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Sexual provinciality and characterization : a study of some recent Canadian fiction Corbett, Nancy Jean 1971

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"SEXUAL PROVINCIALITY" AND CHARACTERIZATION: A STUDY OF SOME RECENT CANADIAN FICTION  by  NANCY JEAN CORBETT B.A. , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1969  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN .PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master o f A r t s  i n the Department of ENGLISH  We a c c e p t t h i s  t h e s i s as conforming to the  required standard  TEE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1971  In p r e s e n t i n g an the  thesis  advanced degree at Library  I further for  this  shall  agree  the  in p a r t i a l  fulfilment of  University  of  make i t f r e e l y  that permission  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may  by  his  of  this  written  representatives. thesis  for  be  available  for  for extensive  granted  by  the  It i s understood  financial  gain  permission.  Depa r t m e n t The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a  British  Columbia  shall  requirements  Columbia,  Head o f my  be  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and copying of  that  not  the  that  study.  this  thesis  Department  copying or  for  or  publication  allowed without  my  CONTENTS.  Chapter  Page  INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . I.  .. . . . . . . . .. . . .  THE B I O L O G I C A L THEORY," OF FEMALE P E R S O N A L I T Y t B R I A N MOORE . . . . . . ^ .. ... TO  II..  AS FOR NE AND MY HOUSE: THE. COMPLEX MRS.  III.  CHARACTER AS SYMBOL AND THE THEME OF S A C R I F I C E : THE LOVED AND THE LOST AND THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT ....  IV..  .  CHARACTER AS SYMBOL AND THE THEME OF S A C R I F I C E : THE DOUBLE HOOK AND THE  SACRIFICE" . . . . . . . . . . . . .  V.  Vr.  T  42  61'  THE IMPORTANCE OF POINT OF VIEW: DISTANCE. AND I D E N T I F I C A T I O N I N TWO NOVELS BY ETHEL WILSON .. .. .. . . „ . . . . . 78 WOMEN OF THE GARRISON:: THREE NOVELS BY MARGARET LAURENCE  CONCLUSION . WORKS" CITED  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  99 121 128  ABSTRACT From i t s e a r l i e s t b e g i n n i n g i n F r a n c e s Brooke"s The H i s t o r y o f E m i l y Montague, set. i n Canada and p u b l i s h e d in 1 7 6 9 ,  women have been prominent  i n Canadian  literature:.  S i n c e t h a t t i m e , a v e r y l a r g e number o f Canadian n o v e l s w r i t t e n by both men and women c e r n e d w i t h a female  have been p r i m a r i l y  con-  c h a r a c t e r . . I n t h i s t h e s i s , an a t ;  tempt has been made t o determine  t o what e x t e n t an author's  f i c t i o n a l w o r l d view and c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i s i n f l u e n c e d by h i s sex; the a r e a was narrowed t o t h a t o f the Canadian n o v e l i n the p e r i o d ! of a p p r o x i m a t e l y  1 9 5 0 - 1 9 6 5 *  Novels by  B r i a n Moore, S i n c l a i r Ross, Hugh MacLennan, Morley Callaghan,, A'd'ele Wiseman, S h e i l a Watson, E t h e l W i l s o n , and Margaret. Laurence  were chosen  as the main objects, o f the study.*.  A r e c u r r e n t theme emerged d u r i n g the study o f these n o v e l s ; many o f the authors appeared the problem  d e e p l y concerned  with  o f personal' and s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n , and concluded  t h a t e v i l and f e a r , compassion  and l o v e n e i t h e r  o u t s i d e t h e s e l f n o r remain c o n f i n e d t o i t . .  originate  The metaphor  used t o c h a r a c t e r i z e the f e a r - b a s e d i s o l a t i o n was o f t e n t h a t o f the w i l d e r n e s s , which might  be i n t e r n a l ,  external,  or b o t h . A" f i n a l ! c o n c l u s i o n about all  based p r i m a r i l y on female  these, novel's, which are almost c h a r a c t e r s , i s t h a t the ones  c r e a t e d by women are g e n e r a l l y more i n t e r e s t i n g and c o n vincing.  The male n o v e l i s t s tend t o emphasize., the s e x u a l  r o l e s p l a y e d by t h e i r female p r o t a g o n i s t s , w h i l e the women authors have a s t r o n g e r tendency  t o w r i t e about women  as people whose s e x u a l i t y i s i m p o r t a n t , but whose t o t a l p e r s o n a l i t y i s not c o n s t i t u e d by t h i s one a s p e c t .  INTRODUCTION  we any s t y l i s t i c c r i t e r i a f o r a s c e r t a i n i n g the sex o f the w r i t e r ? " asks Harry L e v i n i n h i s essay, "Janes and E m i l i e s ,  1 or the N o v e l i s t as Heroine." i n p a r t by a s s e r t i n g t h a t  He answers h i s own  "Coleridge's  question  declaration that  a l l great minds a r e androgynous may be the only s o l u t i o n t o t h e dilemma.  F a l l i n g short o f t h a t , one way or the  other, we a r e a l l p r e j u d i c e d by our sexual  provinciality,  2 whatever i t s province  happens t o be."  of course, be a bad t h i n g .  T h i s need n o t ,  On the c o n t r a r y ,  i t may be  t h a t , as R.P. Blackmur puts i t , " i t takes a s t r o n g and 3 a c t i v e p r e j u d i c e t o see f a c t s a t a l l , "  i n the sense t h a t  an i n d i v i d u a l b i a s may serve as a f o c u s s i n g p o i n t , a key t o f a c t s and meanings which would otherwise be overlooked. Such a c o n s t r u c t i v e p r e j u d i c e , however, must be a conscious one,  and the p r e c i s e d i f f i c u l t y with sexual p r e j u d i c e i s  t h a t i t tends, l i k e r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e , t o be l a r g e l y unconscious,  stagnant, and u n c r e a t i v e .  Debates over the merits  o f authoresses as compared  to a u t h o r s can be found i n the c r i t i c a l  j o u r n a l s , and the  1 R e f r a c t i o n s : Essays i n Comparative L i t e r a t u r e York: Oxford Univ. Press, I 9 6 6 ) , p.252.  (New  2 3  I b i d . , pp.255-6.  The Expense o f Greatness Smith, 1958), p.107.  (Gloucester,  Mass.: Peter  o p i n i o n s s e t down t h e r e i n e v i t a b l y critic  who e x p r e s s e s  writers,  them t h a n a b o u t  whose s t y l e s ,  achievements,  v a r y a s w i d e l y a s do t h o s e same r e a s o n s .  they  proven.  successes and f a i l u r e s  o f male a u t h o r s , a n d f o r t h e  extra-literary  i s so broad,  Although  tendency  authors  ruefully,  criteria  new a p p r o a c h e s t o t h i s  are; l i a b l e  not  t o explain the style  i n terms o f t h e i r  and achievements o f  s e x was commented on, She a n d h e r s i s t e r s  f o r t h e names  "we h a d a v a g u e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t  sometimes u s e f o r t h e i r  p e r s o n a l i t y and f o r t h e i r  authoresses  chastisement  t h e weapon  reward, a f l a t t e r y which i s  praise."  Critiques while  assumed  t o be l o o k e d on w i t h p r e j u d i c e ; we h a d n o t i c e d  critics  true  which  contemporary c o n s i d e r a t i o n : t h e  by C h a r l o t t e B r o n t e .  o f men b e c u a s e  of  must be  question a r e ap-  noms de plume w h i c h c o u l d h a v e b e e n m i s t a k e n  how  i s created  s o much i s b e l i e v e d , a n d s o l i t t l e  i t i s not a merely  critical female  context,  o f women  i n r e g a r d t o women w r i t e r s s t h e s o c i a l a r e a  inhabit  parent,  the a b i l i t i e s  Nevertheless, since l i t e r a t u r e  within a social expected  r e v e a l more a b o u t t h e  based  occasionally  on b i o g r a p h i c a l o r b i o l o g i c a l  factors,  l e g i t i m a t e and u s e f u l , a r e used t o o  o f t e n a s t h e s o l e a p p r o a c h t o works b y women a u t h o r s . Mary E l l m a n n cism",  notes  i n her chapter  "the l i t e r a l  fact  p.258«  "Phallic  of masculinity, unlike  does n o t impose a n e r o g e n i c  Levin,  entitled  form  upon a l l a s p e c t s  As  Criti-  femininity, of the  person's c a r e e r . "  Such an i m p o s i t i o n i s u n f a i r t o t h e  author, as w e l l as l i m i t i n g f o r the c r i t i c .  To f a l l back  on such u n s a t i s f a c t o r y c r i t e r i a when approaching  recent  Canadian f i c t i o n would be i m p o s s i b l e t o j u s t i f y , because not o n l y does a v e r y l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n o f i t have as i t s c e n t r a l concern  t h e i d e n t i t y and experience  o f a female  p r o t a g o n i s t , but many o r most o f t h e s u c c e s s f u l authors a r e women.  In such a s i t u a t i o n , where the t r a d i t i o n a l sub-  group i s no l o n g e r a m i n o r i t y t o be d e f i n e d i n terms o f i t s d e v i a t i o n from t h e m a j o r i t y or norm, t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l  cri-  t e r i a l o s e much o f t h e i r u s e f u l n e s s . Our c u l t u r e ' s t r a d i t i o n a l range o f feminine  images  extends i n t o l i t e r a t u r e i n v a r i o u s ways.  Many f i c t i o n a l  p o r t r a i t s o f women a r e f l a t  t h e changing f a s h i o n s  stereotypes t  i n female c h a r a c t e r s a r e d e s c r i b e d a t l e n g t h i n an e x c e l l e n t study o f t h e s u b j e c t made by Robert U t t e r and Gwendolyn 6 Needham. They note t h a t Pamela, t h e h e r o i n e o f Samuel Richardson's  n o v e l o f t h e same name, possesses  and q u a l i t i e s , no one o f which adequately without  the others.  Her daughters,  "many t r a i t s  represents her  t h e heroines  of l a t e r  f l e c t i o n , too o f t e n have t o get a l o n g with one t r a i t  apiece— 7  as i f t h e h e r i t a g e had t o be d i v i d e d among t h e h e i r e s s e s . " The absence o f depth and complexity  i n many f i c t i o n a l  women i s p o s s i b l y a r e s u l t o f the widespread c u l t u r a l  tradition  5 T h i n k i n g About Women (New Yorks Harcourt, Brace, & World, Inc., 1968), p.31. 6 Pamela's 'Daughters (New Yorki The MacMillan Co.,  1936).  7 I b i d . , p.18.  which p e r c e i v e s man as a complex b e i n g , s p l i t between h i s m a t e r i a l and s p i r i t u a l a s p e c t s , and woman as a s i m p l e r c r e a t u r e who  embodies e i t h e r m a t e r i a l i s m o r s p i r i t u a l i t y , but not  both.  From t h i s elementary d i f f e r e n c e a r i s e numerous s t e r e o -  t y p e s ! t h e good woman, t h e bad woman; t h e greedy,  grasp-  i n g b i t c h and t h e generous, s e l f - d e n y i n g martyr; M o l l Flanders and  C l a r i s s a Harlowe.  Women i n our l i t e r a t u r e have, f o r t h e  most p a r t , been " e i t h e r . . . o r " r a t h e r than and."  "both  . ..  The dichotomy can be elaboratedt another o f i t s pre-  v a l e n t f e a t u r e s i s an a s s o c i a t i o n o f women with nature and of man w i t h a r t ; t h i s leads i n t u r n t o an equation o f t h e c r e a t i v e achievement o f male authors and a r t i s t s t o c h i l d b i r t h , and a b e l i e f t h a t i t i s somehow " u n n a t u r a l " f o r women t o be v o l u n t a r i l y , r a t h e r than i n v o l u n t a r i l y , c r e a t i v e . These b a s i c views a r e only p a r t o f a l o n g t r a d i t i o n o f a s s i g n i n g g e n e r a l i z e d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t o both sexes.  Typi-  c a l l y , t h e q u a l i t i e s used t o d e s c r i b e males tend t o be cons i d e r e d those which d i s t i n g u i s h our s p e c i e s , t h a t i s , they are  "human" c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s or those o f mankind, w h i l e  women a r e a s s i g n e d a more l i m i t e d s e t o f d i s t i n g u i s h i n g features.  Her a t t r i b u t e s tend t o be n e g a t i v e ; she i s what-  ever man i s not, and possesses  those q u a l i t i e s which he  p r e f e r s not t o have a s c r i b e d t o h i m s e l f , although profess admiration implanted  f o r them.  he may  The most common and deeply  s t e r e o t y p i c q u a l i t i e s of f e m i n i n i t y have been  summarized a t l e n g t h by Mary Ellman (pp.?4-1^+5).  The f i r s t  i n T h i n k i n g About Women  one she notes i s formlessness i i n  t h i s s t e r e o t y p e , t h e mind i s equated with the body, so t h a t the s o f t e r female body i s assumed t o be r e f l e c t e d i n feminine thinking processes.  A good example o f t h i s i n l i t e r a t u r e  i s t h e stream-of-consciousness monologue o f Joyce's Molly Bloom, where t h i n k i n g becomes equated with menstruation. Another p r e v a l e n t assumption  i s t h a t o f p a s s i v i t y , and a  common s e x u a l p o s i t i o n i s taken as symbolic o f t h e e n t i r e personality.  The s t e r e o t y p i c p a s s i v i t y o f women i s r e l a t e d  p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y t o "Negro apathy":  i n both c a s e s , "the  (male white) observer, h a v i n g r e s t r i c t e d t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n of t h e group, f i n d s t h a t i n a c t i v i t y i s an i n n a t e group 8 characteristic."  In order t o f u l f i l l another  culturally-  a s s i g n e d t r a i t , t h a t o f i n s t a b i l i t y , women a r e p e r m i t t e d t o move from p a s s i v i t y t o h y s t e r i a . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f confinement  r e s u l t s from t h e  " n a t u r a l " law and s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s which kept women l i m i t e d to  domestic p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; t h i s g i v e s r i s e t o a number o f  r e l a t e d t r a i t s such as neatness, p r a c t i c a l i t y , s k i l l a t s m a l l handiwork and, to  In t h e realm o f i d e a s , a supposed  s m a l l , narrow concepts and o p i n i o n s .  admired strict  confinement  P i e t y , a much-  feminine a t t r i b u t e u n t i l t h i s century, c o n s i s t s o f o b s e r v a t i o n o f man-made r u l e s .  Being  presumably  more s p i r i t u a l l y i n c l i n e d , women were expected t o improve t h e i r husbands and c h i l d r e n , and uphold t h e moral tone o f Ellman, p.81.  the community.  In o p p o s i t i o n t o t h i s i s the b e l i e f t h a t  women have a narrower outlook and l a c k s p i r i t u a l depth, so t h a t they a r e more concerned with immediate t h i n g s and more; m a t e r i a l i s t i c than men. more i r r a t i o n a l  F i n a l l y , women a r e seen as  ( l e s s l o g i c a l and more i n t u i t i v e ) than men,  and more compliant;  because o f t h e i r supposedly  softer  natures,  l a c k o f f i r m o p i n i o n s , and i l l o g i c a l outlook, women a r e " n a t u r a l l y " more d o c i l e than a r e men. Two  s t r o n g l y r e c u r r e n t images o r archetypes  based on  some o f these c u l t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s i t c s a r e those o f the whore, e i t h e r a s t h e nameless, c o o p e r a t i v e and u n c r i t i c a l sex obj e c t o r t h e d e c e i t f u l , g r a s p i n g b i t c h , and t h e w i t c h , an o l d e r woman who i s f e a r e d because she possesses which men l a c k .  The witch o f t e n symbolizes  any power o r under-  s t a n d i n g h e l d by women which i s r e l a t e d t o t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s from men: thus, menstruation gation i s required a f t e r c h i l d b i r t h ,  knowledge  biological  i s a c u r s e , pur-  etc.  These q u a l i t i e s  and t h e i r a r c h e t y p a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n s r e c u r i n f i c t i o n  with  d e p r e s s i n g r e g u l a r i t y , from t h e e a r l i e s t f a i r y t a l e s t o the? most contemporary n o v e l s . Not a l l f i c t i o n a l h e r o i n e s , o f course, a r e e n t i r e l y symb o l i c or abstract.  In a d i s c u s s i o n o f the novels o f B r i a n  Moore, George Woodcock comments t h a t "the u l t i m a t e t e s t of s k i l l among c o n t i n e n t a l European n o v e l i s t s has always been t h e c r e a t i o n o f a c o n v i n c i n g h e r o i n e .  . . . such n o v e l -  i s t s have shown t h e u l t i m a t e t e s t o f i m a g i n a t i v e  capability  i n c r o s s i n g sex l i n e s t o c r e a t e h e r o i n e s more c o n v i n c i n g  than those o f most women n o v e l i s t s :  . . . they have made 9 t h e i r imaginary world complete and s e l f - c o n s i s t e n t . " In a d d i t i o n t o t h i s , s i g n i f i c a n t changes i n t h e p o r t r a y a l o f women i n l i t e r a t u r e have p a r a l l e l e d t h e changing s t a t u s o f women over t h e c e n t u r i e s . and Needham summarize t h i s l i t e r a r y  social  In t h e i r study, U t t e r evolution*  The f i r s t stage i s t h a t i n which a l l h e r o i n e s o f romance a r e p e r f e c t , and women who a r e bad a r e h o r r i d and have p i c a r e s q u e n o v e l s a l l t o themselves. T h i s i s the age o f Pamela and M o l l F l a n d e r s . Next t h e e r r i n g s i s t e r s a r e a d m i t t e d t o t h e same b u i l d i n g as t h e p e r f e c t l a d i e s , but have a wing t o themselves, with impermeable w a l l s . The p e r f e c t h e r o i n e i s i n t h e main n o v e l and t h e p i c a r a i n the i n t e r p o l a t e d t a l e — . . . Even so e a r l y as F i e l d i n g , however, t h e s e p a r a t i o n i s not w a t e r - t i g h t ; i n Amelia Miss Matthews p l a y s more p a r t than merely t o r e l a t e h e r s t o r y . The t h i r d stage i s t h a t o f t h e double h e r o i n e , the p e r f e c t and I n s i p i d Amelia and t h e s p i c y Becky, t h e one " b e a u t i f u l " and the other "but". The f o u r t h stage combines t h e b e a u t i f u l and t h e but i n one h e r o i n e , whose beauty i s s e t o f f by t h e q u a l i t y thought o f as a b l e m i s h , as by a mole o r a patch. The f i f t h stage might be c a l l e d " b e a u t i f u l and . . . " o r beauty p l u s , i n which t h e v i v a c i o u s q u a l i t i e s a r e put forward as a d d i t i o n s r a t h e r than s u b t r a c t i o n s . The s i x t h stage . . . comes i n t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , i n which t h e h e r o i n e ( s t i l l b e a u t i f u l ) does a l l t h a t Tom Jones does and we r e g a r d h e r i n t h e same l i g h t . 10 Without  d i s a g r e e i n g with t h i s c o n c l u s i o n , I t h i n k a f u r t h e r  stage can be d i s c e r n e d as w e l l .  In t h e p r e s e n t , t h e h e r o i n e  i s f r e e d o f t h e need t o resemble a male hero, t o "do a l l t h a t Tom Jones does" i n o r d e r t o be seen as a completely human, r e a l c h a r a c t e r .  On t h e c o n t r a r y , she can be something  even more r a d i c a l : i n t h e hands o f a s k i l l e d n o v e l i s t , she 9 "Rounding G i o t t o ' s C i r c l e : B r i a n Moore's Poor B i t c h e s . " Odysseus Ever Returning (Toronto/Montreal: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , 1 9 7 0 ) , p.kO. 10 Pamela's Daughters, p p . 4 0 7 - 8 .  can be h e r s e l f , whatever t h a t may be. The attempt  by humans t o e x p l o r e and understand  i s t i m e l e s s , but i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s have v a r i e d with c u l t u r e s and ages. attempt  reality different  In t h e f i c t i o n o f t h i s c e n t u r y , t h e  has o f t e n been i n t r o s p e c t i v e ; w r i t e r s such as James  Joyce, D.H.Lawrence, and V i r g i n i a Woolf worked t o d i s c o v e r and communicate the m y s t e r i e s which l i e deep w i t h i n t h e s e l f , and h e l p e d t o s h i f t t h e focus o f l i t e r a t u r e from a c h a r a c t e r ' s e x t e r n a l s t r u g g l e s with other people o r with h i s e n v i r o n ment t o t h e i n n e r ones o f understanding and a c c e p t i n g t h e self.  In  I 8 3 8 ,  Anna Jameson made a t e l l i n g and c a u s t i c  o b s e r v a t i o n based on h e r experiences with women who were new emigrants  t o Canada: "I have not o f t e n i n my l i f e met  wiith contented and cheerful-minded women, but I never met with so many r e p i n i n g and d i s c o n t e n t e d women a s i n Canada. I never met with one woman r e c e n t l y s e t t l e d here, who cons i d e r e d h e r s e l f happy i n h e r new home and c o u n t r y :  I heard  o f one, and d o u b t l e s s t h e r e a r e o t h e r s , but they a r e excep11  t i o n s t o the general r u l e . " t h i s statement  isstill  More than a c e n t u r y  later,  o f i n t e r e s t ; although t h e contempo-  r a r y search f o r s e c u r i t y and meaning i s d i r e c t e d inward, i n s t e a d o f outward a g a i n s t t h e e x t e r n a l w i l d e r n e s s , i t has not ceased t o be accompanied by f e a r s , doubts, and d i s c o n t e n t . The  search by an i n d i v i d u a l f o r g r e a t e r self-knowledge and  a more deeply-founded  i d e n t i t y , l i k e t h e attempt  to establish  a new s o c i e t y , n e c e s s i t a t e s l e a v i n g behind t h e o l d p a t t e r n s 11  Winter S t u d i e s and Summer Rambles i n Canada M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . . 1 9 2 3 ) . t>.13Q.  (Toronto:  which, a l t h o u g h perhaps r e s t r i c t i v e , were a l s o  familiar  and c o m f o r t i n g . In t h e unknown, t h e r e a r e unknown dangers. From i t s e a r l i e s t b e g i n n i n g i n Frances Brooke's The H i s t o r y o f Emily Montague, s e t i n Canada and p u b l i s h e d i n 1769,  women have been prominent i n Canadian  The n o n - f i c t i o n a l documentary Catherine Parr T r a i l l  literature.  works o f Susanna  were among t h e f i r s t  Moodie and  Canadian w r i t i n g s  to  cease i m i t a t i n g f o r m a l E n g l i s h s t y l e s 1 both Roughing I t  In  t h e Bush ( 1 8 5 2 ) and The Backwoods o f Canada  (I836)  e x h i b i t a d i r e c t , simple s t y l e and f r e e r use o f l o c a l Canadian idiom than most works o f t h e i r p e r i o d .  Many  subsequent Canadian n o v e l s have been w r i t t e n by women, and many o f those w r i t t e n by men have been p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h a female c h a r a c t e r .  To what extent an a u t h o r ' s  "sexual p r o v i n c i a l i t y " appears t o i n f l u e n c e h i s o r h e r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f t h i s t o the n o v e l s ' themes, i s t h e b a s i s o f t h e f o l l o w i n g study.  THE  BIOLOGICAL THEORY OF FEMALE PERSONALITY: BRIAN MOORE  No a u t h o r ' s work i s c o m p l e t e l y f r e e tural dary  truisms, or s t e r e o t y p e s . fictional  c h a r a c t e r s who  since they are n e c e s s a r i l y It  i s not a c r i t i c i s m ,  to note that  authors of both  It  secon-  complexity,  c a n be  found  stereotypes  figures.  i n t h e works o f  and  Midge o f S u c h  than the l o n g - s u f f e r i n g Ainslie  o f Each  mentioned  Canadian I s My  Doris of  Man's Son  Beloved The  than  Mrs.  Sacrifice.  i s f r o m t h e c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s c r e a t e d by a n  t h a t we that  l a c k o r i g i n a l i t y and  cul-  t h e r e f o r e , but merely an o b s e r v a t i o n ,  or Margaret  P l o p l e r o f The  accept  subordinate to the c e n t r a l  sexes: Ronnie  a r e no more l i m i t e d Angel,  r e a d e r s , we  many examples o f t h e f e m a l e  i n the introduction  Stone  As  from c l i c h e s ,  demand d e p t h a n d  believability:  t h e a u t h o r makes o r m i s s e s  s h i p t o h i s p r o t a g o n i s t may  author  i t i s through  his point.  be more o r l e s s  His  them  relation-  direct:  i t is  u s u a l l y n o t v e r y u s e f u l t o s p e c u l a t e on t h e amount o f a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l content fiction. is  Without  i n any  individual created solely for  resorting to this  sometimes p o s s i b l e t o c a t c h s i g h t  of v i s i o n which forms p a r t proach  to his material.  o f t h e n o v e l s by B r i a n fidential,  ters  of Judith  of a c o n s i s t e n t  of a w r i t e r ' s  angle  characteristic  S u c h a n a n g l e c a n be Moore; i t i s a p p a r e n t  i n t i m a t e tone and  c r e a t e d through  p r a c t i c e , however, i t  ap-  seen  i n some  i n the  con-  the v e r s i m i l i t u d e  of the  world  the perceptions of the c e n t r a l  female  charac-  Hearne,  I Am  Mary Dunne, a n d ,  to a  lesser  extent,  An Answer From Limbo.  There i s a s u b t l e t y t o  r e a l i s m of h i s technique In these n o v e l s ; t i v e but a l i t t l e h e s i t a n t as he explores  t h e i r occupants.  the  he seems i n q u i s i -  enters these worlds  and  I t i s p a r t i a l l y because of t h i s  l i g h t touch t h a t Moore almost never makes a s e r i o u s mistake, in  terms of tone, i n the d i f f i c u l t  job of p r e s e n t i n g  f i c t i o n a l world b u i l t around c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s ent, his  so  a  differ-  e x t e r n a l l y , from h i m s e l f as author; p a r a d o x i c a l l y , l a c k of an a b s o l u t e l y a s s u r e d  hesitancy,  approach, h i s  occasional  g i v e a u t h o r i t y to the o v e r a l l e f f e c t .  There i s no h e s i t a t i o n apparent i n Moore's acceptance of the u n d e r l y i n g  theme of I Am  Mary Dunne, however; f o r t h i s  woman a t l e a s t , b i o l o g y  i s destiny.  i n a general  i n every s p e c i f i c d e t a i l o f her e x i s t -  sense, but  ence, philosophy,  experience,  and  T h i s i s not t r u e  feelings.  Her  only  sexual  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s dominate every f a c e t of her h i s t o r y and personality. life,  When she has  her  the Curse, i t i s r e a l — h e r whole  f o r t h a t time, i s cursed.  I t i s of such a time t h a t  the book's events c o n s i s t . In the morning of the day  of the Curse, Mary has  the  "Juarez dooms", named a f t e r the t r i p she took t o Mexico t o d i v o r c e her second husband.  When she  t r i e d a t t h a t time to  see h e r s e l f as an o u t s i d e r would, she r e a l i z e d t h a t she l o n g e r knew who too o f t e n , and  she wass "I am a changeling  who  has  no  changed  t h e r e a r e moments when I cannot f i n d my  way  12  back."  Part of the problem, of course, i s t h a t her name  12  B r i a n Moore, I Am Mary Dunne (Torontos Bantam Books of Canada L t d . , 1 9 6 9 7 , p . 1 1 9 . Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l i n t h i s chapter w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page numbers i n the tex£.  has a c t u a l l y been changed so o f t e n , a process I n e v i t a b l y accompanied  by s e l f - q u e s t i o n i n g and doubt.  The r e a l i t y o f  a woman's l o s s of her own name and assumption  of her husband's  i s symbolic as w e l l , u n d e r l y i n g as i t does the c u l t u r a l b e l i e f t h a t a woman becomes p a r t of her husband and her i d e n t i t y i n h i s (but not v i c e v e r s a ) .  finds  Mary's name has  changed with each of her marriages, from Dunne t o Phelan t o B e l l t o Lavery, and with each change has come a c o r r e s ponding accomodation  i n Mary.  At the b e g i n n i n g of the n o v e l  she r e f l e c t s on her e a r l y s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n , sum;"  "Memento ergo  what she f o r g e t s and what she remembers a r e t h e r e f o r e  of v i t a l importance.  That morning a t the beauty p a r l o r i t  i s her name which she f o r g e t s , thus Immersing h e r s e l f i n the "Juarex dooms." The dooms a r e deepened by her encounter with the man the s t r e e t , a f t e r she l e a v e s the beauty p a r l o r . has no s t r o n g image r i g h t then of who  in  S i n c e she  she i s , h i s p r o j e c t e d  v i s i o n of her ("I'd l i k e t o fuck you, baby") has the power t o h u r t and depress her.  The p a r t of her mind which  she  c h a r a c t e r i z e s as s e n s i b l e t r i e s t o s o f t e n the impact by r e f u s i n g t o i d e n t i f y with h i s f a n t a s y ; "I d e c i d e d t h a t the r e a l crime o f the man  I'd j u s t encountered was  t h a t t o him  women were not human l i k e h i m s e l f , but simply o b j e c t s he wanted t o p e n e t r a t e and h u r t " (p.7) but t h i s attempt t o be o b j e c t i v e breaks down when she r e c a l l s Jimmy, her f i r s t  hus-  band, who  man  " b e l i e v e d he l o v e d me"  but who a l s o , l i k e the  on the s t r e e t , saw her p r i m a r i l y as an o b j e c t f o r h i s use.  She  remembers how  t h i s p o i n t her  he showed her o f f l i k e a new  "Mad  c a r , and  Twin" makes e x p l i c i t both her  i v e response t o the man's a s s a u l t , and  her  at  subject-  self-contempt«  And me, how do I see me, who i s t h a t me I c r e a t e i n m i r r o r s . . . When I t h i n k of t h a t I hate b e i n g a woman, I hate t h i s s i c k e n i n g female r o l e - p l a y i n g , I mean the s i l l y d e g r a d a t i o n of p l a y i n g pander and whore i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n of my f a c e and f i g u r e i n a man's w o r l d . I sweat w i t h shame . . . and f o r what? So t h a t men w i l l say i n the street, "I want t o fuck you, baby," so t h a t men w i l l marry me and keep me and l e t ' s not go i n t o t h a t i f I don't want the dooms i n spades. (p.33) But  i t i s not  she a l o n e who  c r e a t e s h e r s e l f ; she  product of her husbands' v i s i o n s of her. c o n f i d e n c e and both the  sense of her own  I n s u l t s of Hat,  Jimmy, who  c a l l e d her  who  Much of the t e n s i o n  believe  c a l l e d her a whore, and  of  sexual  I believed  Hat.  In  more i n t e l l i g e n t than women." (p.181) i n the c h a r a c t e r  u n c e r t a i n t y and  of Mary Dunne i s  the d i f f i c u l t y  she  i n f r e e i n g h e r s e l f from d e s t r u c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  though she knew b e f o r e she  married Hat  the same t h i n g a l l over a g a i n ; with him, she  self-  f r i g i d , w i d e l y d i s p a r a t e as they werei  those days, I thought men  has  l a c k of  i d e n t i t y made her  " I t ' s funny I b e l i e v e d Jimmy, j u s t as  a r e s u l t of her  Her  i s also a  as  does not  on them. portant  She  i t had not  i t "would be  the sex t h i n g wasn't r i g h t  been r i g h t with Jimmy," (p.193)  t r u s t h e r s e l f or her p e r c e p t i o n s  enough t o a c t  i s e q u a l l y h e l p l e s s i n d e a l i n g with l e s s  r e l a t i o n s h i p s , as when she  rassment and  that  Al-  cannot escape the  embar-  sadism of E r n i e T r u e l o v e or J a n i c e Sloane  l i k e Jimmy, i n s i s t they l o v e  im-  who,  her.  