No Great Mischief

1812 Words8 Pages
In No Great Mischief, Alistair MacLeod proves to the reader that it is impossible to talk about the Scottish-Canadian heritage without mentioning tradition, family and loyalty. MacLeod wrote this book about loyalty to family tradition. It is common to talk about these three things when one describes his family or his past in general, but in this book, MacLeod has included every single intricate detail about each one of the three aspects. Family plays the biggest role in this novel. Anything that the characters say or do usually has to do with family. The first time Alexander MacDonald, the narrator of the story, mentions family it is not his own. It is one of the immigrant families picking berries along the road that he is driving on…show more content…
However, we later learn that Alexander did not move away to become a dentist only to escape the dirty work that he would be required to do in the mines. The incident I am talking about happens right after Alexander graduates from medical school. He is having a graduation party at his grandfather's house, when the phone rings and we learn that one of the people from the mine has died. When the miners come back with the body of Alexander MacDonald, Alexander's cousin who he remembers from childhood, the phone rings again and we learn that Calum has to provide the same number of men as he had. Alexander volunteers to take up the empty spot (130-131). This proves to us that Alexander values his family so much and is so loyal to them that he is even willing to throw away the twelve years that he spent in medical school just to help his family out. He truly believes that family, and any group for that matter, is more important than the individual is. I would imagine that the family would make great Communist party members. He has worked so hard to get somewhere and he is willing to discard everything just because of this incident. I am sure that although he only needed to work for under a year, because they found another person to take his place, that he would have stayed there until they found a person, whether it be in 2, 5, or even 10 years. The idea of family as an organization is being is
Open Document