Death by Landscape and the Canadian Identity Essay

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Death by Landscape “Death by Landscape” shows subtle, but nonetheless significant, qualities regarding Canadian culture. The author (Margaret Atwood) uses Canadian landscape, Native culture, and character attributes to symbolize the Canadian identity. The struggle between Native Canadians and European Canadians to define what makes somebody Canadian is a major theme in this story. The historically inaccurate depiction of Native practices, as well as the less than flattering depiction of Native people, is an all too real issue which is alluded to in this story. Another major reference to Canadian identity is the depiction of the differences between Americans and Canadians. The characters, Lucy and Lois, symbolize Americans and Canadians.…show more content…
So they have created extreme renditions of Native peoples both negative and positive. Negative, so that they themselves can feel superior by comparison. Positive so that they can have something to conform to. A truly Canadian ceremony that they feel their ancestors may have lacked. The use of exaggerated Native practices enriches the story, because it triggers a feeling of distaste with Lois as well as the reader. However, they also bring up an unspoken conflict within the Canadian identity between Native and European culture. The use of these practices demonstrates the need for European Canadians to both mock and Emulate Native practices. -A major focus of this story is the Canadian landscape, and how it affects its residents. It is an accurate demonstration of how nature affects the Canadian identity. The Canadian wilderness becomes a part of Lois through the tragedy that has occurred. Although she realizes it late, the landscape of the wild has become a part of her personal identity. As she ages, Lois slowly becomes more aware of her obsession with the Canadian wilderness. This quotation demonstrates her recognition, at the beginning of the story, of her relationship with the Canadian wilderness. #4 In this passage, Lois realizes the affect of her husband’s death and the aging of her children has had on her. She has become less distracted by every day activities and has more time to reflect upon
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