So Mary i s doomed, doubly cursed  by her s e x u a l i t y  and  Ik  her s o c i a l p o s i t i o n as a woman: " A l l me, a l l men were u n f a i r . " ( p . l 7 D of  were men, a l l men judged  T h i s a b s o l u t e statement  d e p r e s s i o n i s the f a r t h e s t extreme o f a pendulum swing  around t h e f u l c r u m of Mary's s e x u a l i t y ; t h e other extreme is her s a l v a t i o n . life  By t e l l i n g Hat t h e t r u t h about t h e i r sex  f o r h e r , she makes t h e f i r s t  s t e p toward a freedom with  Terence i n which the c u r s e i s r e p l a c e d by b l e s s i n g s . right," I said.  "That's  "Terence i s my s a v i o u r , I s h a l l not want,  he maketh me t o l i e down i n green p a s t u r e s , he r e s t o r e t h my s o u l . . . . He's l i f e a f t e r death." (p.113)  With him,  Mary's "doom dream, when naked i s p a n i c , when naked i s t h e dooms" (p.177) becomes something v e r y d i f f e r e n t .  Even when  she has begun making l o v e with him " j u s t as though a prostitute,  I were  . . . simply t o prevent him from knowing t h e  s t a t e I'm i n " (p.176) t h e a c t becomes a sacrament:  ". . .  for  with you, naked i s make i t new, t h e r e i s no p a s t , you  are  my r e s u r r e c t i o n and my l i f e . "  (p.177)  Mary Dunne's  womanhood thus leads both t o l o s s of s e l f , and t o h e r s e l f renewal.  She i s redeemed from t h e curse by l o v e and by t h e  honesty which, as Mad Twin and Buddy, both t o r t u r e s and r e wards h e r . The f a c t t h a t Terence, t h e i n d i v i d u a l man, i s equated with h e r redemption, however, r a i s e s a b a s i c q u e s t i o n . Does Mary have any development all?  or i d e n t i t y i n h e r s e l f a f t e r  She breaks out o f t h e d e s t r u c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p with  Hat, but not s o l e l y because i t i s bad f o r h e r .  She l e a v e s  him o n l y a f t e r she has Terence t o go t o , and the f a c t t h a t her i d e n t i t y depends on the man Terence as i t was  she i s with i s as t r u e with  with her e a r l i e r husbands.  What i s she,  h e r s e l f , as an I n d i v i d u a l w i t h i n her r e l a t i o n s h i p s ? she i s aware of her dependence on men, c e n t r a l p a r t of her unhappiness, "I sweat with shame . . .  That  and t h a t i t forms a  i s evident i n her words  so t h a t men  w i l l marry me and keep  me and l e t ' s not go i n t o t h a t i f I don't want the dooms i n spades." who  (p.33)  T h i s seems a strange statement  has supposedly found redemption  f o r a woman  through marriage.  It  seems necessary t o note here t h a t the b a s i c d i f f e r e n c e  be-  tween Mary's l i f e with Terence and her l i f e with Jimmy or Hat i s made c l e a r by Mooret with Terence, she sexual climaxes.  experiences  With her other husbands, i t was  "finishing  myself o f f i n the bathroom l a t e r , or l i e awake, u n f i n i s h e d , the man (p.177)  a s l e e p b e s i d e me and I awake, a sad, female  animal."  With Terence, however, " i t i s not as i t used t o be  with o t h e r s , t h e r e i s no f e a r , t h e r e i s no  ' W i l l I and when  can I and i f I can't then can I pretend i t ? ' " Without  u n d e r e s t i m a t i n g the importance  r e l a t i o n s i n the l i f e  (p.178)  of good s e x u a l  of any a d u l t , i t c e r t a i n l y seems t h a t  Moore's s e x u a l p r o v i n c i a l i t y i s evident here. t h a t a woman's problems,  The  theory  no matter what t h e i r source or  m a n i f e s t a t i o n , can be s o l v e d by good sex with the r i g h t man, of  i s a popular male myth.  A b e l i e f i n the magical power  s e x u a l climax t o n u l l i f y a l l the f e a r s ,  disappointments  and s e l f - d o u b t s o f e i t h e r men o r women seems almost l i n g l y naive.  start-  The o n l y p o s s i b l e source o f t h e presence o f  t h i s s u p p o s i t i o n i n t h e n o v e l would seem t o be an unexamined p r e j u d i c e on t h e p a r t o f t h e a u t h o r . There a r e two l e v e l s t o Moore's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f Mary Dunne; both a r e s e x u a l .  The h i s t o r y o f Mary which emer-  ges i n t h e book i s a s e x u a l h i s t o r y , concerned almost exc l u s i v e l y with h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s with men.  Other dimen-  s i o n s o f h e r p e r s o n a l i t y a r e sketchy o r n o n - e x i s t e n t .  Secondly,  t h i s h i s t o r y i s r e l a t e d through a s c r e e n o r g r i d composed of premenstrual t e n s i o n . life,  We see Mary's l i f e ,  o r r a t h e r h e r sex  through p e r c e p t i o n s which a r e a p p a r e n t l y t e m p o r a r i l y  d i s t o r t e d due t o h e r menstrual c y c l e .  At t h e end o f t h e  book, Moore suggests t h a t t h e r e a d e r can d i s r e g a r d what he has l e a r n e d ; t h e problems, s u i c i d e a r e not r e a l l y menstrual t e n s i o n : or  t h e unhappiness,  the thoughts o f  "real*', but merely a r e s u l t of pre-  "there i s n o t h i n g wrong with my h e a r t  with my mind: i n a few hours  I w i l l b e g i n t o b l e e d , and  u n t i l then I w i l l h o l d on . . . I remember who I am and I say i t over and over and over, I am Mary Dunne, I am Mary Dunne, I am Mary Dunne." (p.241) By s t r u c t u r i n g h i s book as he does, Moore r a i s e s t h e q u e s t i o n o f whether female p e r s o n a l i t y i t s e l f i.e.  a product of a l l t h e i n h e r e n t and environmental f o r c e s  on t h e s e l f , o r whether women a r e dominated of  i s "real",  i n a l l aspects  t h e i r p e r s o n a l i t y by t h e i r s e x u a l c y c l e , which then appears,  b i z a r r e l y , a s a deus ex machlna i n s t e a d o f an i n t e g r a l p a r t of t h e i n d i v i d u a l .  The f a n t a s y t h a t women a r e p a s s i v e l y  c o n t r o l l e d by t h e i r s e x u a l c y c l e and s e x u a l urges i s expressed by Moore i n h i s other n o v e l s as w e l l ; Jane T i e r n e y , i n An Answer From Limbo.  cannot r e s i s t V i t o , t h e "dark r a v i s h e r "  of h e r dreams, even though appears it  she d e s p i s e s Mm.  The same theme  i n The Luck o f Ginger C o f f e y , although i n t h i s  case  i s c l e a r t h a t Moore, a s author, i s aware t h a t i t i s because  of Ginger's u n r e a l i s t i c s e x u a l f a n t a s i e s and h i s need t o p e r c e i v e Vera as h i s Dark Rosaleen,  "exciting, a b i t of a  whore" t h a t he i s unable t o r e a l l y know o r l o v e her.  Per-  haps i t i s because t h e i n n e r f e e l i n g s expressed a r e those of Ginger and not Vera t h a t Moore's treatment o f t h e theme, i n t h i s case, seems more r e a l i s t i c t o me than does i t s pres e n t a t i o n i n s e c t i o n s o f I Am Mary Dunne o r i n An Answer From Limbo, where Jane"s f a n t a s i e s o f "dark-complected,  13 amoral, f i e r c e young men" counterpart of Ginger's.  a r e a c l o s e but u n c o n v i n c i n g Something i s l o s t when Moore a t -  tempts t o p o r t r a y t h e s e c r e t s e x u a l thoughts o f women; they a r e almost always masculine c u l t u r a l  projections.  The p l o t o f An Answer From Limbo i s s h a r p l y i l l u s t r a t i v e of c e r t a i n a s p e c t s o f North American  c u l t u r e i n t h e 1950*s.  I t i s o v e r l a i d with a•heavy Freudianism which decrees t h a t Jane cannot p o s s i b l y c o - e x i s t with Brendan's mother, t h a t t h e  13 B r i a n Moore, An Answer From Limbo (New York: D e l l P u b l i s h i n g Co., Inc., 19^3), p.22. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l i n t h i s chapter w i l l be d e s i g n a t e d by page number i n the t e x t .  necessity  of Jane's working w i l l d e s t r o y her  an a r t i s t must s a c r i f i c e ; h i s w i f e and succeed.  T y p i c a l of t h a t era a l s o i s Jane's acceptance of s e x u a l d e f i n i t i o n of her  Dunne, who  i s d e f i n i t e l y a woman of the  aware of what she pander and  calls  whore i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n  were too s m a l l and own  from her (p.24)  identity.  c l o t h e s and  complemented by  of my  playing  facjeeand f i g u r e  "worried t h a t her  knew that?  and  make-up t o her  defines  Mary  1960's, s t r o n g l y  breasts  her bottom a l i t t l e too l u s h , but  s t y l e , she  Thus she  Unlike  "the s i l l y d e g r a d a t i o n of  i n a man's w o r l d , " Jane T i e r n e y  her  that  c h i l d r e n i n order to  a surface,  had  f a m i l y , and  she  t h a t s t y l e extended  surrounding; i t was  her."  h e r s e l f , e s s e n t i a l l y , as a body,  i t s s t y l e of dress and  s t a t e of l o s s i n which she  make-up.  The  final  finds herself i s a c l a s s i c  cap-  s u l e d e s c r i p t i o n , i n almost s o c i o l o g i c a l terms, of a middlec l a s s American woman of the 1950's» a t s i x t e e n when she had  "She  hoped t o become a p a i n t e r .  membered h e r s e l f a t twenty when she had c a r e e r as an  illustrator.  She  l i f e a meaning.  She  lost  At twenty-four, m a r r i e d  f e l t she needed some other cause t o  for.  f i n d one."  d i d not  i s concerned almost e x c l u s i v e l y with one In t h i s book, Moore p a i n t s an  a poverty-stricken,  and  live  (p.2?6)  J u d i t h Hearne i s a n o v e l which, l i k e I Am  view.  faith  wanted b a b i e s : motherhood  a mother, she had She  re-  wanted t o make a  At twenty-two she had  even i n her t a l e n t s f o r t h a t . would g i v e her  remembered h e r s e l f  Mary Dunne,  woman's p o i n t  of  empathetic p o r t r a i t of  u n a t t r a c t i v e , unimaginative s p i n s t e r i n  a c u l t u r e where t h e o n l y a c c e p t a b l e r o l e f o r a woman i s t h a t o f w i f e o r nun.  To some e x t e n t , J u d i t h t o o i s d e f i n e d  i n terms o f h e r m e n s t r u a l c y c l e ; t h e c r i s i s  i n her l i f e  which t h e book d e s c r i b e s i s p r e c i p i t a t e d a t l e a s t p a r t i a l l y by h e r menopause. E a r l i e r i n h e r l i f e , J u d i t h had t r i e d w i t h a l l h e r meagre r e s o u r c e s t o f i n d a p l a c e f o r h e r s e l f i n h e r narrow society.  A g a i n s t t h e wishes o f h e r g u a r d i a n a u n t , she t a u g h t  h e r s e l f s h o r t h a n d a n d t y p i n g , s e c u r e d a j o b , and worked f o r t h r e e m o n t h s — u n t i l h e r a u n t had a s t r o k e .  After nursing  h e r f o r some t i m e , Judy a g a i n b r u s h e d up h e r s k i l l s , a housekeeper, and went back t o work.  hired  Because o f h e r a u n t ' s  e m o t i o n a l b l a c k m a i l , however, Judy was f o r c e d t o g i v e up h e r work a g a i n , and r e t u r n e d home t o n u r s e t h e o l d l a d y u n t i l h e r death.  A f t e r w o r d s , t h e r e was l i t t l e money l e f t f o r Judy;  she t r i e d t o f i n d work, b u t was t o l d they wanted o n l y young girls.  S i n c e t h e n she had s u b s i s t e d on h e r i n h e r i t a n c e , eked  out by t h e t i n y sums she was p a i d f o r t e a c h i n g piano a n d embroidery t o children. The a l m o s t t o t a l l a c k o f c h o i c e and o p p o r t u n i t y o f f e r e d Judy, combined w i t h h e r i n t e n s e l o n e l i n e s s , t h e y e a r s o f r e p r e s s i o n o f h e r f e e l i n g s , and h e r i n e x p e r i e n c e i n most a r e a s o f l i f e c r e a t e f o r h e r a r e a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i z e d by c o n f u s i o n and d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t .  Such a r e a l i t y i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l y  d i f f i c u l t t o accept.  Judy escapes from i t s narrowness i n t o  f a n t a s i e s o f romance, which become more s e x u a l i n n a t u r e when  she  drinks.  dreams a r e s e l f as  Since her  experience  i s so  limited,  either comfortingly traditional  "an a n g e l ,  she  devoted  these  images o f  h e r whole l i f e  to a  her-  sick  14 aunt"  o r as a  late-blooming beauty, f i n a l l y admired  men  after a  lifetime  are  e q u a l l y two-dimensional;  s e n s u a l i t y , but of gypsy g i r l s In t h e inability patterns  of r e j e c t i o n .  restrict and  they  goes i n h e r  of the novel,  learned.  confused  J u d i t h i s t r a p p e d by but  Miss  Madden d i d n o t  company, she  Finally,  act against her  own  code, and  must f l a t l y ,  explicitly  behaviour  Judy's p a r t , and  point  on  f o r her.  faith,  she  In t h e  r i s e s as an  e s t a b l i s h e d by  her  she  w o u l d be  pursues him  her.  If  Mr.  abandoned."  so t h a t  to he  This uncharacteristic  i t s results, are a turning  ensuing  struggle with  i n d i v i d u a l above the  social  under-  desperation f o r c e s her  reject  her  conventional  Hearne b e l i e v e d t h i s .  however, h e r  cliches  James Madden i s b e c a u s e  "the male must p u r s u e .  (p.110)  the  P a r t o f t h e t o r t u r e she with  of  Roman o r g i e s .  i n any  affair  seek her  elements  themselves to stock c u l t u r a l  t o a c t or respond has  sexual fantasies  c o n t a i n no  Hollywood-style  events  she  Her  by  s i t u a t i o n and  her  religious  limitations  her narrow  imagina-  tion. Her prayers her  d o u b t s grow r e l e n t l e s s l y ; haunt h e r .  doubt, and  She  fails  the p r i e s t  years  i n her  fails  of  efforts  unanswered to  suppress  her a l s o , answering  her  14 B r i a n Moore, J u d i t h H e a r n e (Toronto« M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t L t d . , 1 9 6 4 ) , p.121. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l i n t h i s c h a p t e r w i l l be d e s i g n a t e d b y page number i n the t e x t .  only with the f a m i l i a r phrases and  which she has a l r e a d y t r i e d ,  f a i l e d , t o console h e r s e l f w i t h : "Now,  a l l have burdens put upon us i n t h i s l i f e , to bear  ...  We  And  t h a t her doubts a r e confirmed,  c r o s s e s we  (pp.142-3)  have  Feeling  J u d i t h makes a p a t h e t i c a t -  tempt t o have a s i n f u l spree, p e r m i t t e d now reason t o f e e l g u i l t . "  that there i s  (p.153)  She v i s i t s  o l d f r i e n d E d i e i n a n u r s i n g home, p i t y i n g , with irony,  we  our guardian a n g e l t o watch over  . . . A l l we need t o do i s pray."  "no heavenly  child,  should never be l o n e l y because we always  have God t o t a l k t o . us.  my  her  unconscious  " a l l those o l d women, poor o l d c r e a t u r e s , nobody t o  care about them, nobody." (p. 157)  A f t e r the nuns throw her  out f o r b r i n g i n g Edie a b o t t l e of g i n , she v i s i t s Moira,  and  s t r i p s away the years of i l l u s i o n and h y p o c r i s y which they have b u i l t between them.  With b r u t a l c l a r i t y , she demon-  s t r a t e s the extent of her d e s p e r a t i o n : "and you,  I never l i k e d  Moira, t h a t ' s the t r u t h , I never l i k e d you."  She a l s o shows an a s t u t e awareness both of her own s i t u a t i o n and the c u l t u r e which produced i t : l a t e , you've missed your market. o f f e r s . Marked-down goods. No o f f e r s . offers.  "you're too  Then you're up f o r any  No o f f e r s .  Third?  . . ..That's what I've come t o , Moira.  turned down.  real  You're up f o r a u c t i o n . . .  Then second b e s t .  down by a doorman.  (p.163)  No  Turned  And what's more, I d i d n ' t want t o be  I'd take him y e t . "  (pp.164-5)  At t h i s p o i n t ,  t h e r e i s no p o s s i b i l i t y of r e v e r s i n g the process of s e l f -  exposure, no matter how tion i s .  c r u e l and h u m i l i a t i n g the e x p l o r a -  E v e r y t h i n g must be attempted.  Judith returns  t o the p r i e s t , who  cannot understand her need and s c o l d s  her l i k e a c h i l d .  She  t o open the s a c r i s t y .  enters the church and t r i e s , She does the u n t h i n k a b l e .  vainly,  And n o t h i n g  happens. In a world where an unimaginably d a r i n g a c t i o n  produces  no response, t h e r e i s no p o s s i b i l i t y of i l l u s i o n or romance, no hope of r e b e l l i o n .  In the r e s t home, Judy responds mech-  a n i c a l l y t o Moira's o f f e r t o resume t h e i r o l d r e l a t i o n s h i p , and t o F a t h e r Q u i g l e y ' s assumptions  about her f a i t h .  m i r r o r , which once showed her h e r s e l f as a gypsy, no more i l l u s i o n .  "Old, she thought, i f I met  I would say: t h a t i s an o l d woman." (p.180)  Her  permits  myself  The  now,  pictures  of the Sacred Heart and of her aunt a r e f a m i l i a r o b j e c t s t o her and she keeps them near, but what they once r e p r e s e n t e d no l o n g e r e x i s t s f o r h e r . In the c r e a t i o n of the l a t e r p o r t r a i t s of Jane T i e r n e y and Mary Dunne, Moore seems t o b e l i e v e t h a t by  understand-  i n g a woman's s e x u a l i t y , the p o i n t of her d i f f e r e n c e him as a man,  he can understand a l l .  from  Such a b e l i e f i s  l o g i c a l i n t h a t i t seems e v i d e n t t h a t i f we can understand those areas i n which we d i f f e r , and the r e s t i s s i m i l a r , we w i l l have a t o t a l grasp of the o t h e r .  Unfortunately,  however, the r e s u l t of Moore's a p p l i c a t i o n of t h i s  principle  t o h i s female c h a r a c t e r s i s t h a t i n some cases they a r e  reduced t o n o t h i n g more than t h a t p o i n t of d i f f e r e n c e , their sexuality. J u d i t h Hearne i s perhaps the f u l l e s t and most developed of a l l Moore's female c h a r a c t e r s . has  little  U n l i k e the o t h e r s ,  i n h e r s e l f which i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y  she  interesting.  I t i s p r e c i s e l y because her a b i l i t i e s and resources a r e narrow t h a t one responds t o her s t r u g g l e with i n t e r e s t compassion: were she young and  so and  p r e t t y , i t i s u n l i k e l y that  Moore c o u l d have become as engaged i n the d i f f e r e n t  aspects  of her p e r s o n a l i t y as he has.  only  one  of h i s heroines who  specifically  everything.  And,  external r e a l i t y ,  i s , i n f a c t , the  i s not completely  sexual c r i t e r i a .  r e p r e s s i o n a r e important  She  Her  dominated by  s p i n s t e r h o o d and  p a r t s of her, but they a r e  sexual not  s i n c e t h i s corresponds more c l o s e l y t o J u d i t h i s , f o r me,  a more  outstanding  c h a r a c t e r than Jane T i e r n e y or even Mary Dunne.  AS FOR  ME AND  MY HOUSE: THE  COMPLEX MRS.  BENTLEY  As For Me and My House, by S i n c l a i r Ross, i s another n o v e l which employs the technique of a f i r s t - p e r s o n , n a r r a t o r , and l i k e Moore's I Am female  feminine  Mary Dunne, the c e n t r a l  " I " i s the c r e a t i o n of a male n o v e l i s t .  In s p i t e of  the v a s t s o c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s between the l i t t l e p r a i r i e town of  H o r i z o n of the 1930's and the world of New  of  the 1960's, Mrs. B e n t l e y and Mary Dunne share a number  of  characteristics.  who  York  City  They a r e both b a s i c a l l y s t r o n g people  a r e sometimes c r i p p l e d by s e l f - d o u b t and g u i l t :  f e e l s t h a t she f i t s  neither  e a s i l y i n t o the world around her, and  they a r e both made as uncomfortable by the s o c i a l  roles  which they wish t o f u l f i l l as by the ones they r e j e c t .  Both  women a r e c h i l d l e s s , and each f e e l s t h a t her husband i s the c e n t r e of her l i f e and her c h i e f r a i s o n d ' e t r e . The e x t e r n a l demands f o r adherence  t o a r i g i d s e t of  s e x u a l r o l e s made by the p r o v i n c i a l c u l t u r e of s m a l l towns l i k e Horizon a r e a g r e a t s t r a i n on the B e n t l e y * s r e l a t i o n ship.  T h i s f a c t o r i s one of the f i r s t t h i n g s r e v e a l e d by  Ross i n h i s n o v e l , which begins with a d e s c r i p t i o n of the Bentley*s moving i n t o a new  manse.  Mrs. B e n t l e y i s a b e t t e r  c a r p e n t e r than P h i l i p , but s m a l l town mores decree t h a t must do t h i s k i n d of work, not she. mer  " i n the parsonage,  For her t o use a ham-  on c a l l i n g days,  . . . simply i s n ' t  15 done."  he  They a r e not q u i t e brave enough t o drop openly  S i n c l a i r Ross, As For Me and My House (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1961), p.3. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d i n the t e x t by page number.  their  front  of conformity t o t h e i r  congregation's expecta-  t i o n s , a n d much o f t h e e m p t i n e s s a n d f a l s e n e s s w h i c h b e t w e e n them r e s u l t s  from t h e i r  consequent  exists  lack of s e l f -  respect. There Bentley. edition  i s a wide v a r i e t y  of critical  r e s p o n s e s t o Mrs.  I n h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e New C a n a d i a n of the novel,  Roy D a n i e l l s  states  that  Library  she r e p r e -  s e n t s a l l t h o s e women o f t h e r e g i o n who " n e v e r f a i l e d spond w i t h courage, to  t h e worst  of situations";  "smug," b u t a l s o that her  intelligence,  to re-  sympathy, a n d h o p e f u l n e s s  (p.x) t o a n o t h e r c r i t i c 16  "candid and r e f l e c t i v e . "  she i s  W.H. New c o n c l u d e s  s h e i s " t h e m a n i p u l a t i n g woman who h a s a l r e a d y d e s t r o y e d husband  by c o n f i n i n g h i s a r t i s t i c  t a l e n t s , a n d who e v e n  17 now does n o t l e t u p . " D o n a l d S t e p h e n s f e e l s t h a t "her m a j o r redeeming f e a t u r e i s h e r earnest d e s i r e f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n 18 w i r h h e r husband," w h i l e a n o t h e r c r i t i c f i n d s h e r t o be 19  "all a  t o o o b v i o u s l y more a m o t h e r t o h i m t h a n s h e i s a w i f e , "  judgment  because  which  i s r e n d e r e d more h a r s h t h a n i t m i g h t  of Philip's  contempt  and hatred  seem  f o r h i s own m o t h e r .  16 D o n a l d G. S t e p h e n s , "Wind, Sun a n d D u s t . " L i t e r a t u r e 23 ( W i n t e r , I 9 6 5 ) , p p . 20-21.  17  p.26.  " S i n c l a i r Ross's Ambivalent  World."  Canadian  Can. L i t . 4 0 ,  18 Stephens, I b i d . , p.22. Warren T a l l m a n , "Wolf i n t h e Snow."  Can. L i t . 5, p . 8 .  Such a d i v e r s i t y o f responses i s a t r i b u t e t o the depth and s u b t l e t y of Ross's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . s e v e r a l l e v e l s of development  inherent  There a r e  i n the f u l l  pic-  t u r e o f Mrs. B e n t l e y , some more obvious than o t h e r s ,  and  the c o n s c i o u s and unconscious r e a c t i o n s t o each l e v e l a l l contribute  t o the f i n a l  Mrs. B e n t l e y ' s c h a r a c t e r  i m p r e s s i o n of h e r . i s revealed  On the  by what she admits  openly; the n o v e l ' s s t r u c t u r e i s t h a t of a d i a r y . intimate  surface,  It i s  i n tone, and s i n c e o s t e n s i b l y p r i v a t e i n n a t u r e ,  the n a r r a t o r  i s f r e e t o be as open and i n c l u s i v e , honest  and s e l f - s e a r c h i n g , as i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r her t o be.  She  i n a d v e r t e n t l y r e v e a l s much i n h e r p r i v a t e comments on her life,  but the f i r s t  a r e a t o examine i s t h a t which  emerges  from her c l e a r l y c o n s c i o u s d e s c r i p t i o n of h e r s e l f . One r e c u r r e n t  f e a t u r e of h e r s e l f - p o r t r a i t  f e e l i n g o f inadequacy.  i s her  She b e l i t t l e s h e r s e l f and i s o f t e n  overwhelmed with f e e l i n g s of g u i l t  i n r e l a t i o n to P h i l i p .  In these f e e l i n g s , as throughout the book, e v e r y t h i n g r e l a t i v e t o him; when she wishes f o r a c h i l d , for  h e r s e l f but t o "give back a l i t t l e  from him, t h a t wasted him."  i t i s not  o f what I've taken  I might a t l e a s t b e l i e v e I haven't  (p.5)  is  altogether  Her g u i l t and consequent a n x i e t y  form  a permanent s t a t e of mind f o r her; as she admits, near the b e g i n n i n g of the s t o r y , right  "I've always been a l i t t l e  from the day we met."  of t h i s f e a r i n her l i f e  (p.10)  The c o n t i n u i n g  afraid, nature  i s not d i f f i c u l t t o understand:  she b e l i e v e s t h a t she has an a r t i s t , and  ruined  a l t h o u g h she  hates the h y p o c r i s y  P h i l i p ' s true career  says r e p e a t e d l y  of t h e i r l i f e  that that  t o g e t h e r and  wishes P h i l i p would l e t go and  get out  j u s t as r e p e a t e d l y  from doing so.  hinders  meeting c a l l e d t o d i s c u s s example, she and  she  him  as  that  she  she  of the m i n i s t r y , At the  she  church  t h e i r semi-adoption of Steve, f o r  i s aware of a p o s s i b l i t y of h i s breakthrough,  squelches i t s "I c o u l d f e e l the hot  the years he has  curbed and  hidden and  t h r o b of a l l  choked  himself—  f e e l i t gather, break, the sudden r e c k l e s s stumble f o r r e l e a s e — a n d b e f o r e i t was he  should  have done twelve years ago,  Again and a g a i n , as  she  too l a t e , b e f o r e he c o u l d do what  p i t i e s and  she  provides  (pp.72-3)  a f a l s e f r o n t f o r P h i l i p , even  d i s l i k e s him  Jones observes i n h i s r e c e n t  I interrupted."  f o r making use  book, B u t t e r f l y  of i t . on Rock,  As "she  knows he  i s a t r u e a r t i s t and a f a l s e m i n i s t e r .  Neverthe-  less  devotes h e r s e l f e n t i r e l y t o m a i n t a i n i n g  that  she  position.  I t i s i n l a r g e part due  with people t h a t her husband has lie.  She  i n i n t h i s respect 20  w e l l as h e r s e l f . "  She  g u i l t y because she has  t o her s k i l l  D.G.  false  i n dealing  been a b l e to go on l i v i n g a  divided against  i s i n an a u t h e n t i c  dilemma.  (she b e l i e v e s ) l i m i t e d  t r i e s to make amends by p r o t e c t i n g him from the c r i t i c i s m of the town, and  her husband as  Philip,  as much as  she  Feeling she can  from the open d e c l a r a -  20 B u t t e r f l y on Rock: A Study of Themes and Images i n Canadian L i t e r a t u r e ( T o r o n t o / B u f f a l o : U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1 9 7 0 ) , p.39.  A  t i o n of t h e i r l i f e together. for  T h i s makes i t even harder  him t o f a c e and d e a l with t h e s t e r i l i t y o f t h e i r  t e n c e : she devotes  so much e f f o r t t o making h i s l i f e  exisless  i n t o l e r a b l e t h a t he i n f a c t t o l e r a t e s i t , which he s h o u l d not do and which she says she wishes he would not do. The  s t r a i n imposed on t h e Bentley's marriage by t h e  c u l t u r e ' s e x p e c t a t i o n s o f what men and women should do i s a constant burden f o r them both.  In a d d i t i o n t o t h e i r r i t -  a t i o n s and t e n s i o n s which they both f e e l , t h e r e i s an a d d i t i o n a l s t r a i n on Mrs. B e n t l e y as a r e s u l t o f h e r e f f o r t s to  conform t o h e r own view o f what she s h o u l d be as a w i f e .  Her s e l f - s a c r i f i c e i n t h i s a r e a b e n e f i t s n e i t h e r h e r s e l f n o r P h i l i p ; h e r c o n t i n u i n g e f f o r t s t o deny h e r own i n t e r e s t s have made h e r a p a r a s i t e on, r a t h e r than a s u p p o r t e r o f , her husband.  She h e r s e l f i s not f u l l y aware i n t h i s a r e a ,  a l t h o u g h she r e t u r n s t o i t a g a i n and a g a i n as i f i t nags her f o r understanding: I t ' s a man's way, I suppose, and a woman's. Before I met him I had ambitions t o o . The o n l y t h i n g t h a t r e a l l y mattered f o r me was t h e piano. I t made me s e l f s u f f i c i e n t , a l i t t l e hard. A l l I wanted was o p p o r t u n i t y to work and develop myself. But he came and t h e piano took second p l a c e . I was t e a c h i n g and s a v i n g hard f o r another year's study i n t h e E a s t , wondering i f I might even make i t Europe; and then I f o r g o t i t a l l , almost o v e r n i g h t . Instead o f p r a c t i c e i n my spare time i t was books now. Books t h a t he had read o r might be going t o r e a d — so t h a t I c o u l d reach up t o h i s i n t e l l e c t , be a good companion, sometimes while he t a l k e d nod comprehendingly. For r i g h t from t h e b e g i n n i n g I knew t h a t with P h i l i p  i t was t h e o n l y way. . . . S u b m i t t i n g t o h i m t h a t way, y i e l d i n g my i d e n t i t y — i t seemed what l i f e was i n t e n d e d  for. The  (p.16)  language i n t h i s  "it's  a man's way, I s u p p o s e , " a n d " i t seemed what l i f e  intended "for  p a s s a g e shows a l a c k o f c e r t a i n t y ?  for."  Even t h e most d e f i n i t e s t a t e m e n t  r i g h t from t h e b e g i n n i n g  was t h e o n l y  I knew t h a t  way," i s t h r o w n i n t o s e r i o u s  with  place—he  proposed t o h e r the night  w e l l — a n d by h e r r e t u r n in  the e x p l i c i t  fact,  L i s z t so  I f this  w h i c h he n e v e r  i s so, i t gives  irony to a l l her assertions i n part  of pity  and explains  need t o p e r c e i v e  him as a s a c r i f i c e d a r t i s t J  a n edge o f for Philip's  the urgency o f h e r perhaps  claim  Philip's.  to artistry  In p l a c e s ,  i s a t least as convincing  she r e v e a l s  clearly  that  a s a weapon: i t a n d hammer  "Tomorrow  I must p l a y  i t and charge with  c o m p l e t e a n n i h i l a t i o n . " (p.13) and cast  ability  the piano  again,  i t t o t h e to-wn's power  preferring instead to  h e r s e l f i n the r o l e of a t r a d i t i o n a l wife  secondary r o l e t o h e r husband.  