The Loons

1387 Words6 Pages
Patricia Dizon
Mr. Iozzo
Friday, April 4, 2014
Cultural Destruction
Development of society has forced the Native culture to vanish due to the break their tradition has undergone in the past. The Natives were forced to adapt the white tradition thinking it would benefit them in the long-run. Both “The Loons” by Margaret Laurence and “Compatriots” by Emma Lee Warrior portray similar messages about the Natives. The main characters Hilda and Vanessa represent ignorance because of their stereotypical nature towards the culture. However, as Vanessa matures she goes through a realization and understands the sorrow and pain of Piquette and her tradition other than herself. Vanessa’s final understanding of Piquette’s life and culture
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The significance of her father’s effort becomes valuable to Vanessa when she returns to Diamond Lake and sees the changes. “The small pier which my father had built was gone, and in its place there was a large and solid pier built by the government, for Galloping Mountain was now a national park, and Diamond Lake had been renamed Lake Wapakata, for it was felt that an Indian name would have a greater appeal to tourists” (Laurence 119). The government’s idealization of the lake shows how their ignorance connects with young Vanessa visualizing of Piquette as the “daughter of the forest”. Although, Vanessa’s knowledge of Piquette’s life is much clearer, she still doesn’t understand the Native culture. Vanessa also realizes that trying to gain more knowledge and understanding about the Native culture through Piquette won’t get her anywhere because Piquette is as clueless as her. She accepts that her understanding towards the tradition is not going anywhere further than what the white society views it. However, Vanessa acknowledges the effects the white society has done to the Tonnerres’ family and the Natives. Piquette had the mindset of an adult while growing up due to the struggles her family has undergone. “’The mother’s not there,’ my father replied. ‘She took off a few years back. Can’t say I blame her. Piquette cooks for them, and she says Lazarus would never do anything for himself as long as she’s there” (Laurence
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