margaret Atwood

Course Code
Robert Mc Gill

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Susanna Moodie
Roughing it in the Bush
Settler-invader society and literary culture in Upper Canada
Introduction to the third edition”
establishing ethos
A visit to Grosse Isle
Views od Landscape and class
Uncle Joe and his family
Americans, feminism, ad autobiography
Colonialism: by inhabiting the open spaces in the earth…?
Reluctant immigrant: matter of necessity not of choice
Lasted seven years in the busy before moving to Belleville
Moodie was literate before she ever got to Canada, first at 19. Started to create literary culture
in Upper Canada, very non-literary community, hard to get books. U of T wasnt founded
until 1887. Started Victoria Magazine. Published sketches from life in the bush and published
them later in Roughing it in the Bush. Published in Britain vs. Canada, maybe New York. Not
published till 1852.
First Paragraph
Hierarchy of immigration: lower classes only
Ethos of emotions: angry, bitter, etc.
Prejudice and close mindedness
Implying that Canada is beneath her
Literary stylistic difference: passionate, imagistic, syntactically difficult
No reference to herself in the first seven paragraphs of introductions
Disingenuous removed tone
Gender anxiety, no introduction to women “bettering his condition” – more impersonal,
authoritative voice, navigating tricky space ideologically, to speak with experience but to
maintain identity as a woman.
Decorum: literary decorum, style suitable to ones subject matter
Franklin= scientific Moodie= argument, outrage at duping immigrants
October 7th 2010
Roughing it in the Bush finale
The Garrison Mentality
Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer”
Excerpts from The Journals of Susanna Moodie
The Age of Lead”
Meditated History
Genre and Camp
Death and Unknown
Roughing it in the Bush pg. 133, third line from the last – end of paragraph.
Is God just to his creatures?” Brian Still Hunter

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She allows others to give voice to things that she dare not articulate herself, the limit of her
abilities to view and give language to the world—she does not give an answer
Europeans being devoured by the New World or the New World being devoured by the
Europeans (although that would not be Susannahs thought)
Human interaction in the new word, exploit each other until their use runs out
Social proto Darwinism
Pg. 124
Recognizes her own limits in terms of her conceptual apparatus even though she cannot
change them
Contradictions, the river as something that makes her crazy yet she loves it and identifies with
it – conventional device, pathetic fallacy
The ascription of human emotions to the natural environment
The feeling of awe and beauty seeing nature from afar breaks down when she is on land and
turns to violence and opposition
When she is settled in she starts to appreciate it again, grudgingly
Foreshadowing her own childrens drowning
Paradox, her affinity to the land comes from her isolation due to it
Margaret Atwood points of the contradictory aspect of Susannah
Tensions, ambivalences, ironies
Imperialist and/or Anti-Colonial
Romantic and/or Proto-Darwinism
Spiritual and beauty, ideal opposite to civilization vs. Brain Still Hunter and scene with the
Scene of the fire
Social Historian and/or Autobiographer
Primarily a documenter of other people, economics, sociology vs. uses other characters to
create a picture of herself
TitleRoughing it in the Bush jarring – verb as a noun, no human subject
Introduction, no mention of “I” until 8th paragraph
Confessing to her temperament all the time: language
Margaret Atwood
Her vs. Thomas King
Both thinking about how Canada might be shaped by its past
How history speaks to their work, critical thinking of limitation to stories and story tellers, to
look for contradictions
These are texts of the past, 60s and 70s
What was going on at the time
Began as a poet vs. a novelist
A hundred years after Canadas founding as a country
Canadian writers started to be interested in these mythic questions, origins
Atwood is interested in the 19th century
Northrop Frye influence: Garrison Mentality
Colonial history: close knit communities, hemmed in by wilderness: threat, enclosure,
Terror of the wilderness
Freezing, bears, encroaching, alive
A sense of claustrophobia
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