release  But she r e j e c t e d t h i s  when s h e m a r r i e d P h i l i p ,  as i s  she under-  s t a n d s f i r s t h a n d t h e e s s e n t i a l power o f a r t a s a  play  i t is  s h e mourns f o r .  Her  and  social  Perhaps, i n  wasted a r t i s t r y ,  herself  by h e r  t o p r a c t i c i n g f o r the church  s h e h a s made a v i r t u e o f a s a c r i f i c e  terrible  Philip i t  i n the f i r s t  she p l a y e d  hope o f w i n n i n g h i m a g a i n .  w a n t e d h e r t o make.  of a l l ,  question  own a s s e r t i o n t h a t h e r m u s i c a t t r a c t e d P h i l i p  was  playing a  I t i s not c l e a r that  Philip  h i m s e l f wanted t h i s , and perhaps the resentment f e e l s a t s u p p r e s s i n g something which was  she  inevitably  so c e n t r a l t o her  i s not r i g h t f u l l y d i r e c t e d toward him a t a l l . It was the piano f i r s t , then P h i l i p . They were the e s s e n t i a l s ; the r e s t I took c a s u a l l y . One of my t e a c h e r s used t o wonder a t what he c a l l e d my masculine a t t i t u d e to music. . . . I never thought or c a r e d f o r a n y t h i n g but the music i t s e l f . . . . And t h a t ' s the hard p a r t , remembering how s t r o n g and r e a l i t used t o be, h a v i n g to admit i t means so l i t t l e now. . . . That's what he's done t o me, and t h e r e a r e times I can n e a r l y hate him for i t . I haven't r o o t s of my own any more. I'm a fungus or p a r a s i t e whose l i f e depends on h i s . (p,15D Having thus g i v e n up something her energy i n t o P h i l i p , who "depends on h i s " s mous.  " e s s e n t i a l , " she pours a l l  must r e p l a c e i t .  the consequent  Her  life  burden on him i s enor-  He must l i v e and a c h i e v e enough f o r both of them, and  i f he f a i l s , he f a i l s f o r both.  His resentment  o f such a  demand, which n e i t h e r o f them c o n s c i o u s l y understands, would e x p l a i n a g r e a t d e a l of h i s f r u s t r a t i o n and  impotent  anger, as w e l l as h i s i n a b i l i t y t o respond t o her. a s i t u a t i o n every a d d i t i o n a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f her s a c r i f i c e and accomodation demand which he f e e l s ,  In such self-  of him would i n c r e a s e the unspoken  i n c r e a s e h i s anger and  separation  from her, and i n c r e a s e her a n x i e t y and g u i l t , l e a d i n g back a g a i n t o her s e l f - d e f e a t i n g attempts t o p l e a s e him.  They a r e  i n a v i c i o u s c i r c l e , c o n t i n u a l l y e x a c e r b a t i n g each o t h e r ' s f e e l i n g s o f f a i l u r e and  inadequacy.  S i n c e Mrs. B e n t l e y has chosen P h i l i p over her music, whether such a c h o i c e was  n e c e s s a r y or not, he i s a l l she  has.  S i n c e he i s a l l she has, she wants t o possess him  totally.  She i s q u i t e honest about t h i s :  " A l l these years  I've been t r y i n g t o possess him, t o absorb h i s l i f e mine, and not once has he ever y i e l d e d . " (p.64)  into  Faced  with such a need, and such a t h r e a t o f b e i n g absorbed, P h i l i p ' s o n l y hope o f r e t a i n i n g  h i s i d e n t i t y i s to with-  draw from her, and s i n c e she f e e l s t h a t she has submitted and y i e l d e d h e r own i d e n t i t y t o him, the f a c t that "not once has he ever y i e l d e d " takes on added s t r e n g t h .  Mrs.  B e n t l e y understands t h e dynamics o f t h e i r c o n f l i c t c l e a r l y , and makes a p e r c e p t i v e statement about i t : was  " h i s own world  s h a t t e r e d and empty, but a t t h a t i t was b e t t e r than a  woman's.  He remained  init.  He was no l o n g e r young, had  n o t h i n g much l e f t t o dream about, but a t l e a s t he c o u l d shut h i m s e l f away from me." (p.64)  Then, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y ,  she t r i e s t o e x p l a i n i t away by f a l l i n g back on h e r u s u a l theme o f P h i l i p t h e a r t i s t , and by g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s about the  n a t u r e o f men and women, expressed with t h e l a c k o f  c o n v i c t i o n noted above i n a s i m i l a r c o n t e x t : " p a r t l y because he was an a r t i s t , because he had t o draw; p a r t l y because he was a man, and t h e s o l i t u d e o f h i s study was h i s l a s t s t r o n g h o l d a g a i n s t me. tonight.  I understand i t w e l l enough  I t ' s a woman's way, I suppose,  t o keep on t r y i n g  to subdue a man, t o b i n d him t o her, and i t ' s a man's way to keep on j u s t as determined t o be f r e e . "  (p.64)  Having  g i v e n up so much o f h e r own i d e n t i t y , she c l i n g s t o t h e  b e l i e f that P h i l i p i s a r e a l a r t i s t ,  i n f u s i n g t h a t con-  cept with enough p r e s t i g e t o do f o r both o f them.  Philip  i s about as f a r from b e i n g " f r e e " as i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r a man t o be; she w i s h f u l l y a s c r i b e s such q u a l i t i e s t o him because she l i v e s through him, v i c a r i o u s l y .  The g e n e r a l i z a -  t i o n s about a "man's way" and "woman's way" a r e c o l d comfort i n t h e B e n t l e y ' s f a i l u r e t o a c h i e v e any s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h each o t h e r .  I t takes courage t o f a c e and r e a l l y see such  a b i t t e r t r u t h , a courage Mrs. B e n t l e y does not have here. L a t e r , however, t h e theme emerges more p l a i n l y , and she enunciates a p i e r c i n g awareness o f h e r part i n t h e i r  situa-  tion 8 I must s t i l l keep on r e a c h i n g out, t r y i n g t o possess him, t r y i n g t o make myself matter. I must, f o r I've l e f t myself n o t h i n g e l s e . I haven't been l i k e him. I've r e s e r v e d no r e t r e a t , no world o f my own. I've w h i t t l e d myself hollow t h a t I might enclose and h o l d him, and when he shakes me o f f I'm j u s t a s h e l l . Ever s i n c e t h e day he l e t me see I was l e s s t o him than Steve I've been t r y i n g t o f i n d and l i v e my own l i f e a g a i n , but i t ' s empty, u n r e a l . The piano, e v e n — I t r y , but i t ' s just a t i n k l e . And t h a t ' s why I mustn't admit I may have l o s t him. (p.75) The degree t o which  Mrs. B e n t l e y i s conscious o f the complex  threads i n h e r l i f e with P h i l i p i s i m p r e s s i v e , and so i s her b r a v e r y i n t r y i n g t o untangle them.  Perhaps we l e a r n  even more, though, from what she r e v e a l s  inadvertently.  The o v e r t theme o f h e r d i a r y i s h e r attempt t o be close to P h i l i p .  She f e e l s t h a t she has h u r t him, perhaps  irreparably,  by m a r r y i n g him, and h e r s t o r y i s l a r g e l y  cerned w i t h her r e p e a t e d  con-  e f f o r t s t o p l e a s e him, u n d e r s t a n d  him,  h e l p h i s p a i n t i n g and, h o p e f u l l y , t o i n j e c t some warmth into their s t e r i l e relationship. as a f r u s t r a t e d the c e n t r a l  Her need t o p e r c e i v e  Philip  a r t i s t , no m a t t e r what the c o n t e x t , i s 21  myth o f t h e i r m a r r i a g e ,  from Mrs.  p o i n t o f v i e w , and a c t s a s a c a t c h - a l l excuse f o r P h i l i p ' s i n d i v i d u a l l a c k s as a c o u p l e .  A  c  e  n  t  r  a  l  i t a l l o w s Mrs. B e n t l e y , who  Bentley*s  e x p l a n a t i o n of  and  f a i l u r e s and f o r a l l t h e i r  f u n c t i o n o f t h e myth i s t h a t p r o f e s s e s t o r e s p e c t h e r hus-  band, t o o v e r l o o k h i s a p p a r e n t emptiness as a p e r s o n . t h e i r v a c a t i o n , when P h i l i p shows t o such and i s so u n i v e r s a l l y  On  disadvantage  d i s l i k e d , she e x p l a i n s i t away by  s a y i n g t h a t "when he's  r e a l l y i m p o s s i b l e , i t ' s because  t h e a r t i s t i n him g e t s t h e upper hand."(p.102)  The  tone  of t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n , and t h e e x p l a n a t i o n i t s e l f , r e c u r so o f t e n t h a t "methinks t h e l a d y doth p r o t e s t too much." " I t was  s i m p l e enough.  There was  n o t h i n g t a n g l e d t o get s t r a i g h t . all  ..."  i n t h i s way  (p.102) may  no h a r d t h i n k i n g He's  an a r t i s t ,  to  that's  Her c o m p u l s i o n t o c h a r a c t e r i z e P h i l i p  stem p a r t l y from t h e o p p o r t u n i t y i t g i v e s  her t o a v o i d becoming r e a l l y I n v o l v e d w i t h him, and a real confrontation. Judith,  do,  After  risking  she l e a r n s of h i s a f f a i r w i t h  f o r example, she masks h e r i n a b i l i t y t o t a k e a  21 I use t h e word "myth" t o mean, not something u n t r u e , but an unexamined b e l i e f o r v a l u e system which b o t h a c c e p t , and which forms the fundamental b a s i s o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p .  c h a n c e on l o s i n g h i m b y e x p r e s s i n g h e r f e e l i n g s . she  falls  b a c k on t h e f a m i l i a r r e f r a i n i  P h i l i p you can't a f f o r d r i g h t s  " w i t h a man l i k e  or pride."  (p.126)  Another p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h i s that  Mrs. B e n t l e y  inability  theme i s  i d e n t i f i e s a l l too c l o s e l y with  to create.  to remain t r u l y  Instead,  Perhaps she,  like  Philip,  committed t o a n a r t i s t i c  Philip's  was  unable  d i s c i p l i n e ; she,  however, h a d a s o c i a l l y a c c e p t a b l e e x c u s e f o r g i v i n g i t up,  a n d h e does n o t .  To r e c o g n i z e t h a t P h i l i p  n o t h a v e t h e q u a l i t i e s n e e d e d t o be a n a r t i s t facing an unflattering picture It  o f h e r own  just  does  m i g h t mean  "sacrifice."  i s i m p o s s i b l e t o s p e c u l a t e on P h i l i p ' s  real  abili-  t i e s a s a p a i n t e r , s i n c e we s e e e v e r y t h i n g t h r o u g h Mrs. Bentley*s  eyes,  but i t i s not r e a l l y  o r n o t he c a n c r e a t e , he d o e s n ' t ,  important.  Whether  a n d Mrs. B e n t l e y ' s  a s s u m p t i o n t h a t i t i s e n t i r e l y due t o h e r i s u n c o n v i n c i n g . In a d d i t i o n , him;  i t undercuts  h e r i n s i s t e n c e t h a t she respects  i t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t s h e r e a l l y r e s p e c t s t h e man  whom s h e c o n s i s t e n t l y p o r t r a y s a s s u c h a p a s s i v e v i c t i m o f circumstances. marriage, Typically,  Beginning  with h e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e i r  s h e assumes f u l l  t h e passage begins  women a n d men, a n d p r o c e e d s to h i s a r t i s t i c the reason  nature.  why h e c a n n o t  knew i n s t i n c t i v e l y on him,  responsibility  f o r what he i s .  with a g e n e r a l i z a t i o n about  with an automatic  In t h i s  case,  love her:  reference  i t i s advanced as  "Perhaps, t o o , he  t h a t a s a woman I w o u l d make c l a i m s  and that as an a r t i s t  he needed above a l l t h i n g s  to I  be f r e e . feel  life  i t a kind  does she r e a l l y  tent?  hard.  that  believe  The key p h r a s e that  addition  prevented  Philip  that  such a  from r e a l i z i n g  assumes c o m p l e t e  i s "despite  t o s u c h a n ex-  since t h e i r marriage.  Some p a r t  i l l e g i t i m a t e assumption:  f o rtheir  of t h i s ,  one e l s e .  c a n do now i s h e l p g e t h i m o u t a g a i n . " Philip,  t o o , had something  restrictions  i t i s s h e who h a s  " f o r these l a s t  I've k e p t h i m i n t h e C h u r c h — n o  so g u i l t y ,  i s possible.  his potential,  responsibility  i n them,  "triumph" i s  such a t h i n g  to her insistence that  frustrated,  stillness  s h e somehow b r o k e h i s w i l l  i t i s hard to believe  sometimes  I s e e h i s eyes  I t w o u l d h e l p t o e x p l a i n why s h e f e e l s  In  the  Now  t h e way I won my p l a c e i n h i s  p a s t me, a s p e n t , d i s i l l u s i o n e d  possible,  ley  o f triumph,  I'm n o t s o s u r e . " (p.33)  him;"  but  I tried  d e s p i t e him; b u t o t h e r t i m e s  slipping and  I was p a t i e n t .  o f a s m a l l town m i n i s t r y  life  surely, twelve  together i s an  years  The l e a s t  (p.107)  t o do w i t h i t ;  Mrs. B e n t -  Surely  i t i s true  i n t h e t h i n g s which  There a r e i n d i c a t i o n s wife's  picture  that  erode h i s s e l f -  r e s p e c t , b u t he i s e s s e n t i a l l y a h y p o c r i t e b e c a u s e does n o t b e l i e v e  I  he  he c o n t i n u e s t o d o .  t h a t he does n o t c o n c u r w i t h h i s  of her role  in hislife;  a f t e r S t e v e has  b e e n t a k e n away f r o m them, he makes one o f h i s few c l e a r statements victim  o f t h e n o v e l when he s a y s t h a t  " i f a man's a  o f c i r c u m s t a n c e s he d e s e r v e s t o b e . " (p.119)  B e n t l e y cannot  hear  this.  Perhaps  Mrs.  i t i s impossiblef o r  her  t o admit  that  Philip  is a  f a i l u r e because of  inadequacy.  T h i s assumption of  her  f a u l t , and  greatest  ways.  She  does n o t  capable of she  gone, a n d  shows i t s e l f  r e a l l y respect  I've  to  put  him  as  i s aware of h e r  tendency to  his  w i f e , and  in trying  to  indicate  gruity  She he  that  w i t h her  She things  start she  i s not  out  "get  with the  for  everyone's freedom; S t e v e ' s , her  own,  Here a g a i n her  fault  make up  it»  someone e l s e .  and  as  l a r way,  a  result Mrs.  sponsibility  see  what he  Bentley*s  becomes, a f t e r patronizing.  I made up  my  instance,  herself  for  incon-  of  for  Philip.  although  because  and  Philip's  does n o t  she  the  f o r you  mind a b o u t  i s today."  e x c u s e s him  her  same when  you  must be Philip  (p.150)  almost by  too.  deter  o s t e n s i b l e sympathy f o r  constantly  its  seems  thus r e s t r i c t s  innumerable r e p e t i t i o n s , She  just  natural flow  " i t a l w a y s t u r n s out  y o u r mind t h a t what's r i g h t  for  of  that  (p.4)  what i s r i g h t  She  this  fact  too"  i n music than p a i n t i n g ,  awareness of  fact,  superiority.  hurt.  indulgence of  In  impatient being  of h i s  teach Steve piano,  want P h i l i p t o be  equal,  child—"Paul's  r e a l l y conscious  interferes  i s more i n t e r e s t e d  an  m o t h e r him  of a misguided sense of  refuses to  does n o t  were a  to  p r o f e s s e d awe  constantly  P h i l i p as  b e d " ( p . 3 5 ) — a n d the  she  is  i n many u n a t t r a c t i v e  for himself.  i f he  P h i l i p to  own  illegitimate authority  taking responsibility  often refers  his  right  once—  In a  simi-  Philip unbearably  assuming  e v e r y t h i n g t h a t happens i n  retheir  lives,  thus  e f f e c t i v e l y n e g a t i n g him as a person.  seems u n l i k e l y  that there i s as great a  It  " d i s c r e p a n c y be-  tween t h e man a n d t h e l i t t l e  n i c h e t h a t holds him"  as  c o u l d n o t r e a l l y be h e l d f o r  she i n s i s t s .  twelve ly.  years  A g r e a t man  in a little  niche  i f i t p i n c h e d him t o o s e v e r e -  T h i s image seems t o r e f e r b o t h  m i n i s t e r and, l i t e r a l l y , on h i m t h r o u g h  to the s o c i a l  marriage.  She d e n i g r a t e s h e r s e l f b u t  a few p l a c e s i n t h e book,  d i m i n i s h i n g him  control  Philip actually  Mrs. B e n t l e y * s d e s i r e  emerges a s s i n i s t e r .  a n d a n a l y z e s h i m , c r e a t i n g h i m i n h e r own him  never-  more. In  to  role of  t o Mrs. B e n t l e y " s s e x u a l h o l d  t h e l e s s a s s e r t s h e r h o l d o v e r him, t h e r e b y even  (p.4)  a s s h e wants h i m t o b e .  goes t o b e d a n d  image a n d  After a conflict  " i n the q u i e t darkness  She  there  examines defining  w i t h him, s h e I defeated  the  P h i l i p who  a little  his  laughter.  Away f r o m h i m , w i t h o u t  his  v o i c e o r f a c e , I was a b l e t o r e s t o r e h i m t o h i s a c t u a l  self." ever,  (p.145)  The  w h i l e b e f o r e h a d r e p e l l e d me  "actual s e l f "  i n n e e d o f me."  (p.146)  she  i s aware o f how  unhappy  to  l i v e w i t h them,  away t h a t  s h e r e s t o r e s h i m t o , how-  " i t was  In another P h i l i p was  she r e m a r k s a f t e r  incident, until  Steve  alone although came  t h e boy h a s b e e n s e n t  good t o have him t o m y s e l f  She d o e s n o t r e a l l y or  the insistence of  i s a n e u r o t i c f a n t a s y o f "him s u f f e r i n g a n d  and  with  again."  want h i m t o be h a p p y , c o n t e n t ,  r e s p o n s i b l e ; h e r s t r o n g d e s i r e i s f o r h i m t o be  (p.118)  mature, sick  and  helpless,  been w i s h i n g I'd l i k e g i v e me  d e p e n d e n t on h e r : f o r e v e r s i n c e we  t o h a v e him  statement  after  of t h i s wish  S t e v e has  his  d e s i r e t o c r e a t e and  "it  will  be  easier  prove  just  f o r once  t o n e e d me,  to  (p.122)  The  myself."  i s mirrorred i n her  explicit  gone t h a t she hopes P h i l i p ' s be  out,  fulfilled,  i f he  (p.120)  t o me."  . . . And  I've  is truly  submits  at last  This particular  i n t o doubt a l l her p r o t e s t a t i o n s of support  for  self-fulfillment  i t also  i n t o question her her. is him  Her  that Philip  " r e s e n t s h i s n e e d o f me.  f e e l weak, a  t h i n k he (p.23)  has  little  never  unmanly.  q u i t e f o r g i v e n me  f e a r s and  withdrawals  wants h i m  s i c k , h e l p l e s s , and  any  to attempt  n e e d f o r h e r he Operating  and As  Me a n d  cultural  House.  when I  j u s t a woman."  s a y s , however, S i n c e she he has  t o p r e s e r v e h i m s e l f by  may  of  i n v a r y i n g ways,  f o r being  submissive,  Philip's really  little  suppressing  have.  simultaneously with  My  brings  Somehow i t makes  are well-founded.  inadvertent self-disclosures For  Philip's  There a r e times  I n v i e w o f what she h e r s e l f  c h o i c e but  throws  explanations of P h i l i p ' s avoidance  usual rationalization^expressed  dreams  t o the i n -  statement  as a person and an a r t i s t ;  will,  broken:  i f i t ' s r e a l l y r e s i g n a t i o n , i f the  have r u n themselves evitable,  met  h e l p l e s s enough r e a l l y  a c h a n c e t o r e a c h him,  q u e s t i o n a b l e tone  " I t h i n k i t ' s what  Ross has  Mrs.  Bentley's  i s the symbolic drawn on a  overt level  of  deeply-based  t r a d i t i o n w h i c h equate^, f e m i n i n i t y w i t h  nature.  In  this  case,  Bentley*s  the dry p r a i r i e  sterility;  landscape  she i s , a s Donald  m i r r o r s Mrs. S t e p h e n s n o t e s , "a  22 k i n d o f r e v e r s e e a r t h mother"  who i s b o t h a t t r a c t e d t o t h e  prairie  because o f i t s openness, freedom, and r e l a t i v e  honesty  compared t o t h e mean l i t t l e  and  false-fronted  town,  r e p e l l e d by i t s emptiness a n d drought. The  that and  character of Judith,  the landscape,  p a r t o f Mrs. B e n t l e y w h i c h i s u n c o n s c i o u s , yet v i t a l .  While and  like  T h e two women a r e ,  Mrs. B e n t l e y i s f u l l  intellectual,  tent.  o f words, e n d l e s s l y a n a l y t i c  Judith i s s t i l l .  Determined t o be independent,  She i s f e r t i l e  d i d n o t come f r o m a s e l f - b e t r a y a l . figure;  s h e embodies g r e a t e r l i f e  as  w e l l a s imminent  in  the creation  she  death,  of her interest,  Judith i sa than  sacri-  Mrs. B e n t l e y sacrificed  a t t h e end o f t h e book.  If  i s s e e n a s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a p a r t o f Mrs. B e n t l e y  which  i s suppressed  and hidden,  the narrow, c o n t r o l l i n g a s p e c t will  of external force  and she i s l i t e r a l l y  o f a new l i f e  a n d po-  she had saved a n d  u n l i k e t h a t o f Mrs. B e n t l e y , was t h e r e s u l t  ficial  repressed,  i n many ways, o p p o s l t e s .  studied singlemindedly and the surrender  and  symbolizes  c o n t i n u e t o dominate.  then h e r death  ensures  o f Mrs. B e n t l e y * s  that  character  B o t h women l o s e much, i f t h i s  is so.  22 ficial  p.501.  " L i l a c s Out o f t h e M o s a i c L a n d : A s p e c t s o f t h e S a c r i Theme i n C a n a d i a n L i t e r a t u r e . " D a l h o u s i e R e v i e w 48,  Ross's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of Mrs. B e n t l e y i s profound and p e r c e p t i v e .  Only i n a v e r y few p l a c e s i s the p o r t r a i t  u n c o n v i n c i n g ; once or t w i c e , f o r example, he puts i n t o her mouth g e n e r a l statements true.  about women which do not  ring  On the whole, however, Ross's c r e a t i o n i s both  c o n s i s t e n t and c o n v i n c i n g . The n o v e l ends on a note of i r o n i c ambiguity.  The  B e n t l e y ' s d e c i s i o n t o l e a v e Horizon, and the presence P h i l i p and  of  J u d i t h ' s baby, seem t o denote a r a d i c a l break  with the h y p o c r i t i c a l world of f a l s e f r o n t s , f a l s e m i n i s t r y , and s t e r i l i t y .  On the o t h e r hand, the ii. f a c t t h a t i t  i s Mrs. B e n t l e y once a g a i n who  makes a l l the d e c i s i o n s —  t o l e a v e , t o adopt the baby, t o name him P h i l i p too  (so  t h a t she w i l l not always know the d i f f e r e n c e between them) might a l s o i n d i c a t e t h a t n o t h i n g fundamental has changed, and t h a t she i s merely  actually  i n c r e a s i n g her scope f o r  dominating and m a n i p u l a t i n g P h i l i p .  This suspicion i s  i n t e n s i f i e d by her p r i v a t e d e c i s i o n t o c o n t i n u e t o f i c e " h e r s e l f t o himi  "I thought a t f i r s t t h a t we'd  "sacriput  the piano i n the s t o r e and s e l l music t o o , but the more I t h i n k about i t the more I'm be b e t t e r without me.  convinced t h a t P h i l i p would  In workaday matters  I'm  so much  more p r a c t i c a l than he i s t h a t i n a month or two pne of those domineering (p.160)  females t h a t men  abominate."  In view of the e n t i r e p i c t u r e , t h i s l a s t  ment i s h e a v i l y i r o n i c .  I'd be  The book ends with Mrs.  stateBentley's  remark about the f u t u r e his child:  i n t e r c h a n g e a b i l i t y o f P h i l i p and  "that's r i g h t , P h i l i p .  I want i t s o , " (p.165)  which may be v a r i o u s l y i n t e r p r e t e d as o p t i m i s t i c , q u i e t l y confident,  hopeful,  threatening,  a clear-cut conclusion  or ominous.  The l a c k o f  i s one o f the f a c t o r s which makes  the n o v e l profound, and i s p e r f e c t l y c o n s i s t e n t  with Ross's  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f Mrs. B e n t l e y throughout i t . E a r l y i n the s t o r y , that  Mrs. B e n t l e y says of the town  "we're detached, s t r a n g e r s ,  seeing  i ta l l objectively,  and  when you see i t t h a t way i t ' s j u s t b i c k e r i n g and p e t t y  and  c o n t e m p t i b l e . " (p.44)  One might see t h e B e n t l e y ' s  r e l a t i o n s h i p i n these same terms, " a l l o b j e c t i v e l y " had Ross not succeeded so w e l l i n c r e a t i n g an i n t e r e s t i n g , complex and engaging n a r r a t o r  who makes i t p o s s i b l e f o r  the reader t o become more deeply i n v o l v e d themes o f the book.  i n the events and  CHARACTER AS SYMBOL AND THE THEME OF SACRIFICE: THE LOVED AND THE LOST AND THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT N e i t h e r Morley Callaghan's The Loved and the Lost nor Hugh MacLennan's The Watch That Ends the Night i s s o l e l y or even predominantly concerned with a female c h a r a c t e r . first  The  i s b a s i c a l l y the s t o r y o f a man, Jim McAlpine, and  h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s over a b r i e f p e r i o d o f time; the second i s as much o r more concerned with George Stewart and Jerome M a r t e l l as with C a t h e r i n e .  In both n o v e l s , however, the  major woman i s a s s i g n e d a unique r o l e and i s o f primary importance i n any understanding o f the author's theme.  There  i s a s t r o n g s i m i l a r i t y between C a t h e r i n e Stewart and Peggy Sanderson;  they have many o f the same c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and  p l a y s i m i l a r r o l e s i n t h e authors* f i c t i o n a l worlds. The most dominant c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of both women i s t h e i r symbolic q u a l i t y .  N e i t h e r i s v e r y c o n v i n c i n g as a  r e a l , f u l l y - d e v e l o p e d p e r s o n a l i t y , although they possess some humanizing  i d i o s y n c r a s i e s , but the elements o f an  a r c h e t y p a l female f i g u r e can be c l e a r l y d i s c e r n e d i n both. Eugene F. Tlmpe*s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the archetype may s e r v e as an approach t o t h i s  concept:  G r a p h i c a l l y , the Feminine archetype may be thought o f as a c i r c l e with two diameters c r o s s i n g i t a t r i g h t angles. One diameter r e p r e s e n t s the s t a t i c o r elementary c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ; t h e other r e p r e s e n t s t h e dynamic or  t r a n s f o r m a t i v e . The elementary diameter extends from the a b s o l u t e n e g a t i v e t o t h e a b s o l u t e p o s i t i v e , from t h e T e r r i b l e Mother, t y p i f i e d by the mysteries o f death, t o t h e Good Mother, r e l a t e d t o t h e mysteries o f vegetat i o n , b i r t h , r e b i r t h , and i m m o r t a l i t y . T r a n s f o r m a t i v e l y , t h e diameter passes from the p o s i t i v e , the i n s p i r a t i o n m y s t e r i e s , t o t h e n e g a t i v e , the mysteries of drunkenness, e c s t a s y , madness, impotence, and s t u p o r . 23 Both Peggy and C a t h e r i n e a r e d e s c r i b e d as b e i n g v e r y b e a u t i f u l women, but t h e i r p h y s i c a l beauty i s only p a r t o f t h e i r a t t r a c t i o n t o t h e men i n t h e i r l i v e s .  At t h e h e a r t o f  t h e i r beauty i s a sense o f s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n . Because o f it,  C a t h e r i n e appears d i g n i f i e d , even s t a t e l y , although she  i s a s m a l l woman.  Peggy's "small f a c e had a c h i l d l i k e  ness, and y e t she was not baby-faced; 24 kind of s t i l l n e s s . "  pretti-  she possessed a strange  T h i s j u x t a p o s i t i o n of q u a l i t i e s not  u s u a l l y found t o g e t h e r i s repeated i n the d e s c r i p t i o n o f other a s p e c t s o f t h e i r  personalities.  Peggy i s perhaps l e s s c l e a r l y r e a l i z e d as a c h a r a c t e r than i s C a t h e r i n e , but h e r s t a t u r e a s a s t r o n g l y r e l i g i o u s symbol i s unquestionable.  She p r a c t i c e s t h e humanity which  her m i n i s t e r f a t h e r preached for i t .  and,  l i k e a s a i n t , i s martyred  C a t h e r i n e i s a l s o d e s c r i b e d i n r e l i g i o u s terms.  To George, i n f a c t , she is. r e l i g i o n : ine t h e rock o f my l i f e .  "I had made Cather-  As a boy, a t l e a s t f o r a time,  I had been r e l i g i o u s and b e l i e v e d t h a t God cared f o r me  23 ""Ulysses* and t h e A r c h e t y p a l Feminine," P e r s p e c t i v e s i n L i t e r a r y Symbolism ( S e a t t l e and London: U n i v e r s i t y o f Washington Press, 1966), p.205. 24 Morley C a l l a g h a n , The Loved and the Lost (Toronto: The MacMillan Co. o f Can. L t d . , 1951), p.15. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page number i n t h e t e x t .  personally.  In t h e T h i r t i e s  I had s a i d t o myself:  There  25 is  no God.  early  Now I h a d C a t h e r i n e  impressions  o f her,  . . . "  a s a b o y o f s e v e n t e e n , was o f  a goddess c l o t h e d i n green o r i n l i g h t nimbus a r o u n d h e r , " is  his  "first  experience  of a miracle."  suggests that  character  on S t . C a t h e r i n e  ledge  with  itself,  w i t h "a  (p.54) a n d when s h e k i s s e s h i m ,  Buitenhuis  perience  One o f h i s  (p.33)  Peter  MacLennan may h a v e m o d e l l e d of Siena,  i t  this  who w r o t e o f h e r e x -  what s h e c a l l e d t h e " i n n e r c e l l "  o f know-  o f God, " i n t o w h i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l c a n w i t h d r a w t o  26 gain strength  with  which t o encounter t h e w o r l d . "  Stewart has a s t i l l n e s s ,  an "inner c e l l "  e n a b l e s h e r t o cope w i t h  her illness.  George admires a n d l o v e s C a t h e r i n e her  (pp.26-7) b u t h e a l s o r e s e n t s  maintain  that  strength  "her  strength,  illness  and t o love l i f e  g i v e s h e r "a s t r a n g e of e x c l u d i n g which  i t , because i n order  s h e sometimes r e t r e a t s t o a p l a c e  of s o l i t u d e w i t h i n h e r s e l f .  is  for  which  essence, h e r mystery i n which o c c a s i o n a l l y I had almost  drowned," to  of being  Catherine  Her a b i l i t y  t o cope with h e r  i n spite of i t irritates  serently that  him;  i t  . . . had t h e odd e f f e c t  me, a s t h o u g h s h e h a d gone t o some p l a c e t o  I w o u l d e v e n t u a l l y a r r i v e . . . " (p.28)  n e a r d e a t h a f t e r a n a t t a c k , he f e e l s d e s e r t e d  When s h e by her;  25 Hugh MacLennan, T h e Watch T h a t Ends t h e N i g h t ( T o r o n t o : S i g n e t B o o k s , 196677 p . 8 . O t h e r q u o t e s f r o m t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d b y page number i n t h e t e x t .  26  Hugh MacLennan ( T o r o n t o / L o n d o n / S y d n e y : Forum House P u b l i s h i n g Co., I 9 6 9 ) , P«58.  