Progression of Time and Community in the Works of Johnson and Lampman

1529 Words Jun 23rd, 2018 7 Pages
The future of society is an often unpredictable and unpleasant topic due to the many variables which effect it. In “The Lost Island” and in “The City of the End of Things”, the future is depicted as something detrimental to the society each story represents. In Pauline Johnson's short story, “The Lost Island”, this concept is expressed in the visions given by the Medicine Man, who foretells the oppression of his people by the arrival of the colonizers. In Archibald Lampman's poem, “The City of the End of Things”, this concept manifests through the downfall of greater human society in favour of a more robotic era. This essay focuses on how these two texts exemplify the variable nature of the future by focusing on the harmful possibilities …show more content…
After this point in the story, the medicine man returned to his people and told them to look for the island before dying in his sleep; however, nobody could ever find the island (Johnson 235). The main character shares his own desire to discover it when he says, “twice I have seen its shadow...[it] fell across my canoe, across my face, and across the waters beyond...there is something on that island that I want. I shall look for it until I die, for it is there” (Johnson 233). He continues to search for the island in order to obtain those long-lost traits, for himself and to uphold the former status of his people. Yet the story ends with the notion that such a reclamation may never occur. The main character claims he has been touched by the shadow of the island, “but only the shadow” (Johnson 235). This indicates that he and his people may only ever have the memories of the past to haunt them as they progress. In this way the story is indicating that the modern society the Aboriginal people thrive in is already stagnant and dead. Archibald Lampman's poem, “The City of the End of Things”, depicts the future of humanity as a hellish reality, where human existence is met with suffering. Human society itself is absent in favour of a technologically advanced, robotic era. This apocalyptic portrayal of the global community produces powerful, demonic imagery in order to depict the downward

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