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FREB36H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Deschambault-Grondines, Super Bowl Xxxi, Mon Fils

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Corinne Beauquis
Study Guide

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Bonheur DOccasion
The novel details the loss of many things in the lives of several characters. For Rose-
Anna it is the loss of her children, first Eugene to the army, then Florentine to marriage
and Daniel to death. For Azarius it is the loss of his vocation and subsequently his
identity as a "man".
Despite being about a family the novel demonstrates the solitude of the various
characters. For Rose-Anna this is best seen at the end of the novel when she gives
birth practically alone. She feels completely alone and even Azarius is not there when
she calls for him.
The feminine condition
The condition of the woman is treated throughout the novel both on the individual level
(in the lives of Rose-Anna and her daughter Florentine) and universally when Rose-
Anna identifies with women across the world who are affected by the senselessness of
war. Feminist undertones can be found in the way Gabrielle Roy describes Rose-Anna's
role in the family. Rose-Anna is, in some ways, a victim of circumstance with a husband
who has no work, poverty which causes her to go searching for new lodging every
spring and her Catholic faith which does not allow her to use birth control and results in
many pregnancies which take their toll on her both physically and emotionally.
The futility of war
A theme discussed throughout the book Roy shows many opinions on the war via
various characters but there is a strong sense of war being senseless. Emmanuel
Létourneau is one character (along with Rose-Anna Lacasse) who questions the
meaning and motive behind going to war. He struggles with his own motivations and
concludes that the purpose for going to war must be to end it one day.
Florentine Lacasse
A young waitress at the "Five and Ten restaurant"
Finds her current life to be one of drudgery and longs to find something better
supports her parents and siblings financially

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Azarius Lacasse
Florentine's father, a construction worker by trade who has fallen on hard times due to
the depressed economy and is now working as a taxi driver to get by.
Rose-Anna Lacasse
Florentine's mother, a central character in the novel who often takes on the role of the
head of the family when Azarius fails to provide leadership.
Jean Lévesque
An arrogant and ambitious machinist-electrician who believes himself to be better than
most in Saint-Henri and is very concerned with reaching a higher status and social
Emmanuel Létourneau
A friend of Jean Lévesque and a soldier who meets and falls in love with Florentine.
Emma Philibert
Nicknamed "Fat Emma" or "Ma Philibert", the jovial owner of a combination restaurant
and store
Sam Latour
The owner of "The Two Records" restaurant/store, loves to discuss current affairs
Eugene Lacasse
Florentine's brother who joined the army

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Daniel's nurse, an English woman
Analyse de Bonheur
1) Gabrielle Roy est née le 22 mars 1909 à Sainte Boniface, au Manitoba. De 1929 à
1937, elle y a enseigné. En 1939, après avoir vécu à Paris et à Londres, elle s’installe à
Montréal. Elle se destine alors à une carrière littéraire et commence à écrire pour la
presse canadienne. D’ailleurs ses articles ont servi de toile de fond à son premier
roman, Bonheur d’occasion. En 1950, paraît La petite Poule d’eau. Pendant toute sa
vie, Gabrielle Roy a écrit beaucoup de romans tels que Rue Deschambault en 1955, La
Rivière sans repos en 1970 ou encore Cet été qui chantait qui lui ont permis de
remporter de nombreux prix et d’obtenir une très grande notoriété.
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