she  "disappeared  into a  spirit  f o r c e I knew t o be  an  impersonal  fighting  he  f e e l s a n g r y because she a p p a r e n t l y  Sometimes h i s c o m p l a i n t her  me  of her  feeling  r e s e n t f u l because  the  difference."  or her  his he  admiration says,  was this  he  says,  myself  t o d i e , and  death  f o r her  was  because of t h i s  (p.26)  Yes,  She  Jim with  ambitious.  was  This  under-  illness exof  dare  seemed t o t a l l y had  say  to  ex-  established with  A l l artists  Whatever t h e  illness,  artist  Catherine  core a n d — I  ruthless.  Bentley!)  f e e l i n g s b e c a u s e he  are  . .  excuse,  o r p a i n t i n g , o r mar-  r e s e n t s h e r way  of contra-  of achieving  the  loves i n her.  McAlpine f i n d s h i m s e l f  Peggy S a n d e r s o n .  in a  simliar  Having been a t t r a c t e d  she  i s s t r o n g enough t o be  her  s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n and  irritating  made  t h a t made  r i a g e t o Jerome, G e o r g e o f t e n f i n d s h i m s e l f f u l l  he  imper-  D e s c r i b i n g her as an  communion she  she  (Shades o f Mrs.  very q u a l i t i e s  to  itself,  only Catherine's  i n her  however, w h e t h e r C a t h e r i n e ' s  dictory  him.  "sometimes t h i s  I d i d n ' t , and  n o w — t h e r e were d a y s when she  form.  need  w h i c h make G e o r g e f e e l  painting.  also strangely solitary  c o l o r and  and  same theme a p p e a r s i n t h e m i d s t  "This Catherine  c l u d e me  does n o t  excluded.  I t i s not  with The  f o r e x i s t e n c e " (p.312)  f o r others, f o r l i f e  (p.37)  familiarity  c l u d e d , however.  As  I felt  s t o o d what i t i s l i k e  but  i s more g e n e r a l , more r e l a t e d  entire personality.  sonality  nothing  herself,  calmness.  he  begins  position to her to  because  resent  I t becomes f o r him  s e r e n t i y ( w h i c h ) made h i m  f e e l he  wasn't  "an  really  ."  Interesting her." simultaneously  (p.33)  The same q u a l i t y i n both women  a t t r a c t s and r e p e l s , arouses l o v e and anger.  In a f u r t h e r example o f the r e l i g i o u s mold i n which both women a r e c a s t , n e i t h e r Peggy nor C a t h e r i n e wishes t o conform t o the demands o f the m a t e r i a l world, but n e i t h e r i s allowed  t o r e l i n q u i s h i t without  making a s a c r i f i c e .  C a t h e r i n e , who t r i e s t o a v o i d the world s o c i a l involvement, who b e l i e v e s t h a t would leave us a l o n e  of p o l i t i c s and  " i f only the world  . . . our days would be a p a r a d i s e , "  Z(p.205) l o s e s Jerome t o t h a t world.  Peggy l o s e s jobs,  s u f f e r s p e r s o n a l s l a n d e r , and f i n a l l y d i e s f o r h e r f a i l u r e t o conform t o i t s e x p e c t a t i o n s . Secondary female c h a r a c t e r s who a c t as c o n t r a s t s t o Peggy and C a t h e r i n e a r e used by both a u t h o r s .  At the be-  g i n n i n g o f C a t h e r i n e and George's s t o r y , C a t h e r i n e  i s set  i n o p p o s i t i o n t o George's domineering Aunt Agnes, who r e p r e sents a l l the f o r c e s o f e s t a b l i s h e d order and the s t a t u s quo.  In d i s c u s s i n g the c o n f l i c t between the world o f ap-  pearances and t h e world  o f spontaneous f e e l i n g which runs  throughout much o f Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , D.G. Jones has p o i n t e d out t h a t f i g u r e s who r e p r e s e n t the l a t t e r  tend  2? to be "marginal  members o f s o c i e t y , outcasts"}  Catherine's  i l l n e s s s e t s her a p a r t from the c o n v e n t i o n a l s o c i a l and makes h e r such a f i g u r e .  world  S i m i l a r l y , Peggy i s i m p l i c i t l y  2?  B u t t e r f l y on Rock, p.43.  compared t o C a t h e r i n e C a r v e r a n d e x i s t s  i n opposition to  her a n d t h e v a l u e s which she r e p r e s e n t s . ghan's p o r t r a y a l her world  of Catherine Carver  she  expects  interference has  other people from her.  unsympathetic,  Peggy l i v e s  i n unusual  t o liwe t h e i r  chaotically,  ways, a n d  own l i v e s  Catherine Carver,  Calla-  w i t h no  on t h e o t h e r h a n d ,  a p a s s i o n f o r s t r a i g h t e n i n g up t h e t h i n g s a r o u n d h e r ,  including desire  other people's  lives.  society  as being completely  of the c i t y  (p.5)  lates her r o l e with perfect  of her strong  she f i t s  too well  into  which i s d e s c r i b e d  " h e r town, a t l e a s t  t h a t was n o t F r e n c h . "  she  In s p i t e  f o rlove and understanding,  the s u p e r f i c i a l  it  i s not  u l t i m a t e l y d e s t r o y s Peggy.  juxtaposing people and experiences  Although  the small part of  She u n c o n s c i o u s l y  articu-  c l a r i t y a t t h e h o c k e y game when  r e m a r k s t o J i m , "Why q u a r r e l w i t h t h e home c r o w d ? "  Peggy c a n n o t  a v o i d s e e m i n g t o do j u s t  because o f h e r unique  personality,  (p.l66)  t h a t a l l t h e time;  she i s almost  always i n  o p p o s i t i o n t o t h e s t a t u s quo. Catherine Stewart's well.  Norah, l i k e  tional  ways:  low,  slim,  she  thought  i s Norah  Catherine, i s feminine  she i s s l i m ,  musical voice.  her  true antithesis  Black-  i n certain  d e l i c a t e , and b e a u t i f u l ,  She i s a l s o  convenwith a  " e x c e e d i n g l y competant  . . .  s m a l l hands were s t r o n g a n d d e f t , a n d i n h e r work like  professionally  lightning.  . . . a b o u t h e r work s h e was a s  o b j e c t i v e as a surgeon."  (p.112)  In view  of, Norah's r o l e i n t h e s t o r y , i t seems p o s s i b l e t h a t  this  d e s c r i p t i o n o f h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l competence i s meant as a warning t h a t t h e r e i s something u n n a t u r a l  about her;  such  a s u p p o s i t i o n would be q u i t e c o n s i s t e n t with t h e author's somewhat narrow and s e n t i m e n t a l  p i c t u r e o f women.  i s w h o l e h e a r t e d l y l o v i n g and completely f a i t h f u l first  t o Jerome and then t o George.  husband and f i n a l l y leaves him;  a f t e r h e r a f f a i r with Jerome,  d i f f e r e n c e , i n view o f C a t h e r i n e ' s  life  passionate  A more important  r e l u c t a n c e t o be i n v o l v e d  t h e world and h e r i n s i s t e n c e t h a t  personal  sexually,  Norah deceives h e r  she becomes i n d i s c r i m i n a t i n g l y promiscuous.  in  Catherine  "I'm a woman ancla  i s a l l I can understand," ( p . 2 3 0 )  partisanship i n social issues.  i s Norah's  That she i s a  r e a l f o i l f o r Catherine,  and n o t j u s t a two-dimensional minor  f i g u r e , i s made evident  by George's response t o her.  pared t o hate h e r f o r h u r t i n g C a t h e r i n e , v i n c i n g l y g e n t l e and s i n c e r e ,  It  he f i n d s h e r con-  "her whole being  which had opened a f t e r a l o n g f r o s t . "  Pre-  l i k e a flower  (p.257)  i s i n terms o f t h e c e n t r a l theme o f t h e n o v e l —  the acceptance o f death which i s p r i o r t o r e a l  life—that  the two women a r e most o b v i o u s l y  Catherine  i n contrast.  l e a r n s t o " l i v e h e r death," as Jerome puts i t ; she i s f u l l of a f o r c e , an e s s e n t i a l power o f l i f e which equals and thus negates death.  George d e s c r i b e s  "refuses t o be bounded, c i r c u m s c r i b e d creates, i t destroys,  i t recreates.  i t as a f o r c e which o r even judged.  It  Without i t there can  be no l i f e ; w i t h much o f i t no easy l i f e . the  I t seems t o me  s o l e f o r c e which equals t h e m e r c i l e s s f a t e which binds  a human b e i n g t o h i s m o r t a l i t y . "  (p.27)  Norah, who  c a l l y p i c t u r e d C a t h e r i n e as a symbol o f a s i c k  ironi-  civilization,  has none o f t h i s power, and when h e r l i f e becomes b i t t e r , she seeks out death and k i l l s  herself.  There i s an evident r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e symbolic f u n c t i o n which both Peggy and C a t h e r i n e f u l f i l l and the ambiguity o f response which they provoke.  Catherine's  o c c a s i o n a l withdrawals t o renew h e r s t r e n g t h t h r e a t e n George, and Peggy's goodness seems t o a c t as a reproach t o those around her, a r o u s i n g t h e i r h o s t i l i t y .  In t h i s  respect,  she i s a t r u e l i t e r a r y daughter o f C l a r i s s a Harlowe; h e r s p i r i t u a l i t y and r e f u s a l t o compromise i n o r d e r t o defend h e r s e l f seem t o i n v i t e a t t a c k . showed him on t h e i r f i r s t  Remembering t h e l e o p a r d she  meeting, Jim says of h e r t h a t  "she had been h e l d i n t h e s p e l l o f a l l wildness the c a t suggested. for  the f i e r c e  jungle  She had waited, r a p t and s t i l l ,  t h e beast t o s p r i n g a t h e r and devour her.  He must  have suspected then t h a t h e r g e n t l e innocence was a t t r a c ted  p e r v e r s e l y t o v i o l e n c e , l i k e a temperament seeking i t s  o p p o s i t e . " (p.101) the  passage  Whether o r not Jim's f e e l i n g i s c o r r e c t ,  i l l u s t r a t e s t h e mixture o f r e a c t i o n s  she provokes.  which  Jim i s s t r o n g l y a t t r a c t e d t o h e r unconven-  t i o n a l ways, and almost as s t r o n g l y r e p e l l e d by them. The men o f both n o v e l s a l s o share s i m i l a r  characteristics.  Peggy and C a t h e r i n e teach not so much the acceptance o f death as a f u l l , conscious acceptance of l i f e  itself,  both George and Jim l e a r n the l e s s o n p a i n f u l l y and Part of the r e a l acceptance of l i f e  and  late.  i s acceptance of  life  as i t is., and t h i s George f i n d s almost i m p o s s i b l e t o do bea"cuse i t means a c c e p t i n g C a t h e r i n e ' s i l l n e s s and her imminent  death.  Jim f i n d s i t d i f f i c u l t  because,  i n order  to a c c e p t Peggy as she i s , he must t r u s t and have f a i t h i n her and i n o t h e r s ; he cannot do t h i s because he does not trust himself.  He p r o j e c t s h i s i n n e r f e e l i n g s onto o t h e r s ,  and torments h i m s e l f with doubt,  j e a l o u s y , and h a t e i  she were so f r i e n d l y with them, wouldn't to  her room?  "If  she l e t them come  And they, o f course, would be charmed by her  u n s p o i l e d f r e s h n e s s and want t o possess i t as he, h i m s e l f , had wanted t o possess i t when he t r i e d t o k i s s h e r . " (p.56) S i n c e he i s unable t o a c c e p t h i s own for  f e e l i n g s , he searches  someone t o blame f o r h i s f r u s t r a t i o n and f i n d s h i m s e l f  i n a p a r a d o x i c a l s i t u a t i o n where innocence equals guilt« "Her own  l i f e c o u l d be b l a m e l e s s .  But was  t h e r e another  s i d e t o her n a t u r e suggested by her a c t i o n s ? c o u l d be c a r r i e d too f a r — i t  Blamelessness  c o u l d have d r e a d f u l  consequences.  When he had t r i e d t o k i s s her, she had been blameless; she had merely t u r n e d her head away. taken as a coy g e s t u r e .  But i t c o u l d have been  I t c o u l d have provoked him t o grab  her and k i s s her and go ahead." (p.44)  S i n c e he i s unable  to b e l i e v e i n h e r completely, he sees h e r a c t i o n s through a d i s t o r t e d perception. Uftless Callaghan  Peggy i s an ambiguous f i g u r e , a l s o ,  intended  an almost u n b e l i e v a b l e  to be p a r t o f h e r c h a r a c t e r , completely unfounded.  naivete  so Jim's ambivalence i s not  What i s a t f a u l t i n h i s a t t i t u d e t o  her, however, i s t h a t he never concedes t o h e r t h e a b i l i t y to order h e r own l i f e first  o r t o know h e r own mind.  r e a c t i o n s t o h e r i s a d e s i r e t o p r o t e c t her,  of h e r wish t o be independent; i t i s very ego  One o f h i s  t h a t he be a b l e t o f e e l a l i t t l e  little  patronizing.  i n spite  important t o h i s  s u p e r i o r t o her, a l  Peggy f i t s i n t o h i s f a n t a s y  of what  women should be l i k e o n l y once; one evening when she i s more dressed that  up than u s u a l i n a c o n v e n t i o n a l  way, Jim f e e l s  "now he knew that she had always belonged i n h i s own  world.  She looked  l i k e an e x q u i s i t e l i t t l e  with a d e l i c a t e grace and belonging (p.125)  f i g u r i n e done  i n some c h i n a  cabinet."  I t would c e r t a i n l y be extremely d i f f i c u l t f o r  Jim, who wants a woman who would f i t t h i s image, t o a c c e p t the unorthodox, independent p a r t o f Peggy which i s so cent r a l to her i d e n t i t y . he b e t r a y s  A f t e r the f i g h t i n t h e n i g h t c l u b ,  h e r because once a g a i n he i s unable t o b e l i e v e  t h a t she r e a l l y does know what she wants; i n t h i s case, she  i n s i s t s t h a t she wants him, but he g i v e s i n t o h i s  m i s t r u s t , and she i s murdered.  L a t e r , he r e a l i z e s what  he d i d * was.  "That was t h e s i n . I c o u l d n ' t a c c e p t h e r as she  . . . In a moment o f j e a l o u s doubt, h i s f a i t h i n h e r  had weakened, he had l o s t h i s v i e w o f h e r , and so she had v a n i s h e d . " (pp.232-3)  F i c t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r s whose f u n c t i o n  i n a work i s as s t r o n g l y s y m b o l i c as i s Peggy's and C a t h e r i n e ' s r a r e l y undergo s i g n i f i c a n t development  during the  s t o r y ; t h e y a r e c r e a t e d whole, as i t were, o r a t l e a s t w i t h t h e i r major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s f u l l y formed.  There i s a  change i n Peggy a t t h e v e r y end of The Loved and t h e L o s t ; h a v i n g l o s t h e r b e l i e f t h a t she c o u l d not b r i n g harm t o o t h e r s i f h e r own m o t i v e s were p u r e , h e r s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e  fal-  t e r s and she seems ready t o a c c e p t Jim's v a l u e s and g u i d a n c e . T h i s a p p a r e n t change, brought about by e x h a u s t i o n and  dis-  i l l u s i o n m e n t , comes t o o c l o s e t o h e r death t o know what i t would have meant i n terms o f h e r p e r s o n a l i t y .  Perhaps h e r  f a i t h i n h e r s e l f had weakened, as Jim's had, and c o u l d not have been r e g a i n e d . C a t h e r i n e S t e w a r t has more p a r t i c u l a r i d e n t i t y as a c h a r a c t e r t h a n Peggy does, and she a l s o undergoes a cant change w i t h i n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e n o v e l .  signifi-  From h e r c h i l d -  hood she s t r u g g l e s a g a i n s t t h e l i m i t a t i o n s imposed on h e r by h e r i l l n e s s and t r i e s t o e x t r a c t from l i f e as much o f i t s essence as she can.  At s e v e n t e e n , she o f f e r s h e r s e l f t o  •George s e x u a l l y , and c o m f o r t s him w i t h a m a t u r i t y f a r beyond h e r y e a r s when he i s unable t o respond t o h e r .  As  a u n i v e r s i t y student she i s r e c k l e s s i n h e r p u r s u i t o f exp e r i e n c e , and when she marries Jerome, she l i v e s as f u l l y as p o s s i b l e with him. one  Her world i s an i n t e n s e l y  personal  i n which t h e main f e a t u r e i s h e r l o v e f o r Jerome; i t  i s because o f t h i s that she r e s i s t s h i s p o l i t i c a l  involve-  ment so f i e r c e l y , and hates t h e e x t e r n a l world f o r i t s i n t e r f e r e n c e with t h e p e r s o n a l  l i f e which, f o r her,  life.  a t one p o i n t t h a t  Jerome says simply  l o n g t o something l a r g e r than h i m s e l f . "  i s a l l of  "a man must be-  (p.252)  Believing  t h i s , he leaves h e r t o f i g h t f a s c i s m i n Spain, and Catheri n e ' s p r i v a t e world c o l l a p s e s .  She undergoes a p e r i o d o f  complete breakdown, a death o f s e l f * I am.  I don't know who I am.  I don't know a n y t h i n g . "  Into t h i s emptiness comes, f i r s t , been l o s t — " i t ' s  "I don't know where (p.265)  an awareness of what has  so a w f u l f o r a woman t o l e a r n t h a t human  love i s n ' t s u f f i c i e n t , "  ( p . 2 6 6 ) — a n d then, a f t e r a time, a  r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t Jerome was r i g h t .  She t o o f i n d s t h a t ,  to l i v e , she must belong t o somethings must l i v e f o r now.  Poor l i t t l e g i r l ,  " S a l l y i s what I she's t h e b i g g e r  t h i n g that g i v e s h e r mother a reason f o r e x i s t i n g . " (p.291) The  personal,  narrow k i n d o f l o v e she had f e l t  she now r e f u s e s . says,  When George asks h e r t o marry him, she  "I'm t i r e d o f l o v e .  me, body and s o u l .  f o r Jerome  . . I'm exhausted by i t . A l l o f  Now I'm b e g i n n i n g t o be f r e e ot i t , and  how can I f a c e i t a g a i n ? " (p.295)  A f t e r t h i s p o i n t , although  she a c c e p t s l o v e a g a i n when she marries George, t h e r e i s a knowledge i n her which g i v e s her a unique d i s t a n c e , a q u a l i t y of "otherness" which i s i n c r e a s e d by her p e r s o n a l awareness of the imminence of death.  George Woodcock des-  c r i b e s t h i s q u a l i t y i n her when he says t h a t "Catherine i s j u s t about as near as we a r e ever l i k e l y t o get i n modern Canadian w r i t i n g to the p r i n c e s s e l o i n t a i n e of c h i v a l r o u s romance, and her d i s t a n c e from the other c h a r a c t e r s and from r e a l i t y i s there throughout,  u n t i l i n the end she i s  shown r e c e d i n g from George towards death, a k i n d of l i g h t -  28 f i l l e d phantom."  Some m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of t h i s d i s t a n c e  make George f e e l f r i g h t e n e d and r e s e n t f u l ; a t other  times,  however, he i s a b l e to p e r c e i v e and accept the strange p e r s o n a l i t y of her w i l l t o l i v e : what now me  was  "the e s s e n t i a l  Catherine—  the e s s e n t i a l C a t h e r i n e — s o m e t i m e s seemed t o  l i k e the c o n t a i n e r of a l i f e - f o r c e r e s i s t i n g  (p.304)  im-  His acceptance  extinction."  of t h a t part of C a t h e r i n e which  withdraws from him remains p a i n f u l and  incomplete,  however,  u n t i l the f i n a l stages of the s t o r y . George's c h a r a c t e r undergoes more development than t h a t of any of the others i n the n o v e l . fused, easily-dominated youth who  He i s a shy,  grows i n t o a man  l a c k i n g i n s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e or i n n e r d i r e c t i o n .  con-  seriously  His s t a t e -  ment e a r l y i n the n a r r a t i v e t h a t "I have never f e l t s a f e .  28 Hugh MacLennan  Co., 1969)7 p.109.  (Toronto: The Copp C l a r k P u b l i s h i n g  Who  o f my age  c o u l d , u n l e s s he was  s t u p i d ? " (p.6)  i s not  merely a r e f e r e n c e t o the p o l i t i c s of the age he l i v e s i n , but i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of h i s outlook i n a l l a r e a s . personal l i f e , ine, to  who  he a v o i d s commitments by i d e a l i z i n g  i s c o n v e n i e n t l y u n a t t a i n a b l e a f t e r her  Jerome.  Significantly,  In h i s Cather-  marriage  i t i s a f t e r Jerome leaves f o r  Spain and C a t h e r i n e i s more a c c e s s i b l e to George than  she  has been s i n c e they were c h i l d r e n t h a t George v o i c e s h i s first  c r i t i c i s m of h e n  "This f i x a t i o n I had  had endured so l o n g i t had become p a r t of my There was  on  Catherine  life.  . . .  no sense i n p r e t e n d i n g t h a t there had not been  moments when I had f e l t angry with C a t h e r i n e f o r not  having  d i s m i s s e d me  non-  acceptance thought  o u t r i g h t . . . . Why  of me?  Had  t h i s acceptance  she, perhaps without  and  knowing i t ,  of me as a k i n d of insurance p o l i c y ? "  (p.288)  The  passage shows George's e s s e n t i a l p a s s i v i t y as w e l l as h i s v e r y low s e l f - e s t e e m .  Perhaps to compensate f o r what he  b e l i e v e s to be h i s i n f e r i o r i t y , he wants C a t h e r i n e t o be perfect. says,  At one p o i n t , attempting  "I don't know how  a man  t o d e s c r i b e her,  he  can d e s c r i b e h i s w i f e t o  somebody e l s e , u n l e s s he d i s l i k e s her  . . . women seem  a b l e t o r e c o g n i z e with p e r f e c t c l a r i t y the flaws i n the men  they l o v e .  Men  lack this a b i l i t y . "  (p.25)  T h i s i s not  a v e r y c o n v i n c i n g g e n e r a l i z a t i o n ; i t seems more l i k e l y t h a t George i s unable t o l o v e C a t h e r i n e u n l e s s he can her, no matter how  idealize  much of r e a l i t y he has t o suppress  in  order t o do  so.  C a t h e r i n e and George spend s e v e r a l happy years a f t e r t h e i r marriage,  but when Jerome r e t u r n s , so  George's j e a l o u s y and s e l f - d o u b t .  together  do  C a t h e r i n e has a s e r i o u s  a t t a c k , and he panicst  ". . . her e x p r e s s i o n excluded  me.  . . . I had made her my  rock and my  she  was  not my  rock and not my  almost a n n i h i l a t e d me."  s a l v a t i o n , and now  salvation.  (p.3H)  . . . Her  calmness  P u l l of f e a r and anger,  he l a s h e s out a g a i n s t what i s happening with some of the f o r c e he has always r e p r e s s e d : heard myself she has  say.  Of h e r .  d e s t r o y e d me.  d e s t r o y e d us a l l .  Of me because of h e r .  Jerome has d e s t r o y e d me.  A l l f o r nothing.  thing, f o r nothing." through  "This i s d e s t r u c t i o n !  (p.317)  Yes, Life  I t i s George's t u r n t o l e a r n ,  t h i s d e s t r u c t i o n or e x t i n c t i o n of s e l f , the s e c r e t  f e e l s h i s ego and  to  But he s u r v i v e s the darkness,  understand  but f o r l i f e ; life, is  i d e n t i t y endangered, l i k e  He  "a t i n y canoe  the mercy of an ocean," (p.321) and he i s f i n a l l y  whelmed.  has  For n o t h i n g , f o r no-  which Jerome and C a t h e r i n e have l e a r n e d b e f o r e him.  at  I  over-  i s healed, and comes  t h a t the d e s t r u c t i o n i s not  "for nothing"  t h a t h i s f e a r of death has been a f e a r of  and t h a t " l i f e  still a gift."  f o r a year, a month, a day or an hour  (p.322)  As she p a i n t s her  joyous  pic-  t u r e s between o p e r a t i o n s , C a t h e r i n e i s the embodiment of this truth.  George f i n d s h i s own  s t r e n g t h , h i s own  peace,  a p l a c e w i t h i n h i m s e l f to r e t r e a t t o as C a t h e r i n e does, in  o r d e r to be renewed.  His rock and h i s s a l v a t i o n a r e no  l o n g e r e x t e r n a l , so they can no l o n g e r be t h r e a t e n e d . not without.  Without t h e r e i s n o t h i n g to be done.  w i t h i n . " (p.321)  The key t o h i s understanding  "Within,  But  i s h i s accep-  tance of the d u a l nature of l i f e , the mysterious  paradox  which must be grasped with f a i t h and not with l o g i c s  "This,  which i s darkness, a l s o i s l i g h t .  also  i s yes. is  T h i s , which i s h a t r e d , a l s o i s l o v e .  f e a r , a l s o i s courage.  v i c t o r y . " (p.322) it  T h i s , which i s no,  t r o y e d " him,  T h i s , which i s d e f e a t , a l s o i s  George f i n d s a new  i s l a r g e l y through  T h i s , which  salvation i n this,  C a t h e r i n e and Jerome, who  t h a t he i s reborn i n t o a person who  have  and  "des-  can open  h i m s e l f t o h i s l i f e and l i v e i t , aware of a l l i t s dangers and I n e v i t a b l e p a i n .  He knows and accepts and welcomes  the knowledge t h a t "to be a b l e t o l o v e the mystery s u r rounding us i s the f i n a l and only s a n c t i o n of human e x i s tence. "  (p.3^9)  The s i m i l a r i t i e s noted between the r o l e s of Peggy and C a t h e r i n e a r e p a r t l y e x p l a i n e d by the f a c t t h a t C a l l a ghan and  MacLennan a r e both attempting p r i m a r i l y to communi-  c a t e an i d e a ; both novels a r e , i n a sense, extended whose f i r s t purpose i s d i d a c t i c . is  The  exempla  l e s s o n each p r o f e s s e s  s i m i l a r J t h a t , to be whole, one must accept u n c e r t a i n t y ,  doubt, and death, to r i s e above them i n a f f i r m i n g a  life  which i n c l u d e s a l l these dark q u a l i t i e s .  In both n o v e l s ,  the main female c h a r a c t e r i s both teacher and  example of  t h i s philosophy, and i t i s l a r g e l y because of t h i s to  the theme t h a t they emerge as such symbolic  Both succeed  From the beginning of  Ends the Night, C a t h e r i n e i s , as Peter  h u i s puts i t , "a p a r t l y m y t h i c a l f i g u r e . for  characters.  i n t h e i r r o l e of teacher and s p i r i t u a l mother,  a l t h o u g h t o d i f f e r e n t degrees. Watch That  relation  the emotional and  She  The  Buien-  seems to stand  i n t u i t i o n a l power t h a t the best women  have t r a d i t i o n a l l y r e p r e s e n t e d i n Western l i t e r a t u r e . possesses a l s o mysterious for  She  powers of s u r v i v a l and motherhood,  h e r weak h e a r t should l o g i c a l l y have condemned her t o a 29  l i f e of i n a c t i o n and s t e r i l i t y . " C a t h e r i n e r e c o v e r s , although transparent.  George i s now  A f t e r her o p e r a t i o n ,  she remains very f r a i l  her equal i n understanding  can accept her l e s s o n i n a c o n t i n u i n g way;  as he  " l i g h t came from her c o n s t a n t l y i n t o me."  (p.3^8)  In The  and  says,  Loved and the L o s t , Jim does not r e a l l y  the meaning of Peggy's l i f e and over.  and  grasp  example u n t i l a f t e r i t i s  She too had t r i e d t o communicate to him t h a t mystery  and paradox of l i f e which was a b l e t o understand  a t her core; i f he had been  her when she t o l d him how  she became  aware t h a t "beauty c o u l d be p a i n f u l i n a strange (p.40) or why, belonged  f o r her, the l e o p a r d and the l i t t l e  way," church  t o the same p a t t e r n of meaning, he would have known  Hugh MacLennan, p.58*  not o n l y her but h i m s e l f .  Her acceptance  of apparent  contra-  d i c i t i o n s seemed perverse t o him, and i t i s o n l y a f t e r  her  death t h a t a beginning of understanding  Peggy  comes t o him.  had t h r e a t e n e d t o d i s t u r b the s t a t u s quo  of the v a r i o u s  groups she moved i n because she d i d not r e s p e c t the customa r y l i n e s between them; she i s a martyr t o the d e s i r e of those groups t o remain s e p a r a t e , t o preserve the of t h e i r i s o l a t i o n and e x c l u s i v e n e s s .  security  In the end, the o r d e r  i s maintained a t the expense of freedom, t o l e r a n c e , and joy.  The church and the l e o p a r d a r e t o be kept  separate;  the church, and Peggy, a r e a n n i h i l a t e d as a r e s u l t . F a t h e r Dowling a t the end of Such Is My_ Beloved,  Like  Peggy i n -  h a b i t s a world of l o v e , which does not deny i t s o p p o s i t e , but embraces i t , and not the world of law which seeks t o d e f i n e and exclude the "other" from the s e l f and, t i n g to destroy i t ,  is itself  i n attemp-  destroyed.  In order t o teach t h e i r l e s s o n , Peggy and both move from the d e s i r a b l e , b i r t h - o r i e n t e d  Catherine  "Good Mother"  a s p e c t of the feminine archetype d e s c r i b e d above through phase of " T e r r i b l e Mother" who death  the  r e v e a l s the mysteries of  (as when George f e e l s h i m s e l f "destroyed" and  Jim  l o s e s h i s f u t u r e c a r e e r as w e l l as Peggy) and then back a g a i n t o a new  phase of "Good Mother" which t y p i f i e s r e -  b i r t h and i m m o r t a l i t y .  In response  to t h i s transformation,  George and Jim a l s o move from t h e i r i n i t i a l r o l e of l o v e r t o a p o s i t i o n more l i k e t h a t of a son; because of Peggy's  death,  Jim remains a t t h i s unequal  stage, but George moves  through h i s own t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t o become C a t h e r i n e ' s l o v e r once a g a i n and f o r the f i r s t time, i n terms o f the book's d i d a c t i c theme, h e r t r u e e q u a l .  CHARACTER AS SYMBOL AND THE THEME OF SACRIFICE: THE DOUBLE HOOK AND THE SACRIFICE The main f u n c t i o n of the c h a r a c t e r s i n The Double Hook, l i k e those i n the novels d i s c u s s e d i n the previous chapter, i s symbolic.  U n l i k e C a t h e r i n e Stewart and Peggy Sanderson,  however, they a r e much more i n t e g r a t e d with t h e i r surroundings.  The  fictional  o b j e c t i v e world p i c t u r e d i n t h i s n o v e l  r e f l e c t s an i n v i s i b l e , a b s o l u t e order or p a t t e r n ; the  con-  densed syntax and c l u s t e r i n g of images around the c e n t r a l metaphor of the double hook r e s u l t s i n an i n t e n s e , complex work which makes one e s s e n t i a l p o i n t r i c h l y and s t r o n g l y . In the novels by C a l l a g h a n and MacLennan, the symbolic c h a r a c t e r i s s e t a p a r t from the others and from her  female  social  c o n t e x t , but a l l the c h a r a c t e r s of The Double Hook a r e p a r t of the novel's symbolic p a t t e r n . a r e ; they e x i s t  They a r e what they  i n r e l a t i o n s h i p t o themselves,  and t o the dry landscape which they i n h a b i t .  t o each other, Nowhere does  the author s t e p i n , e i t h e r d i r e c t l y or through  one of the  c h a r a c t e r s , t o imply t h a t any of them c o u l d be any  different.  Kip comments on the v a r i o u s q u a l i t i e s which i d e n t i f y them, but h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s r e s t on a b a s i c acceptance not a q u e s t i o n i n g .  The  of the o t h e r s ,  symbolic a s p e c t s of Peggy's and  C a t h e r i n e ' s c h a r a c t e r s a r e present l a r g e l y f o r d i d a c t i c reasons and not because the novels themselves s i o n s of s y m b o l i s t l i t e r a t u r e ;  are  expres-  each author, wishing t o  prove  an e s s e n t i a l l y i n t e l l e c t u a l p o i n t , has c r e a t e d a woman who fulfills  t h e f u n c t i o n o f s p i r i t u a l guide and t e a c h e r t o t h e  main male c h a r a c t e r s o f t h e n o v e l .  