Literary Criticism Theory 1

Backwoodsmen as Ecocritical Motif in French Canadian by Anne Rehill

By Anne Rehill

In New France and early Canada, younger males who ventured into the woodland to seek and alternate with Amerindians (coureurs de bois, “runners of the woods”), later touring in immense groups of canoes (voyageurs), have been identified for his or her independence. usually defined as half-wild themselves, they associated the eu and Indian societies, ultimately supporting to shape a brand new tradition with parts of either. From an ecocritical point of view they signify either damaging and gains of the human ancient trajectory simply because, as well as engaging within the environmentally abusive fur exchange, in addition they characterize the best way ahead via intercultural connections and enterprise relationships. The 4 novels analyzed here—Joseph-Charles Taché’s Forestiers et voyageurs: Moeurs et légendes canadiennes (1863); Louis Hémon’s Maria Chapdelaine (1916); Léo-Paul Desrosiers’ Les Engagés du Grand Portage (1938); and Antonine Maillet’s Pélagie-la-Charrette (1979)—portray the backwoodsmen working in a collaborative mode in the reasonable context of the necessity to become profitable. They entered folklore during the nineteenth century literary efforts of Taché and others to build a unique French Canadian nationwide id, then in an volatile and continuously disrupted strategy of formation. Their access into literature unavoidably introduced their Amerindian enterprise and private companions, therefore making intercultural connections a starting place of the nationwide id that Taché and others strove to build and likewise replicate. As figures in literature, they include altering principles of the self and of the cultures and ethnicities that they attach, either bodily and in an summary experience. simply because buildings of self-identity bring about habit, learning this dynamic contributes to ecocritical efforts to higher comprehend human habit towards either ourselves and the environment. The woodsmen and their Amerindian companions occupy the exciting place of contributing to either harm and larger attractiveness of the cultural different, the latter of which holds the promise of collaboration and joint searches for sustainable strategies. therefore coureurs de bois and voyageurs, faraway from ideal types, can proceed to function courses today.

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