In a d d i t i o n , both women  possess I n d i v i d u a l i z e d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , but such  realistic  or i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g a s p e c t s a r e extremely minimal i n The Double Hook.  Without b e i n g e x p l i c i t l y d e s c r i b e d as such,  the c h a r a c t e r s i n t h i s book a r e f a r more l i k e  elemental  f o r c e s o r s p i r i t s than those o f C a l l a g h a n and MacLennan, who  seem t o have attempted t o g r a f t t h i s q u a l i t y  r e a l i s t i c , rounded b a s i c premises.  f i c t i o n a l types c r e a t e d from  The attempt  onto different  i s not wholly s u c c e s s f u l i n  e i t h e r case; Peggy and C a t h e r i n e a r e n e i t h e r f u l l y  devel-  oped as r e a l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r s , n o r as powerful as they would be had they been p r e s e n t e d more f o r t h r i g h t l y as symbols, as i s t h e case w i t h S h e i l a Watson*s c h a r a c t e r s . The atmosphere o f The Double Hook i s , a t t h e b e g i n n i n g , one o f s t e r i l i t y and p a r a l y s i s .  The l a n d and t h e  people a r e d r y , parched, and hopeless under t h e domination of t h e o l d m a t r i a r c h , Mrs. P o t t e r , a f i g u r e whom even t h e animals shun: "they'd t u r n t h e i r l i v i n g f l e s h from her a s  30 she'd t u r n e d hers from o t h e r s . "  Under h e r i n f l u e n c e , t h e  people o f t h e community a r e i s o l a t e d from each o t h e r , i n a r t i c u l a t e and b l i n d e d by t h e w i l f u l ignorance and c u t t i n g -  30 S h i e l a Watson, The Double Hook (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , 1966), p.21. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page number i n t h e t e x t .  off  of p e r c e p t i o n which i s symbolized by Coyote ( r e p r e s e n t i n g  f e a r ) and h i s s i n i s t e r promise!  "In my mouth i s f o r g e t t i n g /  In  my  Mrs. P o t t e r i s an example  of  the " T e r r i b l e Mother" a s p e c t of the feminine archetype  darkness  is rest."  (p.29)  31 d e s c r i b e d above,  or the b l a c k goddess of death i n the  mythology of Robert Graves' The White Goddess. present i n the b e g i n n i n g , quenching  life  She i s omni-  i n the community  and i n her c h i l d r e n , an i n v e r t e d f i g u r e with g r e a t emotional power s i n c e she i s a mother who strangle i t . to  has g i v e n l i f e o n l y t o  Her g r i p extends even beyond the human community  the b a r r e n l a n d i t s e l f !  "the o l d l a d y was  t h e r e i n every  f o l d of the c o u n t r y , " (p.43) and i t l a s t s beyond her death because  she has c r e a t e d a s u c c e s s o r i n her daughter G r e t a .  More than anyone e l s e , Greta i s a v i c t i m of the o l d woman's n e g a t i v e , l i f e - f e a r i n g aura and, a l t h o u g h she had been as eager as James t o be r i d of her mother's o p p r e s s i v e presence, she i s not f r e e d by her death.  On the c o n t r a r y ,  she becomes even more l i k e her, t a k i n g her p l a c e , i n s i s t i n g on b e i n g m i s t r e s s of the s t e r i l e house, dominating James, and f i n a l l y d e s t r o y i n g h e r s e l f .  As James r e a l i z e s a f t e r  he has k i l l e d h i s mother, Greta has merely r e p l a c e d her* she had  "sat i n the o l d lady's c h a i r .  Nothing had changed." (p.43) that  Eyes everywhere.  Ara r e f l e c t s a f t e r the  fire  "Greta had i n h e r i t e d d e s t r u c t i o n . . . . She l i v e d no Chapter 3, pp.42-3.  l o n g e r than the o l d l a d y ' s shadow l e f t ground.  i t s s t a i n on the  She s a t i n her mother's doom as she s a t i n her  c h a i r . " (p.113)  Part of the doom i s the r i g i d , f e a r - b a s e d  r e p r e s s i o n which masquerades as m o r a l i t y i n the wasteland of the o l d woman's world.  The g r i p on the young g i r l s  i s e s p e c i a l l y harsh; W i l l i a m admits t h a t Greta was  the v i c -  t i m of f a r more p r e s s u r e than he or James, and that she too had once been young and f r e e * was.  "You wouldn't  know how  she  S l i d i n g down the s t a c k s and f a l l i n g i n t o the creek.  Ma was  hard on her, he s a i d .  She thought g r i e f was what a  woman was born t o sooner or l a t e r , and t h a t men share of g r i e f through them." Lenchen  got t h e i r  (p.113)  i s s u b j e c t e d t o the same u n c h a r i t a b l e hardness .•  i n her mother's eyes she i s "a f a t p i g of a g i r l "  (p.29)  s i n c e she has l o s t the p r i c e of marriage, her v i r g i n i t y . "Men  don't ask f o r what they've a l r e a d y t a k e n . " (p.29)  Lenchen a c c e p t s t h i s view, a t l e a s t p a r t i a l l y , but t h e r e i s a note of r e b e l l i o n i n her words when she t e l l s Kip that she has n o t h i n g f o r him:  "Nothing worth h a v i n g .  t h a t someone e l s e wouldn't have t h i n g s t o g i v e .  take back from you.  Nothing Girls  I've got n o t h i n g of my own."  don't  (p.62)  The c o n f l i c t between the o l d e r , r e p r e s s e d , deatho r i e n t e d f i g u r e s l e d by Mrs. P o t t e r and t h e i r  children  r e s u l t s i n Lenchen's e x i l e , Greta's death, and "femes' b l i n d i n g of K i p .  As D.G.  Jones observes, "as long as the  members of the community remain under the o l d woman's s p e l l  they cannot a c t , they cannot  l o v e , they remain 32  i s o l a t e d , d i v i d e d one from the o t h e r . "  frustrated,  Greta's  death  breaks the s p e l l , however; the balance o f power s h i f t s t o the young and the c r e a t i v e , r e g e n e r a t i v e a s p e c t s of b e g i n t h e i r ascendancy.  life  Although h i s mother's h o l d i s s t i l l  s t r o n g enough on James t h a t he b e t r a y s Lenchen, he i s d e t e r mined a f t e r her death t o f r e e h i m s e l f . town, and t h e r e l e a r n s t h a t escape  He r i d e s t o the  i s i m p o s s i b l e ; the town  i s merely an e x t e n s i o n o f the wasteland. t h e r e i s the r i v e r , and  His f i r s t  sight  "the dark f i g u r e of h i s mother  p l a y i n g her l i n e out i n t o the f u l l  flood."  (p.92)  After  l o s i n g the money f o r h i s escape i n an encounter with a whore, he t h i n k s of Lenchen and t h e i r c h i l d , and for  a moment h i s simple hope." (p.121)  Prom s e c r e t  making, d e n i a l , and escape he moves t o openness, t i o n , and a sense of v a l u e i n h i s l i f e : world s a i d , whatever the g i r l of  him a new  love-  determina-  s a i d , he'd f i n d her.  Out  stepped on i t  steps on s p r i n g s h o o t s . " (p.127)  change which has taken p l a c e i n him  clearly  "Whatever the  h i s c o r r u p t i o n l i f e had l e a f e d and he'd  c a r e l e s s l y as a man  "saw  The  i s rewarded; f a t e g r a n t s  b e g i n n i n g when he r e t u r n s t o f i n d h i s mother's  house i n ashes.  He experiences l i b e r a t i o n and r e b i r t h with  t h i s dramatic ending t o h i s mother's powers  "He  felt  as  he  s t o o d with h i s eyes c l o s e d on the d e s t r u c t i o n of what h i s 32 B u t t e r f l y on Rock,  p.85.  h e a r t had wished destroyed  t h a t by some generous  gesture  he had been t u r n e d once more i n t o the f i r s t pasture t h i n g s . " (p.131) self,  He r e s o l v e s to b u i l d a new  Lenchen, and the new  the creek and a l l on one  of  house f o r him-  g e n e r a t i o n , a house f u r t h e r down level.  James i s the most a c t i v e agent i n the n o v e l ; h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and assumption of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y most c l e a r l y exemp l i f y what Margaret Morriss c a l l s  "the r e l i g i o u s  ritual 33  c e l e b r a t i n g the r e - e n t r y of l o v e i n t o the wasteland."  All  the other c h a r a c t e r s , however, a r e p a r t of the p a t t e r n too. F e l i x Prosper*s  p a s s i v i t y i s r e p l a c e d by h i s proper  role  as the community's s p i r i t u a l l e a d e r ; Angel and her c h i l d r e n r e t u r n t o him,  r e s t o r i n g the s a t i s f y i n g balance  which e x i s t s  between h i s v i s i o n and tenderness and her p r a c t i c a l , wisdom. and  W i l l i a m ' s view t h a t  " i t ' s b e t t e r t o be  intuitive  trusting  l o v i n g , " (p.75) comes c l o s e r t o r e a l i z a t i o n , and  Ara,  b a r r e n and unsure of h e r s e l f , has a v i s i o n of the parched l a n d f l o w i n g with water and  the promise of redemptions  " E v e r y t h i n g s h a l l l i v e where the r i v e r comes, she out l o u d .  And  she saw  s p r i n g i n g arched  a great m u l t i t u d e  unique g i f t  of f i s h , each  through the s l a n t i n g l i g h t . "  b l i n d e d because he betrayed  James' t r u s t and  of p e r c e p t i o n , accepts  "The  from g u i l t  (p.114)  fish Kip,  perverted his  h i s a l t e r e d s t a t e and  f i n d s a p l a c e f o r h i m s e l f a t F e l i x Prosper's; transformed  said  ( " a l l because of me  Elements Transcended," Can.  Lenchen i s  the whole world's  L i t . 42,  p.57.  wrecked" (p.117) all.  ) t o a madonna, b e a r i n g new  hope f o r them  Even her b i t t e r mother i s a b l e to open her heart  prepare a welcome f o r the new  child.  The community e x p e r i -  ences a c o l l e c t i v e m i r a c l e of u n i f i c a t i o n , F e l i x ' s housej i t i s marked outwardly chen and  James' c h i l d and by F e l i x ' s  dence as he watches the b i r t h i  and  c e n t e r i n g on  by the b i r t h of Lenexperience of t r a n s c e n -  " I f only he c o u l d shed h i s  f l e s h , moult and f e a t h e r a g a i n , he might begin once more. His e y e l i d s dropped. bed  on s o f t owl wings.  His f l e s h melted.  And below he saw h i s o l d body  down l i k e an ox by the manger." (p.126) u a l f a t h e r of the new  He r o s e from the  He i s the  spirit-  baby, and of the renewed community,  j u s t as James i s the p h y s i c a l one.  The v i c t o r y  u n i t y over the d i v i s i v e f o r c e s of f e a r i s a new  crouched  of l i f e  and  accomplished;  order, more v i t a l and more humane, has r e p l a c e d the  old. The  c l a r i t y and c o n c e n t r a t i o n of the d i a l o g u e  d e s c r i p t i o n i n the n o v e l a r e o u t s t a n d i n g . pears simple because of the spareness  and  The work ap-  of the s t y l e and  the  p r i m i t i v e , c i r c u l a r movement from death to l i f e which i s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y i t s s t r u c t u r e and  i t s content.  I t has a  c l a s s i c a l e f f e c t , a f e e l i n g of ongoing t r u t h which i s not bounded by s p e c i f i c time or p l a c e or people, and t h i s mental nature i s emphasized by the f a c t t h a t the l i n e s tween man  elebe-  and the l a n d a r e blurred,*; Greta's housecoat, f o r  example, makes her appear t o be  "a t a n g l e of w i l d f l o w e r s  grown up between them," (p.62) and the o l d woman i s i n e x t r i c a b l e from the e n t i r e landscape.  Coyote, who  makes f e a r  a r t i c u l a t e , i s both animal and human, a totemic f i g u r e of prophecy and a d v e r s i t y . the new  He speaks l a s t ; i t i s c l e a r t h a t  order i s not a simple replacement  of the o l d r e -  p r e s s i o n with u n r e s t r i c t e d freedom, but something tle  and d i f f i c u l t ! an acceptance  more sub-  of the d u a l nature of e x i s -  tence, and a r e f u s a l t o l e t the presence of f e a r continue to  block everything p o s i t i v e .  it  i s no l o n g e r a l l .  Coyote's life  Fear i s s t i l l present, but  As the c h i l d ' s b i r t h symbolizes hope,  f i n a l message i s a reminder  of the p r i c e of hope:  i s both p a i n and p l e a s u r e , and i f the p a i n i s not a c -  cepted, t h e r e can be no l i f e a t a l l , only a b a r r e n n o t h i n g ness.  L i f e i s a double hook, and both s i d e s a r e swallowed  t o g e t h e r or not a t a l l :  "when you f i s h f o r the g l o r y  c a t c h the darkness t o o . . . .  i f you hook twice the g l o r y  you hook twice the f e a r . " (p.61) as t h a t of The the Night.  T h i s i s the same theme  Loved and the Lost and The Watch That Ends  Only through a f u l l acceptance  of l i f e  i t s c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , apparent  its  immutable death sentence, can one t r u l y l i v e with joy.  double-edged  George Stewart  i n j u s t i c e s and  with  all  dom and  you  cruelties, free-  f i n a l l y comes t o accept the  nature of l i f e , the meaningful paradox which  can be grasped only with f a i t h .  He i s d e s c r i b i n g what S h f e l a  Watson c a l l s the double hook when he says, darkness, a l s o i s l i g h t . T h i s , which i s h a t r e d , a l s o i s courage. The  T h i s , which i s no,  also i s love.  also is  yes.  T h i s , which i s f e a r ,  T h i s , which i s d e f e a t , a l s o i s v i c t o r y . "  Double Hook succeeds to a g r e a t e r  t i n g t h i s t r u t h than does The it  "This, which i s  Watch That Ends The  i s a b e t t e r book, more c o n s i s t e n t ,  I t s images form an spare, complex, and  extent i n communicaNight;  i n t e n s e , and  original.  e f f e c t i v e , i n t e g r a t e d p a t t e r n which i s as c a r e f u l l y s t r u c t u r e d as a poem.  The  r e l i g i o u s or m y s t i c a l t r u t h embodied i n i t i s more s u i t e d t o t h i s pseudo-poetic form than t o the broad s o c i a l of MacLennan's n o v e l . Loved and  The  Double Hook a l s o surpasses  the Lost, because i t makes no pretence a t  It i s not anchored so s p e c i f i c a l l y i n one i t has  time and  The  realism. place;  a t i m e l e s s , transcendent q u a l i t y which i s necessary  to properly The  surface  support the s p i r i t u a l and  Loved and  mythological  the Lost s t r i v e s f o r t h i s , but  content.  Callaghan  weakens h i s e f f e c t by p l a c i n g the e n t i r e burden of c r e a t i n g and  c a r r y i n g t h i s aspect on one  character,  Peggy; her  i n the n o v e l thus i s o l a t e s her from the other and  d i s r u p t s the n o v e l ' s u n i t y .  Double Hook a r e r e a l i t y and s e l v e s and  characters  A l l the c h a r a c t e r s  in  symbolic; a l l i n h a b i t the same k i n d  of  novels,  The  r e f l e c t a correspondence between t h e i r i n n e r the  e x t e r n a l landscape of t h e i r l i v e s .  Double Hook says e s s e n t i a l l y the same t h i n g as the two  function  but  The other  i t says i t much more e f f e c t i v e l y .  A n o v e l which deals with the same b a s i c theme, but  handles i t from an extremely unusual a n g l e , man's The S a c r i f i c e .  i s Adele Wise-  The n o v e l i s unique i n t h a t i t i s  the o n l y example i n r e c e n t Canadian f i c t i o n o f a book w r i t t e n by a woman but concerned almost e x c l u s i v e l y with a mascul i n e p r o t a g o n i s t ; the book's s u b t i t l e i s "a n o v e l o f f a t h e r s and  sons."  One o f the t h i n g s which i s immediately obvious  about t h e c h a r a c t e r o f Abraham i s t h e extent t o which he assumes a r o l e c u s t o m a r i l y designated as feminine Jewish North American c u l t u r e . patriarchal;  i n non-  H i s background i s s t r o n g l y  because o f t h i s , many o f the " n a t u r a l " pre-  r o g a t i v e s which women o r d i n a r i l y  enjoy because o f t h e i r  a b i l i t y t o g i v e b i r t h a r e superseded and r e p l a c e d by male ceremonies and p r i v e l e g e s .  In c o u n t l e s s ways, Abraham  assumes f u l l  f o r a l l of h i s family's a f f a i r s .  responsibility  His w i f e , Sarah, p l a y s only a minor r o l e in  the novel.  i n t h e f a m i l y and  I t i s Abraham who chooses t h e i r house and  plans i t s imrovements, c o n s u l t i n g h i s son Isaac but not h i s wife.  As a parent, he f i l l s  t h e p l a c e o f both f a t h e r and  mother, r e d u c i n g Sarah's a c t i v i t y i n t h i s a r e a t o a marginal level.  H i s memory o f h i s dead sons i s p a s s i o n a t e ; as he  s t a t e s f l a t l y t o Chaim, h i s c h i l d r e n were h i s whole purposes "my m i s s i o n was my f a m i l y , t o b r i n g up my sons." Isaac approaches them, ?he says simply,  "My l i f e . "  Sarah's r e l a t i v e unimportance i s r e f l e c t e d of t h e other women i n t h e n o v e l .  When (p.60)  i n the p o r t r a i t s  Almost a l l a r e two-  3-* Adele Wiseman, The S a c r i f i c e (New York: The V i k i n g Press, 1956), p.59. Other quotes w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page number i n t h e t e x t .  dimensional,  narrow c r e a t i o n s who serve merely t o f i l l i n  the background dominated by Abraham. people:  They a r e types, not  Sarah, t h e meek, d e ^ f e a t e d w i f e ; L a i a h , the g r o s s l y  s e n s u a l s e m i - p r o s t i t u t e ; Mrs. Knopp, the a s p i r i n g s o c i a l c l i m b e r , and Mrs. P l o p l e r , t h e narrow-minded g o s s i p .  Only  Ruth, Abraham's daughter-in-law, has some elements o f comlexity.  The emphasis throughout t h e n o v e l i s almost t o -  t a l l y on Abraham and, The  t o a l e s s e r extent,  Isaac.  s a c r i f i c i a l theme i s c e n t r a l t o many novels  pub-  l i s h e d i n Canada over t h e l a s t two decades; The Loved and the Lost i s one example o f t h e r e c u r r e n t p a t t e r n .  Peggy Sander-  son t r i e s t o l i v e by l o v e and not by f e a r , embracing r a t h e r than e x c l u d i n g t h a t which h e r c u l t u r a l background r e j e c t s as foreign.  She i s f i n a l l y s a c r i f i c e d t o the d e s i r e of those  around h e r t o remain i s o l a t e d , t o maintain themselves. Catherine  The v i s i o n which motivates  b a r r i e r s between  Peggy (as w e l l as  i n The Watch That Ends the Night and t h e e n t i r e  s t r u c t u r e o f The Double Hook) i s o f a world p e r f e c t i n i t s i m p e r f e c t i o n s ; D.G. Jones d e s c r i b e s t h e v i s i o n as one which "not o n l y comprehends s u f f e r i n g and death but sees i n them the c o n d i t i o n s t h a t make p o s s i b l e the h i g h e s t human v a l u e s . " Abraham i s no s t r a n g e r t o s u f f e r i n g , having the a p p a r e n t l y  purposeless  tragedy  l i v e d through  o f h i s sons' murder, and  he hopes d e s p e r a t e l y t h a t he w i l l not be r e q u i r e d t o s a c r i -  35 B u t t e r f l y on Rock, p.139.  35  f i c e h i s t h i r d son too.  Although i t i s not p o s s i b l e f o r  Isaac t o study as long as Abraham would l i k e , he grows and works and Abraham i s proud o f him. sees h i m s e l f as one who n u r t u r e s ; he f e e l s t h a t  Like his father,  t h i n k i n g of h i s f a m i l y ,  "he h i m s e l f would keep them a l i v e , f e e d them  from h i s i n e x h a u s t i b l e s t o r e o f l i f e - e n e r g y . " But  Isaac  (p.l4l)  i t i s o n l y a moment l a t e r t h a t he has h i s f i r s t  serious  a t t a c k o f i l l n e s s , and n o t long a f t e r w a r d s he takes t h e a c t i o n which u l t i m a t e l y r e s u l t s i n h i s death. him  c a r r y i n g t h e S c r o l l s from t h e burning  Abraham sees  synagogue  "like  a r e v e l a t i o n b u r s t i n g from the f l a m i n g heavens" (pp.195-6) surrounded by f i r e and g l o r y . Isaac never q u i t e r e c o v e r s claustrophobic  from t h i s experience; h i s  dreams o f entrapment t o r t u r e him while he  grows p h y s i c a l l y weaker.  I t i s i r o n i c but p e r f e c t l y con-  s i s t e n t with t h e s t o r y t h a t t h e Torah he rescued  from des-  t r u c t i o n a t t h e cost o f h i s l i f e i s a symbol o f h i s f a t h e r ' s , not h i s own, b e l i e f s ; t h e s t o r y i s Abraham's, and he never r e a l l y sees h i s son nor accepts does not wish t o see. ness t h a t Isaac  i n him a n y t h i n g  which he  I t i s because o f t h i s w i l f u l b l i n d -  i s , i n a sense, s a c r i f i c e d by h i s f a t h e r .  Ruth has been aware o f i t , and a f t e r Isaac's  death  i s c o n f l i c t between h e r and h e r f a t h e r - i n - l a w .  there  On t h e  n i g h t o f t h e i r f i n a l argument, she accuses him o f d r i v i n g Isaa t o deaths  "You wanted one son should make up f o r t h r e e .  What d i d you one."  only gave him heart  enough f o r  (p.290) The  ritual, The  care that God  c e n t r e of the n o v e l , the meaning of the  sacrificial  i s c l o s e l y t i e d t o Abraham's p a t r i a r c h a l background.  r i t u a l of s a c r i f i c e i s , e s s e n t i a l l y , a s u b s t i t u t e f o r  the n a t u r a l a c t of b i r t h : the sacredness of c r e a t i o n , of giving l i f e , The  i s r e p l a c e d by the sacredness of t a k i n g i t .  s a c r i f i c i a l s l a u g h t e r , l i k e b i r t h , i s a mystery.  For Abraham, i t was  a l s o an i n i t i a t i o n i n t o a d u l t h o o d  and a transcendent, g o d - l i k e experience, i n words which c o u l d a p p l y  which he  e q u a l l y w e l l to the a c t of  giving birth:  " i t was  t o take a l i f e  t h a t I r e a l l y changed and was  child.  . . . Who  edge of c r e a t i o n .  has  not u n t i l a f t e r I had been f o r c e d  to take a l i f e  Only God  I f e l t as though I had  describes  no longer  stands a l o n e on  a  the  can understand him then. . . .  suddenly been taken out of myself,  as though t h i s moment d i d not r e a l l y e x i s t and as though i t had  e x i s t e d f o r e v e r , as though i t had never begun and  would never end."  (p.37)  Along with the f e a r and  horror  he f e l t a t being  forced to k i l l ,  t h e r e i s a sense of  c r i b a b l e power.  Abraham cannot r e s i s t the temptation t o  see h i m s e l f as g o d - l i k e , the c r e a t o r and In h i s d i s c u s s i o n of p r o c r e a t i o n with  destroyer  Isaac, the  indes-  of  life.  motif  r e c u r s ; he r e p l a c e s the b i o l o g i c a l f a c t s of l i f e with  a  v e r s i o n i n which man  God,  i s the s o l e g i v e r of l i f e ,  like  and woman merely the i n e r t s o i l i n which t h e l i f e "a man c o u l d be compared t o the wind, which must through  life,  always s e e k i n g .  grows: riffle  A woman w a i t s , r o o t e d i n  the e a r t h , l i k e a t r e e , l i k e a f l o w e r .  P a t i e n t l y she l i f t s  her f a c e t o r e c e i v e t h e g i f t o f t h e wind.  Suddenly he  sweeps a c r o s s t h e earth and stoops t o blow t h e dust. she comes t o l i f e ;  she s e i z e s i t , c l a s p s i t , and works with  i t t h e m i r a c l e o f c r e a t i o n . " (p.110) of h i s o r i g i n a l i t y  Then  Abraham i s v e r y  proud  i n d e s c r i b i n g c r e a t i o n thus, but t h e  p r o t o t y p e i s t h e B i b l i c a l s t o r y o f God's c r e a t i o n o f man. In t h e confused d e p r e s s i o n i n t o which Abraham f a l l s a f t e r Isaac's death, aggravated  f o r him by Ruth's growing  independence, he comes t o spend some time with L a i a h . He does not l i k e her, but he i s l o n e l y and they a r e thrown t o g e t h e r p a r t l y by circumstance.  Slowly, she comes t o r e p r e -  s e n t , i n h i s mind, a l l t h a t i s s t e r i l e and u n n a t u r a l , the deaths  like  o f t h r e e sons b e f o r e t h e i r f a t h e r : " A l l h e r l i f e  from t h e time when he had f i r s t heard o f h e r she had used the means and denied the end. r i p e f r u i t without season, to  She was l i k e a great  over-  seed, which hung now, l o n g past i t s  on t h e bough. . . . She had denied c r e a t i o n , and  deny i s t o a n n i h i l a t e . "  (p.261)  On t h e n i g h t o f h i s  q u a r r e l with Ruth when she accuses him of k i l l i n g Isaac with h i s e x p e c t a t i o n s , he goes t o L a i a h . rarily  He i s tempo-  insane; a l l h i s r e p r e s s e d g u i l t and f r u s t r a t i o n come  o.  to for  the s u r f a c e .  B e l i e v i n g that he has f i n a l l y come t o her  l o v e , L a i a h experiences an unaccustomed hope (which  renders the ensuing d i a l o g u e even more grotesque) that w i l l compensate f o r a l l her disappointments and  he  "give her  back more, a l l t h a t had been taken and a l l t h a t had been f r e e l y g i v e n . " (p.295)  Abraham i s not sure a t f i r s t  why  he i s t h e r e , and they engage i n a c o n v e r s a t i o n which e x e r c i s e i n almost t o t a l  i s an  misunderstanding on both s i d e s ;  f o r her, i t i s a r i t u a l of love and f o r him,  one of death.  Abraham's mind f a s t e n s on words and phrases which  build  his  c o n v i c t i o n t h a t she i s "the other p a r t of h i m — t h a t  was  empty, u n b e l i e v i n g , the n e g a t i o n of l i f e , the womb of  death. . . . D i d he come a t l a s t  t o a c c e p t the shadow, t o  embrace the emptiness, t o acknowledge h'is oneness with the f r u i t without seed, with death, h i s o t h e r s e l f ? "  (p.300)  Thus p r o j e c t i n g onto L a i a h that p a r t of h i m s e l f which cannot a c c e p t , he grows more and more desperate: to  do the i m p o s s i b l e , t o k i l l death.  he  he wants  He begins to b e l i e v e  t h a t she i s mocking the death of h i s sons, and as he h e s i t a t e s on the b r i n k of t a k i n g her life>?hshe, s t i l l of  l o v e , urges him t o h u r r y .  thinking  In t h a t moment, i n h i s c o n f u -  s i o n between l i f e and death, she appears b e a u t i f u l t o him for  the f i r s t  time; he i s s t a n d i n g once a g a i n "on the  b r i n k of c r e a t i o n where l i f e and death waver toward o t h e r . . . now  was  each  the time f o r the c i r c l e t o c l o s e , t o  enclose him i n i t s s a f e t y , i n i t s peace." (p.303)  Once  a g a i n he i s i l l u m i n a t e d by the s a c r i f i c i a l r i t u a l , but t h e t r u t h which f l a s h e s i n t o him now i s o f h i s t r a g i c deception.  self-  Almost b e f o r e t h e a c t i t s e l f i s complete, t h e  word " L i f e " r i n g s i n h i s mind and he begs L a i a h t o l i v e again.  He i s made b l i n d i n g l y aware o f t h a t which he had  t r i e d t o denyi  that l i f e  i n s e p e r a b l e from death.  i s p r e c i o u s above a l l t h i n g s , and H i s r e f u s a l t o accept  the death  of h i s sons and h i s wish f o r g o d - l i k e powers o f c r e a t i o n have l e d him t o t h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f l i f e , and he r e a l i z e s t h a t the  "womb o f death" i s not w i t h i n L a i a h , but h i m s e l f .  He  understands h i m s e l f a t l a s t , s e e i n g t h e arrogance o f h i s d e n i a l o f death i n h i m s e l f .  He sees t h a t t h e negation and  the emptiness were h i s own, t h a t  "I have taken l i f e  . ..  t h a t I have k i l l e d my sons, t h a t I have made myself  equal  with my enemies, t h a t i t was i n me, womb o f death, f e s t e r ing,  i n no one e l s e . . . . I t was i n me.  to be a s He w i l l e d i t . and  destroyer."  I wanted more.  I was not content  I had t o be c r e a t o r  (p.326)  In the insane asylum he i s humble, f u l l tenderness,  no longer angry even with h i m s e l f but f i l l e d  with sadness and acceptance. take,"  o f l o v e and  fte-tells  "I took what was not mine t o  h i s grandson Moses.  "What was given t o  me t o h o l d g e n t l y i n my hands, t o look a t with wonder." (p.344) at  Here, as i n The Double Hook, there i s a r e s o l u t i o n  t h e end and a hope i n t h e new g e n e r a t i o n .  While  still  young, Moses l e a r n s from Abraham the t r u t h which h i s grandf a t h e r a r r i v e d a t so l a t e and with so much d i f f i c u l t y : t h a t the enemy i s not e x t e r n a l . grandfather,  His hand, and the hand of h i s  "the hand of a murderer," (p.3^5) a r e not  so  d i f f e r e n t : Abraham's hand i s s t r o n g , warm, and fuses n a t u r a l l y with h i s own. acceptance,  The boy f e e l s l o v e f o r the o l d man.  By  this  Moses i s f r e e d from the b i t t e r n e s s of the p a s t ,  h i s h e a r t i s opened, and the chains of d e n i a l , misunders t a n d i n g , and r e p r e s s i o n a r e loosened.  Once a g a i n the p o i n t  i s made t h a t t r u e freedom l i e s i n b e i n g caught on the hook which has p o i n t s of both transcendence committed to l i f e  itself.  and death,  i n being  The theme of a l l f o u r novels  might be rephrased as a q u e s t i o n from John Glassco's poem, "Villanelle":  "Why  has the darkness  and the d i s t a n c e  36 grown,/Why do we  f e a r t o l e t the s t r a n g e r i n ? "  each case, the answer i s the same. and through  understanding  The  and acceptance  and i n  s t r a n g e r i s the  self,  of the s t r a n g e r  w i t h i n , f e a r l o s e s i t s s t r a n g l e h o l d and becomes j u s t of many experiences, not the b l i n d r u l e r of a whole  another life.  36Love Where The Nights Are Long (ed. I r v i n g Layton) (Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , 1962), p.33.  THE IMPORTANCE OF POINT OF VIEW: DISTANCE AND IDENTIFICATION IN TWO NOVELS BY ETHEL WILSON The  f i c t i o n of E t h e l Wilson, l i k e t h a t of most Canadian  women a u t h o r s , d e a l s almost  e x c l u s i v e l y with female  charac-  ters.  i n her books tend t o be  slight;  The p o r t r a i t s of men  they a r e i n t r o d u c e d mainly t o move the p l o t a l o n g or t o out the p i c t u r e s of the c e n t r a l women.  fill  Her f i c t i o n does  not, however, f o l l o w a s t r i c t formula: c o n s i d e r a b l e v a r i a t i o n i n the a u t h o r i a l p o i n t of view r e s u l t s i n the c r e a t i o n of unique and memorable c h a r a c t e r s .  Of those n o v e l s i n which  t h e r e e x i s t s a f a i r l y c l o s e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n between author and p r o t a g o n i s t , Swamp Angel i s the most e f f e c t i v e . The cent T r a v e l l e r , a l s o e x c e l l e n t i n i t s way,  Inno-  i s more biography  than f i c t i o n , and Hetty D o r v a l and Love and S a l t Water a r e less f u l l y realized.  The two n o v e l l a s which comprise  Equations of Love a r e the best example of Mrs.  The  Wilson's  s t y l e and c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n when the p o i n t of view i s more detached. There i s l i t t l e  or no i d e n t i f i c a t i o n between the author  and the h e r o i n e s of The Equations of Love.  Both Tuesday  and Wednesday and L i l l y ' s S t o r y a r e the c r e a t i o n s of a  con-  s c i o u s n e s s which v e r y o b v i o u s l y f e e l s i t s e l f s u p e r i o r t o i t s work.  There i s an element of mockery, a p a t r o n i z i n g l i g h t -  ness o f tone i n Mrs. Wilson's approach t o her c h a r a c t e r s i n t h i s book.  T h i s q u a l i t y appears t o r e s u l t i n p a r t from the  f a c t t h a t she i s d e a l i n g with people from a lower s o c i a l c l a s s than h e r s e l f ; Myrtle Johnson i s a c l e a n i n g woman, w h i l e Lilly  i s f i r s t a w a i t r e s s i n a Chinese r e s t a u r a n t , then a  s e r v a n t , and f i n a l l y a h o s p i t a l housekeeper.  Both women a r e  e s s e n t i a l l y two-dimensional, a l t h o u g h c l e v e r l y drawn. are  They  s t r i k i n g , as f i c t i o n a l c a r i c a t u r e s o f t e n a r e , but n e i t h e r  i s developed f u l l y enough as a c h a r a c t e r t o r a i s e her s t o r y above the l e v e l of an extended anecdote. Tuesday and Wednesday i s l e s s a u n i f i e d s h o r t n o v e l than an e n t e r t a i n i n g c o l l e c t i o n of p e r s o n a l i t y s k e t c h e s . Myrtle  Johnson c o n t r o l s the n o v e l l a , as she c o n t r o l s her hus-  band Mort, by a p p a r e n t l y i n e x p l i c a b l e s h i f t s of temperament. Mort's f i r s t , n e c e s s a r y c o n s i d e r a t i o n each morning i s whether M y r t l e was  "pleased l a s t n i g h t and w i l l she be p l e a s e d  37 t h i s morning when she wakes up, or am  I i n wrong a g a i n  In a d d i t i o n t o b e i n g "a complete m i s t r e s s  (or v i c t i m ) of the  v o l t e - f a c e , of the t u r n a b o u t , " (p.6) she has a way ing  ..."  of droop-  her e y e l i d s t h a t can make anyone except Aunty Emblem  " f e e l i n s e c u r e and n e g l i g i b l e . " enigmatic manner i s merely a way  (p.6)  To the author, her  of b u l l y i n g people, and  she  dwells a t some l e n g t h on M y r t l e ' s i n j u s t i c e t o the woman on the  bus and t o her employer,  Mrs. Lemoyne.  It i s clear i n  37 E t h e l Wilson, The Equations of Love (London: MacMillan & Co., L t d . , 1952), p.5. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page mamber i n the t e x t .  both i n c i d e n t s t h a t Mrs. Wilson  i s s l i g h t l y d e f e n s i v e about  her own p o s i t i o n v i s - a - v i s h e r c l e a n i n g - l a d y c h a r a c t e r ; she takes p a i n s t o v i n d i c a t e t h e woman with t h e a l l i g a t o r shoes whom Myrtle has contemptuously d i s m i s s e d as "a s o c i e t y woman." (p.10)  "The woman was a c t u a l l y a s c h o o l  teacher  on leave o f absetoce, and she had put h e r s m a l l house t o r i g h t s , prepared  d i n n e r ahead of time,  the beach with t h e i r lunches,  packed h e r nephews down t o put on h e r best c l o t h e s of  which she was v e r y proud, and was going t o have lunch  with  her f a v o u r i t e s i s t e r - i n - l a w t o show h e r t h e new a l l i g a t o r shoes." (p.10) plicitly,  Mrs. Lemoyne i s not defended q u i t e so ex-  but h e r t i m i d i t y i s t r e a t e d s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y and  Myrtle i s c r i t i c i z e d f o r e x p l o i t i n g i t .  T h i s marked s e n s i -  t i v i t y t o s o c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n t r u d e s i n an odd way between t h e a u t h o r and h e r c h a r a c t e r , c r e a t i n g a d i s t a n c e which, although  not bad i n i t s e l f ,  t i c and c a r p i n g .  tends a t times t o sound s a r c a s -  She i s even more p a t r o n i z i n g towards  Mort, but h e r b a s i c c r i t i c i s m o f him i s the same as t h a t of M y r t l e t to his  he i s l a z y , r e b e l l i o u s , and g i v e s h i m s e l f  which he i s n o t e n t i t l e d by h i s s t a t i o n i n l i f e .  airs When  employer d e s e r t s him a t h e r husband's r e t u r n , Mort tum-  b l e s from h i s f a n t a s y of h i m s e l f as " s u c c e s s f u l male, succ e s s f u l gardener, o l d and t r u s t e d employee, unique l a n d s c a p e r " t o "a working man i n s u l t e d and snubbed by a r i c h man who ho doubt had made h i s money by g r a f t , " a t t i t u d e o f working-class Wilson  defensiveness  i s o b v i o u s l y out o f sympathy.  (p.17) an  with which Mrs.  %  A Jiff  T h i s edge of apparent  f f  snobbery  i n t h e author's  attitude  i s repeated i n h e r d e s c r i p t i o n of other a s p e c t s of Myrtle's life;  she i s presented as unimaginative, s e l f i s h , and not  v e r y c l e a n : "she d i d not see t h a t t h e room was dingy and needed c l e a n i n g . . . . t h a t t h e r e was no attempt  a t cheer  or c o l o u r i n t h e room; t h a t , i n s h o r t , e v e r y t h i n g was u n i formly dingy and need not be s o . " (p.8) appears  t o t r y t o do something  Even when Myrtle  n i c e , i t i s d i s m i s s e d as mere  p l a y - a c t i n g : "by t h e time she had climbed t h e two uncarpeted f l i g h t s o f s t a i r s t o t h e t o p o f t h e house, she was the housewife,  the l o v i n g wife u n s e l f i s h l y arranging a  p l e a s a n t evening f o r Mortimer."  (p.18)  When she l e a r n s  t h a t Mort has been drowned w h i l e i n t h e company o f h i s f r i e n d Eddy Hansen (an event so major compared t o the s u c c e s s i o n o f s m a l l anecdotes  which precede  i t t h a t i t almost  unbalances  the n o v e l l a completely) h e r t e a r s q u i c k l y g i v e way t o "rage and scorn and h a t e . " (p.118) own  She i s concerned  only with h e r  image: "For her, Myrtle Johnson t h a t was Myrtle Hopwood,  t o be now an o b j e c t o f p i t y as a woman whose husband was no good, and had d i e d a drunken death i n poor company— a l l t h i s was not t o be borne by M y r t l e . " (p.119)  . . .  So b i t t e r  i s she a t t h i s blow t o h e r s e l f - e s t e e m t h a t , had Mort reappeared,  "she would not have welcomed him back t o t h e l i v i n g ;  she would have r e v i l e d him;  she might have s t r u c k him."  (p.U19)  Only the s u r p r i s i n g i n s i s t e n c e o f V i c k y T r i t t t h a t Mort i s  a hero and Myrtle a hero's widow makes i t p o s s i b l e f o r Myrtle t o t h i n k k i n d l y o f him agains The  other c h a r a c t e r s  dimensional, ted.  a l l i s s u r f a c e , a l l i s ego.  i n t h e s t o r y a r e e q u a l l y two-  a l t h o u g h somewhat more s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y  presen-  Aunty Emblem i s the p e r f e c t l y womanly woman, a s t e r e o -  type which i s s u p e r f i c i a l but a t t r a c t i v e .  Her l o w e r - c l a s s  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r e i n c l u d e d i n t h e p o r t r a i t — s h e reads movie magazines, dyes h e r h a i r , wears t o o much rouge, and p l a y s cards with h e r gentlemen f r i e n d s on Saturday  night—  but they a r e p l a y e d down i n c o n t r a s t t o the d e s c r i p t i o n o f Myrtle. blem. a  The author i s t o l e r a n t , even fond, o f Aunty EmShe may p l a y - a c t t o o , but she does i t n i c e l y ; she i s  "comely golden o l d comedy a c t r e s s p l a y i n g h e r p a r t  well."  (pp.23-4)  very  She i s s o f t , f o r g i v i n g , a good manager  of men, "born t o be a w i f e and a m i s t r e s s , and t o each o f her t h r e e husbands she has been honest wife and t r u e mistress.^  (p5D  She would pamper a husband when he drank  too much, not s c o l d him; i n t h i s and other t h i n g s designed t o put Myrtle t o shame.  she seems  Mrs. Wilson's p a t r o n i z i n g  tone i s s t i l l d i s c e r n i b l e , but i t i s s o f t e r and more benevolent. The Mrs.  other woman i n the s t o r y , V i c t o r i a May T r i t t , i s  Emblem's o p p o s i t e .  While Aunty Emblem knows  nothing  else, Vicky T r i t t  "does not know what i t f e e l s l i k e t o be  a woman." (p.56)  She i s almost p a t h o l o g i c a l l y shy, a  s p i n s t e r who i s so r e p r e s s e d  and c o l o u r l e s s t h a t she makes  Rachel Cameron o f A J e s t o f God seem v i b r a n t and d a r i n g bycontrast.  The chapter devoted t o d e s c r i b i n g Vicky's l i f e  i s a s e t - p i e c e , a s t r i k i n g p i c t u r e o f a f i g u r e who i s as c l o s e t o zero,  i n terms of p e r s o n a l i t y , as i t i s p o s s i b l e t o  get and yet r e t a i n some i d e n t i t y as a human b e i n g . Aunty Emblem observes, no one wants her; t o h e r employer, h e r l a n d l a d y , o f whom have any p e r s o n a l  h e r only t i e s a r e  and h e r c o u s i n  i n t e r e s t i n her.  mous, as a f l y i s anonymous." (p.66)  As  Myrtle,  none  "She i s anony-  Sometimes she f e e l s  l o n e l y , but she i s not o f t e n aware of i t ; she l i v e s i n a r o u t i n e which somehow manages t o f i l l the week.  Romance and excitement touch h e r l i f e  through t h e "Personal" It  t h e seven days of  i s Vicky,  only  i n the c l a s s i f i e d a d v e r t i s e m e n t s .  however, who transforms Mort i n t o a hero with  her amazing l i e (which i s i r o n i c a l l y c l o s e t o t h e t r u t h ) t o Myrtle, an a c t i o n so out o f c h a r a c t e r and so a s t o n i s h i n g t h a t i t e c l i p s e s Mort's death and makes i t seem almost mundane i n comparison.  I t i s Vicky's  s t o r y which i s t h e r e a l  climax o f Tuesday and Wednesday. The  n o v e l l a , u l t i m a t e l y , i s a t r i v i a l work.  author's p o s i t i o n o f s u p e r i o r i t y i n regard t e r s i s t o o obvious, w h i l e the c l e v e r n e s s  The  t o h e r characof h e r d e s c r i p -  t i o n r e s u l t s i n a s e r i e s o f s k i l f u l l y - e x e c u t e d sketches h e l d t o g e t h e r v e r y l o o s e l y by an a n t i c l i m a c t i c p l o t . r e a l l y a novel,  nor yet a short  I t i s not  s t o r y , but something between  the two: an episode padded with s e t - p i e c e s o f d e s c r i p t i o n and c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . to  The c h a r a c t e r v i g n e t t e s a r e s i m i l a r  those i n The Innocent T r a v e l l e r , but i n Tuesday and Wed-  nesday they a r e r e q u i r e d t o bear the whole weight  o f the  f i c t i o n ' s content, and they a r e not enough i n themselves to  be s a t i s f y i n g . In  L i l l y ' s S t o r y , the other s e c t i o n o f The Equations o f  Love, t h e author does not d i s l i k e h e r main c h a r a c t e r as much as she does M y r t l e .  There  i s no temptation t o assume t h a t  Mrs. Wilson a c t u a l l y i d e n t i f i e s with L i l l y , however; once a g a i n , a l t h o u g h some a d m i r a t i o n f o r L i l l y  i s expressed,  the viewpoint i s from a p o s i t i o n o f s u p e r i o r i t y . of  p l o t , L i l l y ' s S t o r y Is an i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d  In terms  "True  Confes-  s i o n " : L i l l y comes from a "bad" f a m i l y i n which t h e mother i s p o r t r a y e d as an i r r e s p o n s i b l e drunkard and t h e f a t h e r a woman-chaser; she h e r s e l f i s e a s i l y bought by a Chinese houseboy i n r e t u r n f o r a few s t o l e n p r e s e n t s ; she has an i l l e g i t i m a t e c h i l d , goes s t r a i g h t , pays f o r h e r crime with years o f devoted s e r v i c e t o t h e i d e a l of r e s p e c t a b i l i t y , and i s f i n a l l y rewarded by marriage t o a decent man. The i n i t i a l d e s c r i p t i o n s of L i l l y a r e harsh. slut"  She i s "the p a l e  (p.145) r u n n i n g from t h e p o l i c e , a "homeless worthless  bitch"  (p.164) who l i v e s with a miner because i t "seemed  the e a s i e s t t h i n g t o do." ( p . l 6 l ) She  i s t o be saved, however, and t h e t h i n g which saves  her i s h e r d e s i r e f o r r e s p e c t a b i l i t y .  T h i s f o r e i g n idea  i s born i n her by her encounter girls "was  with the wealthy young  i n the Nanaimo grocery shop.  Lilly,  conscious of something b r i g h t and  g i r l s had and which she had not.  She  i t was,,nor touch i t ; but i t was felt  on s e e i n g them,  sure which these c o u l d not see what  b r i g h t and sure, b r i g h t  and sure.  L i l l y suddenly  cheap and dusty."  This f i r s t  i n k l i n g of a v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t way  (p.166)  t o l i v e becomes  a p a s s i o n t o L i l l y , and the b i r t h of her daughter fies  intensi-  i t . She names the baby Eleanor, a f t e r one of the  i n the shop, and she h e r s e l f i s transformed Hughes, the widow of a farmer.  i n t o Firs.  girls Walter  She d e d i c a t e s h e r s e l f to  the n o t i o n t h a t "Baby must be l i k e  folks"  (p.173) and  i s q u i c k t o l e a r n the ways of Major B u t l e r ' s  she  household,  q u i c k to sense the c o r r e c t ways of g a i n i n g favour.  Here  a g a i n , as i n Tuesday and Wednesday, t h e r e i s a p i c t u r e of a m i s t r e s s - s e r v a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p which, while drawn p r i m a r i l y from the servant's p o i n t of view, i s s t r o n g l y symp a t h e t i c t o the m i s t r e s s . Lilly her  i s s i n g l e - m i n d e d l y maternal,  i n her narrow  "whole body and s p i r i t which had never known a  t i o n were now  way;  direc-  s o l e l y d i r e c t e d towards g i v i n g Baby every-  thing that L i l l y  could give her."  (p.173)  She  cooljty a v o i d s  an entanglement with Major B u t l e r , f o r Eleanor's sake. works hard and keeps t o h e r s e l f , a p p a r e n t l y r e q u i r i n g p h y s i c a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l , or emotional k i n d except  She no  s a t i s f a c t i o n of any  f o r the reward of s e e i n g t h a t her daughter i s  "not common.  She's b e t t e r  Mrs. B u t l e r ' s  k i d . " (p.187)  than f o l k s , she's l i k e she  the s e c u r i t y of the B u t l e r ' s c a s u a l l y as with her new  The  was  event which makes her  leave  i s h e a r i n g Eleanor r e f e r r e d t o  "the maid's c h i l d ; "  (p.195)  t h i s i s enough,  system of v a l u e s , to make her look f o r a more  r e s p e c t e d and independent k i n d of o c c u p a t i o n .  She becomes  the housekeeper of a country h o s p i t a l , remaining  there u n t i l  Eleanor has grown up and f a r beyond L i l l y h e r s e l f . out the years a t the h o s p i t a l , L i l l y ' s  Through-  single-mindedness  makes her r e f u s e the p o s s i b i l i t y of an advantageous  marriage  t o the chairman of the h o s p i t a l Board, and r u t h l e s s l y r e p r e s s i n h e r s e l f the s t r o n g a t t r a c t i o n she f e e l s f o r Paddy Wilkes. Her s a c r i f i c e s a r e rewarded; Eleanor grows up t o be a educated,  well-  c u l t u r e d and s e n s i t i v e woman with whom L i l l y  almost n o t h i n g i n common and whom she does not With the reappearhace of Yow, distant past, L i l l y  enough; she has i n Toronto,  understand.  the Chinese ghost  f l e e s from the h o s p i t a l where she  worked f o r t w e n t y - f i v e y e a r s . earned  But she has been  some peace and  security.  has  Once s a f e  she begins t o take a l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n her  "She  would be without  c o u l d touch her now. her v e r y own  of her  punished  pearnace, meets a d u l l but k i n d l y widower, and agrees marry him:  has  fear; nothing,  ap-  to  surely,  There would be s e c u r i t y and a l i f e of  i n the house of Mr. and  Mrs. S p r o c k e t t . " (p.277)  Mr. S p r o c k e t t does not seem to be a v e r y great reward f o r so  many years o f s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , but t h i s i s perhaps  another  i n s t a n c e o f Mrs. Wilson's r a t h e r smug way o f d e a l i n g with c h a r a c t e r s o f a lower s o c i a l c l a s s .  Not knowing them per-  s o n a l l y , she a p p a r e n t l y assumes t h a t they a r e simple, and it  i s f o r t h i s reason t h a t L i l l y ' s S t o r y , l i k e Tuesday and  Wednesday, i s somewhat d i s a p p o i n t i n g .  I t t o o has some ex-  c e l l e n t s e t - p i e c e s of d e s c r i p t i o n , and s h o r t p i c t u r e s o f a t l e a s t two women who r i s e above t h e l i m i t a t i o n s placedd&n t h e others  (Mrs. B u t l e r and t h e wise, k i n d l y matron o f the hos-  p i t a l ) but the p l o t i s weak and L i l l y ' s c h a r a c t e r and motivat i o n unconvincing.  I t must be concluded t h a t E t h e l Wilson  i s d e a l i n g with t h e unknown when she attempts  t o present the  f e e l i n g s and ideas o f the c e n t r a l women i n The Equations o f Love :  she makes i n t e l l i g e n t guesses and i n d u l g e s i n specu-  l a t i o n s which a r e o f t e n i n t e r e s t i n g , but the s t o r i e s almost  e x c l u s i v e l y i n a s o c i a l sphere.  operate  They a r e not deeply  e n g r o s s i n g , because o f t h i s narrowness o f f o c u s , and t h e c h a r a c t e r s l a c k depth and b e l i e v a b l e complexity. The author's p o i n t o f view i n r e g a r d t o h e r main c h a r a c t e r i n Swamp Angel i s r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from t h a t o f t h e novellas.  Maggie L l o y d i s a f u l l y t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l charac-  t e r , a s t r i k i n g woman who has h e r f a i r share o f weaknesses and more than enough s t r e n g t h s t o compensate f o r them. is a slight  f a m i l y resemblance  between h e r and L i l l y :  There both  women can be r e s o l u t e and s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g i n order t o g a i n an o b j e c t i v e , and both a r e remarkably  s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t , but  Maggie i s f a r more i n t e l l i g e n t , s e n s i t i v e , and aware of the  beauty and complexity o f the world around her. see l i t t l e beyond her g o a l f o r h e r daughter.  L i l l y can  Maggie, much  more i m a g i n a t i v e and conscious o f the people and t h i n g s s u r rounding her, i s both more c r i t i c a l ate  than L i l l y .  and more  compassion-  S i m i l a r l y , Mrs. Severance i n Swamp Angel  i s r e m i n i s c e n t o f Aunty Emblem i n Tuesday and Wednesday, but she t o o i s a more f u l l y developed c h a r a c t e r and i s more understanding, s o p h i s t i c a t e d and a r t i c u l a t e than Mrs. Emblem. The tone o f Swamp Angel i s markedly of  d i f f e r e n t from t h a t  The Equations o f Love as a r e s u l t o f the s h i f t  Wilson's p o i n t o f view.  i n Mrs.  Instead o f condescension, which  i n t h i s n o v e l i s r e s e r v e d f o r t h e r e l a t i v e l y minor c h a r a c t e r s of  Edward Vardoe and Vera Gunnarsen, t h e r e i s a s t r o n g sense  of a u t h o r i a l a p p r o v a l o f t h e main c h a r a c t e r s , and e s p e c i a l l y of the  Maggie.  book's c e n t r a l theme i s expressed mainly through the  development the  The awareness o f mystery and harmony which i s  of t h i s character.  Maggie's i n t e g r a t i o n with  motion and flow o f t h e n a t u r a l world i s a s p i r i t u a l  journey which begins when she escapes from the c i t y and an inharmonious marriage t o a man she does not r e s p e c t , and she i s s y m b o l i c a l l y r e b o r n i n t o s i n g l e n e s s and newness d u r i n g h e r s t a y on the Similkameen  River.  Her sanisatHiiXHg  o u t s t a n d i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , the most C h r i s t - l i k e one a human  may possess, i s compassion.  As h e r d e s e r t i o n o f Edward  shows, however, she i s capable o f an almost r u t h l e s s  resolu-  t i o n i n p u r s u i n g what i s r i g h t and good f o r her.  Maggie  i s not a common f i c t i o n a l woman i n t h a t she i s both symp a t h e t i c t o the r e a d e r and yet endowed with a s t r o n g and unmistakeable  will.  Part of the reader's sympathy i s e l i c i t e d  because Edward i s so t h o r o u g h l y u n l i k e a b l e .  38  doll,"  a mechanical man  He i s a "human  f r a n t i c with ego, a mink with  t e e t h , a dog with s p a n i e l eyes.  sharp  I t seems i n c o n c e i v a b l e  t h a t Maggie c o u l d have m a r r i e d such a man  i n the f i r s t p l a c e ,  but E t h e l Wilson a s t u t e l y p l a c e s the m o t i v a t i o n w i t h i n t h a t aspect of Maggie's p e r s o n a l i t y which i s most dominant: she married him because i t i s her nature t o care f o r o t h e r s . It was  "an a c t of compassion and f a t a l s t u p i d i t y . "  T h i s s u r p r i s i n g j u x t a p o s i t i o n of concepts  i s o n l y one  many i n s t a n c e s which make c l e a r t h a t even the most l y benevolent  (p.16) of  apparent-  q u a l i t i e s and a c t s can be double-edged.  C l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o the n a t u r a l symbolism which c a r r i e s much of the n o v e l ' s meaning i s the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of Maggie as a swimmer.  The  image occurs f i r s t a f t e r her  s e r v a t i o n of the b a t t l e between the eagle and the  ob-  osprey  (a passage which i s much b e t t e r i n t e g r a t e d t h e m a t i c a l l y than the s i m i l a r one  i n L i l l y ' s Story):  to the shore and r e a l i t y ,  "As she r e t u r n e d  Maggie f e l t l i k e a swimmer  w i l l d i v e i n , and w i l l swim s t r o n g l y , t h i s way,  that  who way,  38 E t h e l Wilson, Swamp Angel (n.p.: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , 1962), p.26. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page r e f e r e n c e i n the t e x t .  s t r a i g h t ahead, as he s h a l l choose. (p.90)  But he w i l l swim."  The image i s expanded as her r e l a t i o n s h i p s with  o t h e r s , e s p e c i a l l y Vera, a r e d e s c r i b e d i n terms o f i t s "Maggie thought sometimes good, i t ' s now  I t ' s l i k e swimming; i t i s v e r y  n i c e , she thought, t h i s new  life,  . . . but  I am a l o n e and, l i k e a swimmer, I have t o make my  on my own power.  Swimming i s l i k e l i v i n g ,  . . . I w i l l swim past o b s t a c l e s  i t i s done a l o n e .  (Vera i s sometimes an ob-  s t a c l e ) because I am a s t r o n g swimmer." (p.99) to  swim i s c e n t r a l t o her c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n .  the  way  The a b i l i t y  Because o f i t ,  water transforms her i n t o something g r a c e f u l and b e a u t i -  ful,  (a s e a l or a god) but i f she c o u l d not swim, i t "would  no doubt k i l l her and t h i n k n o t h i n g of i t . "  (p.llDO)  Ed-  ward, i n c o n t r a s t t o Maggie, cannot swim; he i s i n danger of  drowning i n h i s s e l f - p i t y b e f o r e Mrs. Severance rescues  him.  She warns him t h a t he " w i l l go down and out of s i g h t "  (p.48) i f he does not change h i s ways and t r y t o swim a little.  I t may be d i f f i c u l t ;  even Maggie sometimes  fal-  t e r s s " I t was not so easy sometimes t o say I am a swimmer and I swim round o b s t a c l e s . lent." a the  (p.140)  The words became smug and  flatu-  Her s e l f - d o u b t has good grounds! she i s not  paper f i g u r e , and she has major s t r u g g l e s and t r i a l s i n novel.  I t i s i n her r e l a t i o n s h i p with Vera Gunnarsen  t h a t her weaknesses a r e most f u l l y exposed.  Vera i s Mag-  g i e ' s a n t i t h e s i s : she i s weak, s e l f - p i t y i n g ,  unintelligent  and j e a l o u s of Maggie.  Because o f h e r s e l f - c e n t e r e d n e s s ,  her r e f u s a l or i n a b i l i t y t o l a y down her unhappy past,  she  poisons the l i f e of her f a m i l y and i s c o n s t a n t l y out of harmony with her environment. threatening.  For her, the n a t u r a l world i s  Trees s t r i k e out a t her and she cannot  find  a path through the dark woods; she even t r i e s to drown h e r s e l f i n the l a k e where Maggie swims with so much p l e a s u r e . The c u r s e she l a b o u r s under i s v i v i d l y a r t i c u a l t e d by Severance,  who  sees her as  Mrs.  "the unhappy Vera; house-bound  without an opening window, h e l l - b o u n d , I t h i n k . " (p.152) In the context of Maggie's r e l a t i o n s h i p with the d e s c r i p t i o n of her s t a y a t Three Loon Lake as marriage"  (p.84) i s h e a v i l y i r o n i c .  The dapable  Vera, "a happy Maggie  takes over most of Vera's d u t i e s a t the lodge, and her a s sumption of c o n t r o l i s a p p a r e n t l y " j u s t i f i e d " because she i s h e l p i n g Vera, who  cannot  manage a l o n e .  She handles  resentment and weaknesses as w e l l as she can, and her c o n f i d e n c e i s h a r d l y d i s t u r b e d even by Vera's bursts:  "she was  knew t h a t she was  deeply h u r t and she was stronger-and she thought  wiser, too-than Vera  . . . "  (p.89)  Vera's self-  s t r o n g e s t out-  angry, but t h a t she  she was  The language i n t h i s  passage i s c l e a r l y t h a t of a s t r u g g l e f o r power, and Magg i e i s e v e n t u a l l y defeated, a t l e a s t t e m p o r a r i l y . f e a t i s due t o her overconfidence i n her own much as t o Vera's  stubbornness:  Her  abilities  deas  "With a l l her f i n e t a l k  and with a l l her h i g h t h i n k i n g she had not been a b l e t o cope  with one unhappy human b e i n g . . . . Human r e l a t i o n s how they defeat u s . " (p.142) in this incident.  . . .  Maggie appears a t h e r worst  Her c a p a b i l i t y s l i p s over t h e l i n e  into  domination and m a n i p u l a t i o n , and she i s not only unkind but a l s o h y p o c r i t i c a l t o Vera, whose pent-up anger i s touched off  by Haldar's o f f e r of t h e i r house t o Maggie f o r the win-  ter.  Maggie h i t s back i n a way which i s as u n f a i r as i t i s  h a r s h : "You l i t t l e  damn f o o l .  knees and be t h a n k f u l .  You should go down on your  You s t i l l have your husband and  your c h i l d , don't you?" (p.89) a r e t o t a l l y unprepared to  forthis.  Both Vera and the reader The statement  has n o t h i n g  do with the r e a l c o n f l i c t between t h e two women, and  seems t o be n o t h i n g more than a cheap t r i c k o f Maggie's t o shame Vera.  She had no p r e v i o u s knowledge o f t h e f a c t s o f  Maggie's l i f e , and such a c r u s h i n g remark a l l o w s no r e j o i n der.  Vera i s l e f t with her i n i t i a l  anger unresolved, and  an a d d i t i o n a l burden o f unearned g u i l t .  The statement  that  Vera should go down on h e r knees i n g r a t i t u d e because she s t i l l has h e r husband and c h i l d i s absurd; Haldar i s p r e sented as c o l d , g r u f f , unreasonable, wife.  and h o s t i l e t o h i s  The f a c t t h a t Maggie h e r s e l f d e s e r t e d h e r husband  makes h e r admonition  t o Vera d i s h o n e s t as w e l l as c r u e l .  Does she a p p l y a d i f f e r e n t standard t o Vera, o r i s Haldar i r r e p r o a c h a b l e because he l i k e s f i s h i n g and the outdoors, as Maggie's f a t h e r and f i r s t  husband d i d ?  Maggie's inex-  p l i c a b l e a t t i t u d e on t h i s p o i n t i s r e v e a l e d a g a i n the n i g h t t h a t Vera attempts  s u i c i d e ; i n c r e d i b l y , Maggie t e l l s  her t h a t she i s "a happy woman with a husband and a  child  and a home." (p.89) T h i s i s the o n l y o c c a s i o n on which Maggie i s p r e s e n t e d i n a t r u l y unsympathetic of ambiguity  way,  i n the response  however.  There a r e  of others t o her,  mainly through the c o n d i t i o n a l language ("perhaps she was s t r o n g " (p.75)  beautiful,"  (p.14)  elements  expressed  used i n the d i c t i o n  "he thought  she seemed  ) "but t h e r e i s no q u e s t i o n about the essen-  t i a l s u p e r i o r i t y of her c h a r a c t e r .  She  i s perceptive, prac-  t i c a l , and k i n d ; she rescues A l l a n from l o n e l i n e s s and o l d Mr. Cunningham from the c o l d ; i n the end she i s even ready to try t o rescue Vera from her s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s . n o v e l i s an account  The  of the f r e e i n g and s t r e n g t h e n i n g of her  most a u t h e n t i c s e l f , t h a t s e l f which i s b e a u t i f u l , and human i n . . . s e l f - f o r g e t f u l n e s s . "  (p.91)  "divine  If i t i s  sometimes necessary f o r her t o be r u t h l e s s or t o appear almost a r r o g a n t l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t it  i n order t o a c h i e v e t h i s ,  i s an a c c e p t a b l e paradox and one which i s q u i t e i n keep-  i n g with the r e l i g i o u s a s p e c t of her development; she r e nounces much of the o r d i n a r y human experience i n order t o a c h i e v e a deeper harmony with a l l of c r e a t i o n ,  the  "miraculous i n t e r w e a v i n g " (p.150) of which she i s so much a part. E t h e l Wilson does not completely s u r r e n d e r the d i s -  tance between h e r s e l f and her h e r o i n e i n Swamp Angel, however, a l t h o u g h of  i t i s c l e a r t h a t t h e r e i s a much h i g h e r  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with her c h a r a c t e r here than i n The  t i o n s of Love.  level Equa-  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , the d e v i c e s she employs t o  e s t a b l i s h the d i s t a n c e a r e i n t r u s i v e , and they weaken the novel. to  At times t h e r e i s a t e a s i n g q u a l i t y i n her  commit h e r s e l f completely  c o n d i t i o n a l statements author  refusal  t o Maggie; the r e p e t i t i o n of  becomes annoying.  In a d d i t i o n , the  sometimes o v e r t l y c o n t r a d i c t s her c h a r a c t e r i n  p a r e n t h e t i c a l comments which a r e coy and i r r i t a t i n g ? thought race  t h a t she c o u l d r e a d e a s i l y the faces, of her  (but she c o u l d n o t ) ;  (p.25)  "She  she t h i n k s , (but she c o u l d ) . " (p.100)  "she own  c o u l d never s i n k , "Her a v a t a r  tells  her t h a t she i s one with her b r o t h e r s the s e a l and the  por-  p o i s e . . . but her a v a t a r had b e t t e r t e l l her t h a t she i s not r e a l l y s e a l or p o r p o i s e  . . . ." (pp.99-100)  This  de-  v i c e does e s t a b l i s h d i s t a n c e between author and c h a r a c t e r , but i t does so a t the expense of the n o v e l ' s s u r f a c e flow and u n i t y .  Except  c l o s e to p e r f e c t .  f o r t h i s flaw, however, the s t y l e i s Mrs. Wilson's  tendency t o judge her  t e r s i s not e n t i r e l y absent, but  i t i s minimal i n t h i s  n o v e l , and the condescending i  n  The  final  Equations  tone which i s so  charac-  intrusive  of Love i s a l s o kept under c o n t r o l .  The  impression i s of a s k i l l f u l l y - c r a f t e d , c o n s i s t e n t  work which succeeds i n p r e s e n t i n g i t s d i f f i c u l t l y through  theme l a r g e -  the v e r y h i g h l e v e l of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n a c h i e v e d  i n Maggie L l o y d .  WOMEN OF THE GARRISON: THREE NOVELS BY MARGARET LAURENCE When c o n s i d e r e d t o g e t h e r , t h e h e r o i n e s o f Margaret Laurence's t h r e e most r e c e n t novels comprise a p o r t r a i t of  Canadian women which i s g r e a t e r than the sum of i t s  parts.  Rachel and Stacey a r e a c t u a l l y s i s t e r s w i t h i n t h e  s t r u c t u r e o f t h e n o v e l s , but Hagar i s no l e s s an a n c e s t o r f o r b e i n g u n r e l a t e d by b l o o d .  Understanding  her character  permits a f u l l e r comprehension o f t h e o t h e r two; t h e s o c i a l f o r c e s which have shaped h e r a r e m o d i f i e d but s t i l l dominant two g e n e r a t i o n s  pre-  later.  S i n c e a l l t h r e e n o v e l s a r e w r i t t e n as f i r s t - p e r s o n narr a t i v e s , t h e tone i s an e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f t h e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , and t h a t o f The Stone Angel f i d e n t from t h e f i r s t .  i s c a u s t i c and s e l f - c o n -  Hagar i s a r e b e l ; she i s t h e s t r o n g  daughter o f a s t r o n g f a t h e r , and h e r powerful w i l l makes i t hard f o r h e r t o compromise and c o - e x i s t with o t h e r s , ding her f a t h e r .  A P r e s b y t e r i a n storekeeper, he v a l u e s  p l i n e , t h e accumulation to  includisci-  o f wealth, and proper appearances  the exclusion of a l l else.  No c h a r i t y o r i m a g i n a t i o n  d i s t u r b s h i s hard complacency; as a c h i l d , Hagar both  identi-  f i e s with him and f e e l s h e r s e l f s u p e r i o r t o t h e other  people  i n t h e town, and r e s e n t s him, s i n c e she i s bound by h i s r i g i d social restrictions.  She cooperates  tues f o r t h e most p a r t , although  with h i s narrow v i r -  i t i s c l e a r from t h e f i r s t  t h a t t h e r e i s another, unacknowledged, a s p e c t of h e r s e l f which u n d e r l i e s her decorous e x t e r i o r .  Remembering how  she  walked i n the graveyard because i t had w e l l - k e p t paths, f r e e of mud and t h i s t l e s , she p i c t u r e s h e r s e l f : was  "How  anxious I  t o be neat and o r d e r l y , imagining l i f e had been c r e a t e d  o n l y t o c e l e b r a t e t i d i n e s s , l i k e p r i s s y Pippa as she passed. But the scent o f w i l d c o w s l i p s from beyond the  "civilized"  p l o t s encroached upon her even then, and she "could c a t c h the  f a i n t , musky, d u s t - t i n g e d s m e l l of t h i n g s t h a t grew un-  tended and had grown always, b e f o r e the p o r t l y peonies and the  a n g e l s w i t h r i g i d wings . . . "  (pp.4-5)  In Hagar's  e a r l y y e a r s , the i n h i b i t i o n s a r e so s t r o n g t h a t she cannot get  beyond them even t o comfort her dying b r o t h e r , Dan,  p u t t i n g on t h e i r mother's o l d shawl and h o l d i n g him: was  by  "I  c r y i n g , shaken by torments he never even suspected,  wanting above a l l e l s e t o do the t h i n g he asked, but unable to her  do i t , unable t o bend enough." (p.25)  Jason C u r r i e  east f o r two years t o a f i n i s h i n g s c h o o l , so t h a t  w i l l be a c r e d i t t o him i n the town; on her r e t u r n , is  sends she  she  f i l l e d w i t h f u r y by h i s r e a c t i o n t o her, which i s "to  nod and nod as though  I were a t h i n g and h i s . " (p.43)  wants to t e a c h s c h o o l , but he f o r b i d s i t .  Her  She  independence  would be u n f l a t t e r i n g t o h i s s e l f - e s t e e m , and h i s t h i n l y d i s g u i s e d s e x u a l j e a l o u s y i s aroused by the idea o f her  39 Margaret Laurence, The Stone Angel (Toronto/Montreal: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , I 9 6 8 ) , p.4. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page r e f e r e n c e i n the t e x t .  m i n g l i n g w i t h common men. t r u s t , he t e l l s her t h a t  Speaking from h i s l a c k of s e l f "men  have t e r r i b l e thoughts."  Hagar s t a y s home, but has her revenge a b l e " men  i n i g n o r i n g the  (p.44) "suit-  her f a t h e r b r i n g s home and f i n a l l y e l o p i n g with  Bram S h i p l e y , a widowed, s h i f t l e s s farmer.  She and her f a t h e r  never speak t o each other a g a i n . Her r e l a t i o n s h i p with her husband i s a strange mixture of contempt and awe;  as she r e f l e c t s i n her o l d age,  m a r r i e d each other " f o r those q u a l i t i e s we  l a t e r found  couldn't bear, he f o r my manners and speech, i n g of them." (p.79)  they we  I for his flout-  She never stops t r y i n g t o change h i s  l a z y ways, improve h i s manners, and g e n e r a l l y mould him to the l i k e n e s s of the f a t h e r she r e b e l l e d a g a i n s t but whom she resembles  so s t r o n g l y .  She i s a t t r a c t e d t o Bram,  however, because he i s so f o r e i g n t o her; he i s handsome, v i r i l e , and s e x u a l l y experienced.  He i n t r o d u c e s her t o a  world of which she knew n o t h i n g a t a l l b e f o r e t h e i r and of a l l the people i n her l i f e , i n a d i r e c t , p e r s o n a l way.  he a l o n e r e l a t e s t o her  At one p o i n t he i n t e r r u p t s her  nagging of him with a t e l l i n g remark: "You know Hagar?  There's men  a l l the time.  i n Manawaka c a l l t h e i r wives  something, 'Mother'  That's one t h i n g I never done." (p.80)  membering t h a t i n c i d e n t , she r e f l e c t s t h a t never d i d , not once. alive,  marriage,  I was  " i t was  Re-  true.  He  Hagar t o him, and i f he were  I'd be Hagar t o him y e t .  And now  I t h i n k he was  the  only person c l o s e t o me who  ever thought of me by my name,  not daughter, nor mother, nor even w i f e , but Hagar, always." (p.80)  T h i s r e a l i z a t i o n comes t o Hagar l a t e , long years  a f t e r Bram has d i e d .  Her f a t h e r ' s shadow proves too s t r o n g  f o r her w h i l e she l i v e s with her husband; she cannot bend enough t o get a l o n g with him.  S o c i a l and  psychological  i n h i b i t i o n s keep her s i l e n t wtfh she s h o u l d speak; the r e s u l t s , both t r a g i c and i r o n i c , a r e a l l too commonplace i n i n t i mate r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Bram i s an e x c e l l e n t example of the  o u t s i d e r o r m i s f i t , whom D.G.  Jones sees as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  of the unconscious p a r t s o f the mind i n many works of Canad i a n f i c t i o n ; h i s a s s o c i a t i o n with horses, themselves symb o l i c of r e p r e s s e d v i t a l energy, u n d e r l i n e s t h i s a s p e c t of his character.  Hagar s t r u g g l e s with her f e a r of Brain's  h o r s e s , but because of her p r i d e , she never t e l l s him t h a t it  i s f e a r she f e e l s s she p r e f e r r e d t o " l e t him t h i n k I  o b j e c t e d t o them because they were s m e l l y . " (p.83) the p r i n c i p l e v i c t i m of her own  p r i d e , however.  She i s  Trapped  w i t h i n conventions which she h e r s e l f r e i n f o r c e s , she cannot respond openly t o Bram even when she would l i k e t o . i n s i g h t which i s a t the same time admirable and  In an  pathetic,  Hagar d e s c r i b e s the s i t u a t i o n s His banner over me was l o v e . . . He had a banner over me f o r many y e a r s . I never thought i t l o v e , though, a f t e r we wed. . . . His banner over me was o n l y h i s own s k i n , and now I no l o n g e r know why i t s h o u l d have shamed me. People thought d i f f e r e n t l y i n those days. Perhaps some people  didn't. I wouldn't know. I never spoke of i t t o anyone. It was not so v e r y long a f t e r we wed, when f i r s t I f e l t my b l o o d and v i t a l s r i s i n g t o meet h i s . He never knew. I never l e t him know. . . . I p r i d e d myself on keeping my p r i d e i n t a c t , l i k e some maidenhead. (pp.80-81) It  i s i r o n i c but i n e v i t a b l e t h a t Bram u n w i t t i n g l y  cooperates  i n the h y p o c r i s y and mutual ignorance which marks t h e i r sexual r e l a t i o n s .  A f t e r one o f Hagar's r a r e  expressions  of tenderness towards him, when he had l o s t a f a v o u r i t e horse, he turns t o h e r i n bed and she " f e l t so g e n t l y i n c l i n e d t h a t I might have opened t o him openly. .  But he changed h i s mind.  . . 'You go t o s l e e p now,' he s a i d .  i t was the g r e a t e s t  He thought, o f course,  favour he c o u l d do me."  (pp.87-8)  In  the end, she leaves Bram, r e j e c t i n g f i n a l l y the p a r t s o f h e r s e l f which he r e p r e s e n t s  and r e t u r n i n g t o the b a r r e n  s e c u r i t y o f a world of proper appearances. Her  son John accompanies h e r t o Vancouver; he i s per-  haps the o n l y person whom she ever t r u l y l o v e s . from a b r i g h t , charming, dishonest  He grows  boy i n t o a b i t t e r ,  drunken  a d u l t .who r e t u r n s t o Manawaka t o nurse Bram as he d i e s and who mocks Hagar when she i n s i s t s t h a t he i s d i f f e r e n t from and  b e t t e r than h i s f a t h e r .  unacknowledged sexual  Hagar i s tormented by the same  j e a l o u s y which h e r own f a t h e r s u f f e r -  ed from, and she cannot bear John's attachment t o another woman.  She arranges f o r h i s g i r l f r i e n d t o be sent away,  d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t i t i s due t o h e r t h a t John i s " j u s t  about okay, a f t e r a l o n g time."  (p.237)  Too  selfish  and  j e a l o u s t o a c c e p t them, she pushes them a p a r t ; John gets drunk one  l a s t time and k i l l s h i m s e l f and the g i r l he  loves  i n a crash. It i s o n l y much lataer, when Hagar i s v e r y o l d , t h a t she experiences  a resurgence  of her e a r l y r e b e l l i o u s  spirit.  I t b r i n g s with i t the courage t o encounter some of the t r u t h s of  her p a s t .  E l a t e d by her own  r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s i n escaping  from Marvin and D o r i s , f r i g h t e n e d by the i s o l a t i o n and  vul-  n e r a b i l i t y of the cannery, her mind opens t o many f o r g o t t e n memories and  she l o n g s , a f t e r a l l those y e a r s , f o r Bram.  He would make s h o r t work of i n t r u d e r s , she t h i n k s ; with she would not be a l o n e i n the w i l d e r n e s s .  T h i s , and  the  nearness of the sea, which c a r r i e s s t r o n g connotations death,  him,  "a b l a c k sea, s u c k i n g e v e r y t h i n g i n t o i t s e l f , "  of (p.225)  and her p i c t u r e of h e r s e l f i n the water, "waiting u n t i l my and  encumbrance of f l e s h f l o a t e d c l e a r away and s k e l e t a l and c o u l d journey with t i d e s and  although  she  free  fishes,"  (p.162)  i s q u i c k t o say t h a t she'd "not hasten the moment  by as much as the span of a b r e a t h " of  I was  (p.192) a l l remind her  her youth with Bram, when she d i d move with the t i d e s even  w i t h i n her  "encumbrance of f l e s h . "  and the unusual  The adventure, the wine,  i n t i m a c y with a s t r a n g e r l e a d her mind back  a l s o t o John, and  enable her t o remember and accept  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n h i s deaths t o admit t h a t i t was  her  her  jealousy  and p r i d e which d e s t r o y e d him.  At n i n e t y , she l e a r n s a  h a r d t r u t h , and although she i s unable t o change h e r beh a v i o u r much a t t h i s p o i n t , she becomes more conscious o f her tyranny towards D o r i s and h e r l a c k of c h a r i t y t o Marvin, who has t r i e d t o p l e a s e h e r f o r so many y e a r s , and she i s ashamed.  In t h e h o s p i t a l , she experiences a moment o f under-  s t a n d i n g which was prepared f o r by t h e r e v e l a t i o n s she gained i n h e r journey i n t o t h e f o r e s t ; Mr. Troy s i n g s "Come ye b e f o r e Him and r e j o i c e , " and Hagar i s i l l u m i n a t e d * I must always, always, have wanted t h a t — s i m p l y t o r e joice. How i s i t I never could? . . . Every good joy I might have h e l d , i n my man o r any c h i l d o f mine o r even t h e p l a i n l i g h t o f morning, o f walking the e a r t h , a l l were f o r c e d t o a s t a n d s t i l l by some brake o f proper a p p e a r a n c e s — o h , proper t o whom? When d i d I ever speak the h e a r t ' s t r u t h ? P r i d e was my w i l d e r n e s s , and t h e demon that l e d me t h e r e was f e a r . I was a l o n e , never a n y t h i n g e l s e , and never f r e e , f o r I c a r r i e d my chains w i t h i n me, and they spread out from me and s h a c k l e d a l l I touched. (p.292) Hagar, brought  up w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f a c u l t u r e which was  c r e a t e d i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the n a t u r a l world, r e i n f o r c e s i t s b a r r i e r s and enslaves h e r s e l f and h e r c h i l d r e n w i t h i n i t . By attempting t o suppress or i g n o r e those human p a r t s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which a r e not neat and o r d e r l y , she has r e p r e s s e d not o n l y h e r s e x u a l i t y , but a l s o h e r tenderness, empathy, and p i t y .  Cut o f f from o t h e r s , she has l i v e d a l o n e ,  understanding no one and misunderstood  by a l l i n t u r n .  It  i s t o o l a t e , a t n i n e t y , f o r Hagar t o change much, but she  does see Marvin's p a t i e n c e and h i s need f o r her a p p r o v a l , and she experiences a k i n d of u n s e l f i s h l o v e a t l a s t when she i s a b l e t o t e l l him,  out of her p i t y f o r him, what he  needs t o hear: t h a t he has been a b e t t e r son t o her than John  was, Rachel and Stacey i n h a b i t v e r y d i f f e r e n t worlds  from  t h a t of Hagar, but i t i s a f a l l a c y , as Hagar observes i n r e l a t i o n t o Rev. Troy,  "to t h i n k t h a t h a l f a c e n t u r y makes  a l l the d i f f e r e n c e i n the w o r l d . " ( p , 4 l ) brake of proper appearances"  "the  i s almost as s t r o n g and as des-  t r u c t i v e f o r the younger women as i t was ancestor.  I t does not;  for their  fictional  In f a c t , although some e x t e r n a l r e s t r i c t i o n s have  been modified,! n e i t h e r Rachel nor Stacey possesses the sheer s t r e n g t h or w i l l p o w e r of Hagar, and i t i s thus a c t u a l l y harder f o r them t o break through the b a r r i e r s which i s o l a t e them from warmth and c o n t a c t with o t h e r s . e d l y d i s l i k e her "grand-daughters";  Hagar would undoubt-  Stacey would probably  remind her of "that f a t D o r i s " and Rachel i s the image of Regina Weese, another d u t i f u l daughter of Manawaka whose s e l f s a c r i f i c e Hagar cannot f i n d i t i n h e r s e l f t o p i t y : always  felt  "I  she had o n l y h e r s e l f t o blame, f o r she was  a  f l i m s y , g u t l e s s c r e a t u r e , b l a n d as egg c u s t a r d , c a r i n g with martyred d e v o t i o n f o r an u n g r a t e f u l f o x - v o i c e d mother year i n and year out." (p.4)  Hagar would be p a r t i a l l y c o r r e c t i n  these impressions, and perhaps  even e n t i t l e d t o the contempt  which accompanies them, because she i s a s t r o n g e r woman. I t is  t h a t v e r y s t r e n g t h , however, which d e f e a t e d and dehuman-  i z e d h e r and which, r e a c h i n g out beyond h e r i n t h e c u l t u r e , has c r e a t e d and strengthened t h e b a r r i e r s a g a i n s t s e l f r e a l i z a t i o n which Rachel and Stacey In a sense, Rachel f u l f i l l s  encounter.  one p a r t of Hagar, and  Stacey anbthter.  By t h e i r time i t i s q u i t e r e s p e c t a b l e , even  for  o f a "good" f a m i l y , t o be a schoolteachers  t h e daughter  some o f t h e s o c i a l l i m i t a t i o n s on women have disappeared. Stacey, a l t h o u g h c e r t a i n l y not f u l l y f r e e s e x u a l l y o r matern a l l y , i s f a r more so than Hagar was.  Outwardly, then,  their  l i v e s a r e d i f f e r e n t and f r e e r , but inwardly, l i t t l e has changed. Rachel I s t o r t u r e d by h e r own s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s ; she l i v e s i n a c o n t i n u a l agony o f embarassment and a n t i c i p a t e d embarassment.  B l a c k m a i l e d by h e r h y p o c h o n d r i a c a l , demanding  mother and c h a f i n g i n h e r job under t h e p a t r o n i z a t i o n o f W i l l a r d S i d l e y , she escapes  i n t o a l o n e l y f a n t a s y world i n  40 which a "shadow p r i n c e "  w i l l come t o h e r rescue.  n o v e l ' s c e n t r a l theme i s Rachel's  The  search f o r some v a l i d  i d e n t i t y , a sense o f s e l f which cannot be present i n t h e narrow circumstances  o f h e r emotional l i f e .  Teaching i s not  enough; she remembers with s e l f - d i r e c t e d sarcasm h e r i l l u s i o n  40 Margaret Laurence, A J e s t o f God (Toronto* Popular L i b r a r y , 1966), p.22. Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page r e f e r e n c e i n t h e t e x t .  t h a t i t once seemed "a power worth p o s s e s s i n g . " (p.?)  She  w o r r i e s about becoming e c c e n t r i c , and about h e r attachment t o some o f t h e c h i l d r e n she teaches.  More than a n y t h i n g , she  f e a r s the open e x p r e s s i o n o f emotion: h e r p r e c a r i o u s of compliance  facade  t o Manawaka's e x p e c t a t i o n s i n r e g a r d t o un-  married l a d i e s c a r i n g f o r t h e i r i n v a l i d mothers would topp l e i f h e r own anger were ever r e l e a s e d .  T h i s i s what hor-  r i f i e s h e r most about t h e f u n d a m e n t a l i s t church which C a l l a takes h e r t o : "How c o u l d anyone d i s p l a y so openly?  . . .  People s h o u l d keep themselves t o t h e m s e l v e s — t h a t ' s decent way." (p.35)  the only  A world i n which a l l s t r o n g f e e l i n g i s  r e p r e s s e d must be governed by f o r m a l r u l e s and proper appearances,  t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y o f t h e s m a l l town.  such a v a l u e system, v i r g i n i t y  i s "a woman's most p r e c i o u s  p o s s e s s i o n " (p.84) and behaviour  i s governed by such p e t t y  d i c t a t e s a s "women shouldn't phone men. t h a t . " (p.116)  Everyone knows  I t i s t h i s world which Bachel q u e s t i o n s ,  b e l a t e d l y , i n A J e s t o f God: it  In  h e r overdue r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t  i s t e n t a t i v e a t f i r s t , but f i n a l l y d e c i s i v e .  I t requires  a shadow p r i n c e , an o u t s i d e agent t o enable h e r t o b e g i n t o be aware o f h e r own needs and t o a c t on them. Nick h e l p s h e r t o d i s c o v e r h e r s e l f : I never knew." (p.92)  "Am I l i k e t h a t ?  She l e a r n s l i t t l e about him, but  much about h e r s e l f and h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p with h e r mother, her f a n t a s y world, and h e r defences a g a i n s t r e a l i t y .  Before  Nick l e a v e s , she has  overcome much of her  overscrupulous-  ness of manner and much of her p r i d e , a l o s s which her  renders  " a l l a t once calm, i n e x p l i c a b l y , and almost f r e e . " (p.125)  Nick's r o l e i n her l i f e  i s c l e a r l y t h a t of the  "knifing  r e a l i t y " which she knows she needs!? "the l a y e r s of dream a r e so many, so many f a l s e membranes grown around the mind, t h a t I don't even know they a r e there u n t i l some k n i f i n g r e a l i t y cuts through."  (p.132)  t h i n k s she i s pregnant, Rachel a personal wilderness  A f t e r he leaves her and embarks on a journey  she  into  of emotion which c o n t a i n s the t h r e a t  of death and a s t r u g g l e between c o n f l i c t i n g d e s i r e s .  The  f a n t a s y world which she c u s t o m a r i l y r e t r e a t s t o can no h e l p her; she must "choose between two  realities,"  longer  (p.117)  and the accomplishment of her d i f f i c u l t c h o i c e leads to a new  acceptance of h e r s e l f *  thought I was. be. How  And  "I am not so c l e v e r as I h i d d e n l y  I am not as s t u p i d as I dreaded I might  Were my a p o l o g i e s a l l a k i n d of monstrous s e l f - p i t y ? many sores d i d I r e f u s e t o l e t h e a l ? " (p.149)  With t h i s  surrender of the s e l f - p i t y which has c h a r a c t e r i z e d her, Rachel becomes an a d u l t .  No l o n g e r c o n t r o l l e d by her  weakness, nor by the r e a c t i o n s o f other people,  she comes t o  the c o n c l u s i o n about her baby which i s best f o r hers i t ' s my  c h i l d , mine.  And  so I w i l l have i t .  "Look,  I w i l l have  i t because I want i t and because I cannot do a n y t h i n g (p.149)  Rachel f i n d s a k i n d of s a l v a t i o n i n t h i s  a c t , although  own  else."  liberating  not the k i n d she had once e n v i s i o n e d ,  and  even the heavy disappointment pregnant  of l e a r n i n g t h a t she i s not  a f t e r a l l and the trauma of t h e r o p e r a t i o n , which  leaves her  "a d r i e d autumn f l o w e r s t a l k . . .  shell skull,"  an empty egg-  .  (p.161) do not d e s t r o y her newly-found inde-  pendence and r e s o l u t i o n .  She announces t o her mother t h a t  they a r e going t o move, r e j e c t s a l l the b l a c k m a i l which her mother t r i e s t o use on her, and surrenders her o l d r o l e of  passive victim.  "I am the mother now,"  a c c e p t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r her own mother, who ness now  (p.170) she  says,  l i f e and a l s o f o r her  i s , i n f a c t * dependent on her.  There i s an open-  i n Rachel t o p o s s i b i l i t i e s which her  apprehension  had never a l l o w e d her t o experience b e f o r e : "Where I'm ing, may  a n y t h i n g may be t h a t my  be h e l d .  happen.  Nothing may  (p.175)  Her  experience  "the courage t o take l i f e as i t comes with-  out exhausting h e r s e l f i n a c o n t i n u a l attempt 41 its  It  c h i l d r e n w i l l always be temporary, never t o  But so a r e everyone's."  has g i v e n her  happen. . . .  go-  dangers . . . "  to a n t i c i p a t e  She b e g i n s , l i k e Hagar, as a v i c t i m of  her s o c i a l circumstances, but she f r e e s h e r s e l f t o a  signifi-  cant degree and the i n n e r v o i c e of the n a r r a t i v e i s much l e s s s e l f - m o c k i n g a t the end.  R e a l i t y , once f a c e d , i s not  t e r r i b l e as i t seemed; Rachel's l e s s important is  i n her l i f e .  so  f a n t a s i e s dwindle and become  An echo of Hagar's r e v e l a t i o n  present i n the f i n a l l i n e s of the n o v e l as Rachel, headed 41 D.G.  Jones, B u t t e r f l y on Rock,  p.l64.  Ill  west, r e c a l l s the psalm:  "Make me t o hear joy and gladness,  t h a t the bones which Thou hast broken may  rejoice."  For  her, i t i s not too l a t e t o welcome joy. Each of the t h r e e novels c o n t a i n s a v e r s e which l i n e s the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the c e n t r a l f i g u r e . e l a t e d by her own  under-  Hagar,  d a r i n g and success as she descends  wooden steps through the f o r e s t , remembers a poem by  the Keats  which she has not thought of f o r more than f o r t y y e a r s , and r e c i t e s i t to h e r s e l f : Old And Her And Her Her Her Her  Meg she was a gypsy, l i v e d upon the moors; bed i t was the brown heath t u r f , her house was out of doors. a p p l e s were swart b l a c k b e r r i e s , c u r r a n t s pods o' broom; wine was dew of the w i l d white r o s e . book a churchyard tomb.  In c o n t r a s t t o t h i s independent,  gypsy image which Hagar  i d e n t i f i e s w i t h , the v e r s e s a s s o c i a t e d with both Rachel and Stacey a r e c h i l d r e n ' s rhymes.  Rachel's i s a r e f e r e n c e t o  the f a n t a s y world so c e n t r a l t o her p e r s o n a l i t y a t the b e g i n n i n g of A J e s t of  God:  The wind blows low, the wind blows h i g h The snow comes f a l l i n g from the sky, Rachel Cameron says s h e ' l l d i e For the want of the golden c i t y . She i s handsome, she i s p r e t t y , She i s the queen of the golden c i t y . The v e r s e a s s o c i a t e d with Stacey i s both an i n d i c a t i o n of the endangered, p r a c t i c a l world she i n h a b i t s , and a t h r e a t : Ladybird, ladybird, F l y away home; Your house i s on f i r e , Your c h i l d r e n a r e gone.  Although she i s Rachel's s i s t e r , Stacey i s very d i f f e r e n t from hers she i s l e s s i n h i b i t e d , more d i s h e v e l l e d , weight, rumpled,  over-  and l e s s g e n t e e l than her s i s t e r .  A struc-  t u r a l d e v i c e used i n a l l t h r e e n o v e l s i s t h a t each woman has a s t r o n g i n n e r v o i c e which c o n s t i t u t e s a s u b v e r s i v e runn i n g commentary on r e a l i t y beneath her e x t e r n a l  compliance  t o decorum; i n Hagar's case, t h i s v o i c e breaks through  fre-  q u e n t l y , f o r she no l o n g e r f e e l s much need t o suppress i t s "What do I c a r e now  what people say?  I c a r e d too l o n g . " (p.6)  Rachel's i n n e r v o i c e d e f i e s her mother, taunts h e r s e l f f o r her cowardice, and sometimes breaks through her with a r e f r e s h i n g , s t r i n g e s t r e a l i s m . mentator  self-pity  Stacey's p r i v a t e com-  i s perhaps the most a r t i c u l a t e of the t h r e e , but  she i s so i n t i m i d a t e d by what she b e l i e v e s t o be her  infer-  i o r i t y i n every a r e a t h a t she i s o f t e n unable t o b e n e f i t from i t s c a n d i d p e r c e p t i v e n e s s .  In f a c t , she f e a r s i t s  "what goes on i n s i d e i s n ' t ever the same as what goes on 42  outside.  I t ' s a d i s e a s e I've p i c k e d up somewhere."  She  p i c k e d i t up, of course, i n the same p l a c e that Rachel dids the Manawaka f u n e r a l p a r l o u r , where f e e l i n g s were t o be h i d den and a p o l i t e s u r f a c e maintained a t a l l c o s t s .  By the  time Stacey i s an a d u l t , she no l o n g e r t r u s t s her own tions.  reac-  In a l i t e r a t u r e course, f o r example, she spontaneously  i d e n t i f i e s with Clytemnestra's revenge  f o r her s l a i n  child.  42  Margaret Laurence, The F i r e - D w e l l e r s (Torontos M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , 1 9 6 9 ) , p . 3 3 . Other quotes from t h i s n o v e l w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page number i n the t e x t .  When the p r o f e s s o r o f f e r s a c o n v e n t i o n a l p a t r i a r c h a l  inter-  p r e t a t i o n o f t h e p l a y , however (that t h e s e r i o u s s o c i a l crime was not Agamemnon's s a c r i f i c e o f I p h i g e n e i a , but C l y temnestra's  revenge on him), she doubts h e r f i r s t  response.  Her h a b i t o f measuring h e r s e l f a g a i n s t the y a r d s t i c k s of t h e s o c i a l system i s another confidence.  reason why she l a c k s s e l f -  S i n c e the c u l t u r e p r o f e s s e s u n r e a l i s t i c  dards, Stacey always f e e l s h e r s e l f t o be a f a i l u r e .  stanAs pre-  sented i n popular f i c t i o n and a d v e r t i s i n g , t h e m i d d l e - c l a s s housewife must be a p e r f e c t mother, but Stacey f e e l s ambiv a l e n t about h e r c h i l d r e n : devour me, t o o . " (p.17) ous,  "they n o u r i s h me and y e t they  A woman i s supposed t o be glamour-  "a mermaid, a whore, a t i g r e s s  f a t and u n f a s h i o n a b l e t o q u a l i f y :  (p.12)  but she i s t o o  "who i s going t o go through  l i f e remembering t o h o l d t h e i r t h i g h muscles i n , j u s t so t h e y ' l l have an a t t r a c t i v e a s s ? " (p.19)  She l i k e w i s e f a i l s  t o be t h e s u p p o r t i v e w i f e which i t i s h e r "job" t o be t o Mac,  because h e r own needs a r e u n f u l f i l l e d and she does not  r e s p e c t h i s work.  T r y i n g t o make these v a r i o u s r o l e s come  t o g e t h e r i n a u n i f i e d way i s y e t another  impossibility:  as P h y l l i s Grosskurth p o i n t s out, "the h e a r t of Stacey*s problem i s t h a t s o c i e t y f o r c e s so many r o l e s upon h e r t h a t she can f i n d no c l e a r l i n e o f c o n t i n u i t y connecting one pos-  43 t u r e t o another."  The barrage  o f a d v i c e , c r i t i c i s m , and  j u s t p l a i n meddling which i s aimed a t women d e f e a t s  43  Stacey;  "Books i n Review," Canadian L i t e r a t u r e 43 (Winter,  1970), p.91.  endless streams dence  of pseudo-expert  i n h e r own  sinister  abilities.  implications  o p i n i o n shake h e r  Her d o u b t s a r e p u n c t u a t e d by  of popular a r t i c l e s  z i n e s J "Nine Ways t h e Modern Mum "Are You  Castrating  Husband?"; She it  Y o u r Son?";  "Are You  i s caught  Increasing  i n a cycle  i s very d i f f i c u l t  she f e e l s  confi-  May  i n women's maga-  Be R u i n i n g Her  "Are You  the  Daughter":  E m a s c u l a t i n g Your  Y o u r Husband's T e n s i o n s ? "  of g u i l t  and resentment  f o r h e r t o r e t a i n any  i n which  objectivity,  t h a t a l l these d i r e warnings a r e p e r s o n a l l y  and  direc-  ted at her. Whenever S t a c e y i s w i t h h e r c h i l d r e n , h e r s e l f as  "on d u t y . "  responsibilities, resentment  B o t h she a n d  but she f e e l s  because,  f o r Mac,  guilt  t o be  on t h e r o a d .  be g o i n g somewhere." ( p p . 1 9 - 2 0 ) condemns e v e n t h i s trapped.  s m a l l need:  I've g o t e v e r y t h i n g  a r e t r a p p e d by  i s part  Another part  just  I always wanted."  I'm  to find  that  s h e i s t o o c o n t r o l l e d by h e r  of g u i l t She  t o be a b l e t o a c c e p t i t even  i s more d e s p e r a t e t h a n e i t h e r  although  she  acceptance,  i s i n fact she b e l i e v e s  equally that  her despair  i s accompanied  outside of  i f i t could  herself feelings  happen.  Hagar o r R a c h e l b e c a u s e ,  isolated  s h e has  wanted" and t h a t h e r unhappiness  not  (pp.72-3)  L i k e R a c h e l , she t r i e s can save h e r , but  to  of h e r s e l f  i s madness.  something  trap.  freedom:  f o r a n y t h i n g but  "this  their  of the  of h i s r e l a t i v e  Not  of  i n a d d i t i o n to her  she h e r s e l f  A t t h e same t i m e , s h e i s j e a l o u s "I'd l i k e  Mac  she t h i n k s  f r o m warmth  " e v e r y t h i n g she  i s therefore  and always  reprehensible;  by s e l f - i n c r i m i n a t i o n .  A  sense  of  inadequacy undercuts h e r even when the cause o f h e r anger  is  c l e a r and j u s t i f i a b l e , weakening her a b i l i t y t o f i g h t  a g a i n s t t h e empty chaos o f her l i f e .  She l i v e s  precariously  c l o s e t o the edge o f breakdown; the l i d clamped on h e r f e e l i n g s i s always  i n danger o f f l y i n g o f f .  Both Stacey and Bachel a r e l o n e l y , but Stacey's  iso-  l a t i o n i s rendered more unbearable by the f a c t t h a t she i s surrounded by a f a m i l y , and f e e l s a l o n e i n the midst o f a supposedly i n t i m a t e c i r c l e .  Rachel has a measure o f p r i -  vacy i n her s o l i t u d e — s o m e room t o dream—but Stacey  lives  i n the midst of v o i c e s and demands and the EVER-OPEN EYE of  the t e l e v i s i o n which rob her o f her p r i v a c y without  s u b s t i t u t i n g companionship. i n a house f u l l a l l right." an attempt it  As she puts i t ,  "I l i v e a l o n e  o f people where e v e r y t h i n g i s always  (p.169)  always  Her a f f a i r with Luke i s , e s s e n t i a l l y ,  t o demarcate a s m a l l a r e a i n h e r l i f e f o r h e r s e l f ;  c r e a t e s an e x c e p t i o n t o her f e e l i n g t h a t she "can't go  anywhere as myself.  Only as fee's w i f e o r the k i d s * mother."  (p.95) I r o n i c a l l y , each s i s t e r envies and f e e l s i n f e r i o r t o the other, each b e l i e v i n g t h a t the s o c i a l mask worn by the other i s r e a l .  Rachel c o n s i d e r s going t o Stacey f o r h e l p  when she t h i n k s she i s pregnant, but d i s m i s s e s the idea because  "she'd  any h e r s e l f . (p.146)  j u s t g i v e me good a d v i c e , maybe, not needing God damn her.  What c o u l d she p o s s i b l y know?"  On h e r s i d e , Stacey p i c t u r e s Rachel as a p e r f e c t l y -  c o n t r o l l e d , l a d y l i k e , s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t , and much b r i g h t e r woman than she.  Each b e l i e v e s t h e other t o be more com-  petant and more content.  Stacey l e f t the same s m a l l town  l o n g b e f o r e Rachel, and i s not as o b v i o u s l y c o n t r o l l e d by i t s mores, but i t i s t h a t same m o r a l i t y which makes h e r f e a r , i n s p i t e o f h e r s e l f , t h a t her s e x u a l i n f i d e l i t y w i l l be punished by some, harm coming t o h e r c h i l d r e n .  It i s the  t r a i n i n g r e c e i v e d i n Manawaka wh«4h makes h e r unable t o r e j e c t h e r r o l e as v i c t i m a t the Polyglam "Don't rock t h e boat. Help me.  Who?  Why can't I?  demonstrations  Why am I unable t o ?  How strange i f Bertha and Tess were t h i n k -  i n g the exact same t h i n g .  We c o u l d u n i t e .  an underground movement." (p.87)  This could start  She says t h i s only t o  h e r s e l f , however $ t h e r e s t o f h e r continues t o cooperate with h e r own e x p l o i t a t i o n .  Mac's i n s i s t e n c e on formal  f i d e l i t y , r e g a r d l e s s o f the emptiness of t h e r e s t o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p , stems from the same u n c h a r i t a b l e moral code; a f t e r Stacey's p a t h e t i c encounter with Buckle, Mac r e a s s e r t s h i s ownership r i g h t s by "making hate with h e r . "  (p.163)  Although he does not l o v e her, he i n s i s t s t h a t no one e l s e may touch her, a r o u s i n g her h a t r e d i n r e t u r n s "I might as w e l l be a c a r o r a t o o t h b r u s h . "  (p.162)  In order t o e s t a b l i s h some k i n d o f b u f f e r zone f o r her mind, Stacey d r i n k s g i n , dances by h e r s e l f , and t r i e s t o r e c a p t u r e t h e f e e l i n g o f b e i n g wanted, accepted, and desirable.  T h i s f a n t a s y ends a b r u p t l y because, i n h e r  drunken s t a t e , she burns h e r s e l f badly on t h e s t o v e .  In  the sober awareness which f o l l o w s h e r shock, she assesses her s i t u a t i o n s  "Mac-I'm s c a r e d .  Help me.  But i t goes  a  l o n g way b a c k .  to  you that  Where t o b e g i n .  you w i l l  take  What c a n I p o s s i b l y s a y  seriously?  w i t h y o u , what p o s s i b l e c a t a c l y s m , of  y o u r s e l f t o me?"  ten  (p.141)  to her, nor to talk  tinues  to close  i s direct  rare  feel  B u t Mac i s n o t p r e p a r e d t o  o p p r e s s i v e l y inward  until  f o rher.  The A - f r a m e i s l i k e  of death.  worms,"  (p.18) " l i n e s  acceptance  of her, i n spite  of this,  of  a g a i n w i t h someone l i k e  start  to start  everything simple and c l e a r e r . No u n m e r r y - g o - r o u n d o f p o i n t l e s s p l a i n and good, l i k e  But  Stacey  little  worming a c r o s s  unimportant  The e a s i n e s s o f h i s  makes h e r w i s h  "I'd l i k e  other."  strange  on h e r  . . . like  o f dead s i l v e r  new b e g i n n i n g !  about  "a s m a l l  The s t r e t c h - m a r k s  she h a d once b e e n , a n d n o t a s s h e i s .  ing  is a  (p.202) a n d s h e w i s h e s t h a t he c o u l d s e e h e r a s  my b e l l y "  life,  which  u l t i m a t e l y makes  body from h e r p r e g n a n c i e s a r e " s t i g m a t a silver  con-  She i s much o l d e r t h a n h e , b u t  (p.189) b u t L u k e ' s y o u t h  old, a carrier  life  lis-  the n i g h t she  a n d warm a n d knows how t o l i s t e n ,  experience  cathedral"  f o r you t o say anything  o f h i m s e l f , and Stacey's  r u n s away a n d meets L u k e . he  What w o u l d i t n e e d  fora  again, everything, a l l you-with  No l i e s .  No  words.  Just  you- with  recriminations. everything  t o d a y , a n d making l o v e a n d n o t worryt h i n g s and not t r y i n g  t o change  each  (pp.205-6) when Luke a s k e d  h e r t o go away w i t h h i m , s h e  c o u l d n o t do i t . A t t h e same t i m e ,  Buckle's  death  leads  to s l i g h t l y  i n c r e a s e d communication between h e r s e l f a n d  Mac; s h e s e e s w i t h p i t y t h a t h i s t r a p  i s as harsh as hers,  t h a t he b e l i e v e s he must do e v e r y t h i n g c o m p l e t e l y a l o n e o r e l s e he f e e l s h i m s e l f a f a i l u r e .  He i s , u n f o r t u n a t e l y ,  p a s s i n g on t h e same c h a i n o f p a t h e t i c quired and  from  Duncan.  Matthew, h i s f a t h e r , t o h i s own s o n s , I a n D r i v e n more t h a n e v e r b y g u i l t ,  back from h e r t e n t a t i v e  effort  self-sacrifice. father-in-law,  She a g r e e s  day,  has  The n o v e l ends on a n  although modified, i s s t i l l  it,  fortieth  the e a r l i e r novel, A Jest well.  A t t h e end o f i t ,  Of God, i s t a k e n  Stacey  ending  heavily  ironic  unless  f o r what s h e hopes w i l l  as  By c o n s i d e r i n g t h e e n d i n g s  end a t t h e same p o i n t  interpretation  i s possible.  be  so f a r as  t h e two n o v e l s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y (a s t e p w h i c h seems a b l e since they both  w i t h what  i n t o account  b u t what i s i n f a c t a mess, a t l e a s t i s involved i n i t .  (p.308)  R a c h e l a n d Mrs. Cameron a r e on  t h e i r way w e s t , R a c h e l h e a d i n g freedom  this  birth-  okay."  c o n c l u s i o n i s t o be c o n s i s t e n t  i t i s hard to j u s t i f y  opti-  difficult  a n d " t e m p o r a r i l y , t h e y a r e a l l more o r l e s s  preceded  of  Matthew, h e r d i f f i c u l t  I t i s t h e day b e f o r e S t a c e y * s  If the plot's  area  a d d i t i o n t o h e r burden  to take  i n t o t h e i r home.  m i s t i c note which,  S t a c e y draws  to establish a private  f o r h e r s e l f a n d makes a w e i g h t y  to accept.  d e f e n c e s w h i c h he a c -  of  reason-  i n time), a The e x t r a  demands  o f Matthew, t o w h i c h t h o s e o f Mrs. Cameron a r e s h o r t l y t o be a d d e d , w i l l  I n e v i t a b l y s t r a i n Stacey's  limited  resources  to  the b r e a k i n g p o i n t , when perhaps one o f the a r t i c l e s she  mentions, "A Nervous Breakdown Taught Me L i f e ' s may prove o f some use t o her.  Or perhaps,  Meaning"  with the h e l p  of a few o f Stacey's enormous g i n - a n d - t o n i c s , the two s i s t e r s will  get past the f a m i l y facades they maintain, get t o know  each other as people, and f i n d i n each other the c o n f i d a n t e and f r i e n d which each o f them needs so b a d l y . Each o f the t h r e e novels i s f o c u s s e d e n t i r e l y  through  the consciousness o f one c h a r a c t e r , but some measure o f objectivity  i s a c h i e v e d i n each case by the d i s t a n c e which  e x i s t s between the i n n e r v o i c e s of each c h a r a c t e r ; t h i s i s a q u a l i t y which H.J. Rosengarten d e s c r i b e s as the " c o r r e c t i v e d i s t a n c e presented w i t h i n t h e c h a r a c t e r ' s own view o f  44 herself."  In h e r a r t i c l e ,  "Ten Years' Sentences,"  Margaret  Laurence comments on h e r use o f t h e technique and e x p l a i n s why she f e l t  i t necessary!  "I r e c o g n i z e the l i m i t a t i o n s o f  a n o v e l t o l d i n the f i r s t person and the present t e n s e , from one viewpoint only, but i t (A J e s t Of God) couldn't have been done any other way, f o r Rachel h e r s e l f i s a very  45  entwined person." With The Stone Angel, t h e author says t h a t she f e l t "the enormous p l e a s u r e o f coming home i n terms of  idiom,"  46  and t h a t Stacey i s " i n v a r i o u s ways . . . Hagar's  s p r i t u a l grand=daughter."  47  Beneath the s u r f a c e d i f f e r e n c e s  44 "Opinions and Notes," Canadian L i t e r a t u r e 3 5 , pp.99-100.  45  46  Canadian L i t e r a t u r e 41, p.14.  47  I b i d . , p.13.  I b i d . , p.15.  of t h e i r l i v e s , circumstance  and  g r e a t e r than the b a r r i e r s of time  which s e p a r a t e  struggle f o r a l l three  them, i s t h e  women: t o know, t o be  b r a v e enough t o g i v e what i s n e e d e d and, take at  what i s n e e d e d t o o .  what i s c o n s i d e r e d  o f women, t h a t  contact;  but  best  describe  them: . and  our  braver  to varying  c u l t u r e t o be  share a  common s p i r i t . and  to n o t i c e myself.  . . . The  be to  degrees,  the s p e c i a l human  H a g a r ' s words  could apply  when I f i r s t  the  still,  t o any  c h a n g i n g s h e l l t h a t h o u s e s me,  same d a r k eyes a s  of  open, t o  of e s t a b l i s h i n g s a t i s f y i n g  that s p i r i t ,  "beyond t h e  . . the  All fail,  by  province  they  similarity  or  began t o  eyes change l e a s t  one I  of see  remember of a l l . " (p.38)  CONCLUSION Hagar's d e s c r i p t i o n o f h e r s e l f as a "changing  shell"  which houses the e s s e n t i a l , c o n s c i o u s n e s s - s e e k i n g s e l f i s d r a m a t i c a l l y echoed i n a s e r i e s o f r e c e n t poems by  Margaret  48 Atwood.  T i t l e d The J o u r n a l s o f Susanna Moodie,  t h e poems  a r e based on Mrs. Moodie's r e c o r d e d experiences i n t h e bush and s e t t l e m e n t s o f Canada more than a century ago; Miss A t wood *s poems capture both the b i t t e r r e a l i t y o f t h a t  exper-  i e n c e , and i t s l i n g e r i n g p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t on the present culture. it  One o f the most o u t s t a n d i n g i s "Further A r r i v a l s " ;  embodies a p e r s o n a l v i s i o n o f the h i s t o r i c a l and contem-  p o r a r y w i l d e r n e s s , and t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two, which i s so c o n s i s t e n t l y r e c u r r e n t a theme i n t h e novels d i s c u s s e d in this  paper. A f t e r we had c r o s s e d t h e l o n g i l l n e s s t h a t was t h e ocean, we s a i l e d u p - r i v e r On the f i r s t i s l a n d the immigrants threw o f f t h e i r c l o t h e s and danced l i k e s a n d f l i e s We l e f t behind one by one the c i t i e s r o t t i n g with c h o l e r a , one by one our c i v i l i z e d distinctions and entered a l a r g e darkness. I t was our own ignorance we entered. I have not come out y e t My b r a i n gropes nervous t e n t a c l e s i n the n i g h t , sends out  (Toronto; Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 7 0 ) .  f e a r s h a i r y as bears, demands lamps; or w a i t i n g f o r my shadowy husband, hears malice i n the t r e e s ' whispers. I need wolf's eyes t o see the t r u t h . I r e f u s e t o look i n a m i r r o r . Whether the w i l d e r n e s s i s r e a l or not depends on who l i v e s t h e r e .  Although the poem begins with an account  of the p h y s i c a l  voyage up the S t . Lawrence R i v e r i n t o the unknown h e a r t l a n d of the country, i t q u i c k l y becomes apparent  t h a t the  "cities  r o t t i n g with c h o l e r a " and the " c i v i l i z e d d i s t i n c t i o n s " which a r e l e f t behind a r e f i g u r a t i v e as w e l l as l i t e r a l .  The  symbolic nature of the journey i s then made e x p l i c i t i  the  " l a r g e darkness" of the w i l d e r n e s s which the s e t t l e r s  entered  was  "our own  ignorance."  In the works of r e c e n t Canadian  w r i t e r s , the focus has s h i f t e d t o the conquest  of i n n e r  f e a r s and unknowns, but the metaphor of w i l d e r n e s s and i z a t i o n has l o s t none of i t s r e l e v a n c e . observed t h a t " i n Canadian l i t e r a t u r e  civil-  Desmond Pacey has  (the) p a r a d o x i c a l  awareness of the g l o r y and t e r r o r of the n a t u r a l e n v i r o n J+9 ment i s everywhere," an i n t e r n a l one  and the f a c t t h a t the environment i s  i n many of the novels does not a l t e r  e s s e n t i a l t r u t h of h i s  the  statement.  49 Essays i n Canadian C r i t i c i s m s 1938-1968 The Ryerson P r e s s , 1 9 6 9 ) , p.235.  (Torontos  Even on a journey t o a new cannot be l e f t  l a n d , however, the past  completely behind.  Mrs.  Moodie and others  l i k e her r e b u i l t and f o r t i f i e d the " c i v i l i z e d  distinctions"  which were t o t r a p Mrs. Bentley i n Horizon, Hagar S h i p l e y i n Manawaka, and Jim McAlpine treal.  I t was  i n the s o c i a l world of Mon-  f e a r which r e b u i l t those r e s t r i c t i n g w a l l s  and c r e a t e d a w i l d e r n e s s w i t h i n them, "fears h a i r y as b e a r s " which f i l l  the mind with imaginary dangers.  Hagar d i s c o v e r s  t h i s a t n i n e t y , having f i n a l l y g i v e n up her concern f o r appearances long).  (What do I c a r e now  She  what people say?  expresses her understanding i n a  I c a r e d too  characteristi-  c a l l y s t a r k , yet deeply moving, manner:  "Pride was  my  derness, and the demon t h a t l e d metthere  was  I was  fear.  wil-  a l o n e , never a n y t h i n g e l s e , and never f r e e , f o r I c a r r i e d my all  chains w i t h i n me, I touched."  and they spread out from me and s h a c k l e d  With t h i s understanding, she emerges b r i e f -  l y from her i s o l a t i o n and  i s a b l e t o reach out t o someone  else. Mrs. B e n t l e y t r i e s t o break away from the  "civilized  d i s t i n c t i o n s " of Horizon which erode her s e l f - r e s p e c t  and  have p l a c e d an i n t o l e r a b l e s t r a i n on her marriage, but s i n c e her move occurs a t the end of Ross's n o v e l , amid a number of ambiguous elements,  i t i s not c l e a r whether she w i l l  ceed i n t r u l y f r e e i n g h e r s e l f . Jim McAlpine,  She,  suc-  l i k e J u d i t h Hearne,  Mary Dunne, and Stacey MacAindra,  c l e a r l y emerged from the l a r g e darkness  has not  of her ignorance, i n  s p i t e o f a g r e a t e f f o r t and self-awareness.  the achievement  R a c h e l Cameron knows t h e w i l d e r n e s s o f p r o -  jected fears very w e l l , but at  last,  she,  ceases to wait f o r her  her ears to the  like  Hagar, c o n f r o n t s them  "shadowy h u s b a n d , " a n d  "malice i n the t r e e s ' whispers."  n a r s e n i s u n a b l e t o do t h i s ; and  of considerable  threatening.  closes  Vera  Gun-  f o r h e r , the f o r e s t remains  Trees and brambles  strike  out a t h e r  dark  as  50 she  stumbles  a l o n g i n " t h e immense h o s t i l i t y  Jim McAlpine and Peggy S a n d e r s o n ' s  George S t e w a r t death  accept.  know t h i s h o s t i l e w o r l d  leaves Jim a t l e a s t  demned t o a d a r k n e s s w h i c h  o f her vrorld. "  she was  partially  he  demands; he  ly  come t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t  con-  unable t o t e a c h him  G e o r g e i s l u c k y enough t o r e c e i v e t h e lamp  also;  to  which  f i n d s h i s w i l d e r n e s s i l l u m i n a t e d when he " t h i s , which  final-  i s darkness, a l s o i s  51 light. " I t takes an unusual and hungry reality;  as  Margaret  see/the t r u t h . "  The  Coyote  o f The  mythic  form appears  and  realism.  municates which and  Atwood p u t s  i t , " I n e e d w o l f ' s eyes  line recalls  Double  v i s i o n t o g r a s p much o f  the a l l - s e e i n g , all-knowing  Hook, a n o v e l w h i c h unconcerned  Yet i t ,  in i t s classic,  with s p e c i f i c  contemporaneity  o f a l l t h e n o v e l s d i s c u s s e d h e r e , com-  most s t r i k i n g l y  the deeper,  transcendent  i s t h e c o n c e r n o f so many o f t h e w r i t e r s .  outer r e a l i t y  to  c a n n o t be n e a t l y d i v i d e d ,  50 Swamp A n g e l , p . I k k . The Watch T h a t Ends The  Night, p.322.  truth  truth  Since  inner  is reflected  i n both i n t e r n a l and p a s s i o n and  e x t e r n a l worlds: e v i l and  f e a r , com-  l o v e n e i t h e r o r i g i n a t e o u t s i d e the s e l f nor r e -  main c o n f i n e d to i t . T h i s i s the l e s s o n which Abraham comes to l e a r n a l s o i n The he  Sacrifice.  L i k e the n a r r a t o r of Miss Atwood's poem,  "refuse(d) t o look i n a m i r r o r , " and consequently  the mistake of p e r c e i v i n g h i s own He  made  s i n as e x t e r n a l t o h i m s e l f .  i s only d e l i v e r e d from the t r a g i c darkness of h i s  ignorance  by the double-edged r i t u a l of s a c r i f i c e s , which teaches that  " i t was  else."  i n me,  (p.326)  The  womb of death, f e s t e r i n g , i n no f i n a l t h r e e l i n e s of "Further  him  one  Arrivals"  a r e a c o n c i s e statement of the r e c u r r e n t themeV "Whether the wilderness  i s / r e a l or not/depends on who  by c o n f r o n t i n g the fear-based l i f e be reborn.  l i v e s there."  inner wilderness  can l i g h t  Some of the c h a r a c t e r s i n the novels  t h i s i l l u m i n a t i o n , and  others do not, but none reach  out f i r s t  " l a r g e darkness" of the  The  e n t e r i n g the  e s s e n t i a l concern of these novels  Only  reach i t with-  self.  is surprisingly  constant;  the d i f f e r e n c e s among them are l a r g e l y ones of  s t y l e and  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , r a t h e r than theme.  these areas  t h a t the q u e s t i o n  becomes r e l e v a n t . it  of "sexual  and  It i s i n  provinciality"  S i n c e few minds are completely  androgynous,  i s perhaps not s u r p r i s i n g to f i n d t h a t , i n t h i s group of  n o v e l s which a r e almost a l l based on female c h a r a c t e r s ,  the  ones c r e a t e d by women a r e , i n g e n e r a l , more i n t e r e s t i n g  and  convincing.  P a r t i a l exceptions  must be made f o r Adele Wise-  man, whose p r o t a g o n i s t i s male, and S i n c l a i r Ross, whose Mrs. B e n t l e y i s t h e many-sided product and  i m a g i n a t i v e mind.  important  o f an u n u s u a l l y a s s u r e d  B r i a n Moore's heroines f a i l  i n an  way because o f the author's tendency t o reduce  them t o b i o l o g i c a l puppets; they a r e i n t e r e s t i n g l y and s k i l l f u l l y manipulated,  carved  but puppets n e v e r t h e l e s s .  Both  Morley C a l l a g h a n and Hugh MacLennan present not women, but ideas o r symbols i n female c l o t h i n g .  Although  t h e symbols  r e p r e s e n t v a r i o u s q u a l i t i e s , they f a i l t o come a l i v e a s people. The  male n o v e l i s t s tend t o emphasize t h e s e x u a l r o l e s  played  by t h e i r female c h a r a c t e r s ; even S i n c l a i r Ross presents h i s h e r o i n e almost  e x c l u s i v e l y i n terms o f h e r r o l e as w i f e .  The women authors have a s t r o n g e r tendency t o w r i t e about women as people whose s e x u a l i t y i s important, but does not c o n s t i t u t e t h e t o t a l p e r s o n a l i t y . The  S h e i l a Watson's  Double Hook presents women as symbolic, a r c h e t y p a l  f i g u r e s , but t h i s l e v e l o f r e a l i t y i s extended t o a l l h e r c h a r a c t e r s , and no pretence o f r e a l i s m i s made.  The s t o r y  operates i n t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l realm o f t h e f a i r y t a l e and myth, and succeeds because o f i t s i n t e r n a l c o n s i s t e n c y i n t h a t sphere.  In Swamp Angel, Maggie's o r i g i n a l problem i s  m a r i t a l , but i t p l a y s a v e r y s m a l l p a r t i n t h e t o t a l meaning of  the story.  She has been l o s t , and the i d e n t i t y x\rhich she  r e d i s c o v e r s i n t h e w i l d e r n e s s i s not l i m i t e d t o the s e x u a l ; it  i s l e s s s p e c i f i c than t h a t , more human, and more  profound.  Margaret Lawrence's h e r o i n e s , w h i l e deeply i n v o l v e d with  t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o men and t o t h e i r c h i l d r e n , a r e s i m i l a r l y not l i m i t e d t o those areas alone; t h e i r s t r u g g l e s a r e w i t h problems which c r o s s a l l t h e b o u n d a r i e s which d i v i d e peoples f e a r , p r i d e , r e p r e s s i o n , and l o n e l i n e s s . These a r e n o t "women's problems," b u t those o f a l l humanity. The  c h a r a c t e r s c r e a t e d by t h e s e women a u t h o r s a r e , i n g e n e r a l ,  more c o n v i n c i n g a s women.  A t t h e same t i m e , t h e y a r e more  c l e a r l y human; i n c a p t u r i n g t h e e s s e n t i a l p e r s o n a l i t y o f a character, both the s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of s e x u a l i t y and t h e more g e n e r a l ones which extend beyond i t a r e more profoundly  realized.  Brooke, F r a n c e s . The H i s t o r y of Emily Montague. M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , 1961. C a l l a g h a n , Morley. The Loved and the L o s t . MacMillan Co. of Canada L t d . , 1951. . Such Is My Beloved. Stewart L t d . , 1957. Laurence,  Margaret.  Toronto*.  Toronto: The  Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and  A J e s t of God.  Toronto: Popular L i b r a r y ,  1966.  The F i r e - D w e l l e r s . Stewart L t d . , 1969. . and  The Stone Angel.  Stewart  Ltd.,  Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and Toronto/Montreal: M c C l e l l a n d  19687  MacLennan, Hugh. The Watch That Ends The Night. S i g n e t Books, I960T Moore, B r i a n . An Answer From Limbo. l i s h i n g Co., Inc., 19637 I Am Mary Dunne. Canada L t d . , 1 9 6 9 . Ltd.,  J u d i t h Hearne.  New  York: D e l l Pub-  Toronto: Bantam Books of  Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and  Stewart  196T;  . The Luck of Ginger C o f f e y . New l i s h i n g Co., Inc., 19627 Ross, S i n c l a i r . As For Me and My House. l a n d and Stewart L t d . , I 9 6 I . Watson, S h e i l a . The Double Hook. Stewart L t d . , isfflT.  Swamp A n g e l .  L t d . , 196*2";  Wiseman, A d e l e .  York: D e l l Pub-  Toronto: M c C l e l -  Toronto: M c C l e l l a n d and  Wilson, E t h e l . The Equations of Love. and Co., L t d . , 1952.  1956.  Toronto:  London: MacMillan  (n.p.) M c C l e l l a n d and  The S a c r i f i c e . New  Stewart  York: The V i k i n g Press,  Atwood, M a r g a r e t . The Oxford U n i v e r s i t y  J o u r n a l s o f Susanna Press, 1970.  B l a c k m u r , R.P. The Expense Peter Smith, 1958.  of Greatness.  Moodie.  Toronto:  Gloucester,  Mass.1  Buitenhuis, Peter. Hugh MacLennan. T o r o n t o / L o n d o n / S y d n e y : Forum House P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1969. D a n i e l l s , Roy. " I n t r o d u c t i o n . " As F o r Me a n d Mv_ House. T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t L t d . , I96I, p p . v - x . E l l m a n n , Mary. T h i n k i n g About Women. B r a c e , a n d W o r l d , I n c . , I968.  New  York: H a r c o u r t ,  G l a s s c o , John. " V i l l a n e l l e . " Love Where The N i g h t s A r e Long, ( e d . I r v i n g Layton.") T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t L t d . , 1962, p.33. Graves, Robert. The W h i t e Faber, L t d . , (n.d.).  Goddess.  London:  Faber  Grosskurth, P h y l l i s . "Books i n R e v i e w . " C a n a d i a n t u r e 43 ( W i n t e r , 1970), pp.91-2.  and Litera-  Jameson, Anna. W i n t e r S t u d i e s a n d Summer Rambles i n C a n a d a . T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d a n d S t e w a r t L t d . , 1923. J o n e s , D.G. B u t t e r f l y on Rock: A S t u d y o f Themes a n d Images i n Canadian L i t e r a t u r e . Toronto/Buffalo: University of T o r o n t o P r e s s , I97O. Laurence, Margaret. "Ten Y e a r s ' S e n t e n c e s . " e r a t u r e 41 (Summer, 1969), pp.10-16.  Canadian  Levin, Harry. R e f r a c t i o n s : Essays i n Comparative New Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y Press"] I966. Moodie, S u s a n n a . R o u g h i n g I t I n The l a n d a n d S t e w a r t L t d . , 19&2. Morriss, Margaret. L i t e r a t u r e 42 New,  William.  Bush.  " S i n c l a i r Ross's Ambivalent  L i t e r a t u r e 40,  Literature.  (n.p.)  "The E l e m e n t s T r a n s c e n d e d . " (Autumn, I969), pp.56-71.  Lit-  McClel-  Canadian  World."  Canadian  pp.26-32.  P a c e y , Desmond. E s s a y s i n C a n a d i a n C r i t i c i s m : 1938-1968. T o r o n t o : The R y e r s o n P r e s s , I969.  Rosengarten, H.J. "Opinions and Notes." 35 (Winter, 1 9 6 8 ) , pp.99-100.  Canadian  Literature  Stephens, Donald G. " L i l a c s Out Of the Mosaic Land: Aspects of the S a c r i f i c i a l Theme i n Canadian L i t e r a t u r e . " Dalhousie Review 48 (Winter ' 6 8 - ' 6 9 ) , p p . 5 0 0 - 0 9 . "Wind, Sun and Dust." Canadian L i t e r a t u r e (Winter, 1 9 6 5 ) , pp.17-24.  23  S t r e l k a , Joseph, (ed.) P e r s p e c t i v e s i n L i t e r a r y Symbolism. U n i v e r s i t y Park and London: The Pennsylvania S t a t e Univ. Press, 1968. Tallman, Warren. "Wolf i n the Snow." 5 , pp.7-20; 6, pp.41-8.  Canadian  Literature  T r a i l l , C a t h e r i n e P a r r . The Backwoods o f Canada. M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , 1929.  Toronto:  U t t e r , Robert P a l f r e y and Needham, Gwendolyn B r i d g e s . Pamela's Daughters. New York: The MacMillan Co.,  193^  Woodcock, George. Hugh MacLennan. P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1969.  Toronto: Copp C l a r k  Odysseus Ever R e t u r n i n g . Toronto/Montreal: M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart L t d . , 1970.  SECONDARY SOURCES  Armens, Sven. Archetypes of the Family i n L i t e r a t u r e . S e a t t l e and Londons U n i v e r s i t y of Washington Press, I 9 6 6 . Dahlie, Hallvard. B r i a n Moore. P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1969.  Torontos The Copp C l a r k  Gotlieb, P h y l l i s . "On Margaret Laurence." Tamarack Review 52 ( 3 r d Quarter, 1 9 ^ 9 ) . pp.76-80. J a c k e l , Susan. "The House on the P r a i r i e s . " e r a t u r e 42 (Autumn, 1 9 6 9 ) , pp.46-55.  Canadian  K l i n c k , C a r l F. (ed.) L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y of Canada. U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1965*  Torontos  McCormick, Thelma. " S t y l e s i n Educated Females." The t i o n , Jan. 23, I 9 6 7 . McCourt, Edward A. The Canadian West i n F i c t i o n . Winnipeg/Vancouvers The Ryerson Press, 1970. Pacey, Desmond. E t h e l Wilson. Inc., 1967.  New  Lit-  Na-  Toronto/  Yorks Twayne P u b l i s h e r s ,  Stephens, Gonald G. "New C r i t i c i s m . " Canadian 43 (Winter, 1 9 7 0 ) , pp.79-82.  Literature  Thomas, C l a r a . "Happily Ever A f t e r s Canadian Women i n F i c t i o n and F a c t . " Canadian L i t e r a t u r e 3^ (Autumn, 1 9 6 7 ) , PP.43-53.  

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