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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of the Eden myth in Canadian literature Balsevich, Mary M.


The purpose of this thesis is to determine the presence and manipulation of the Eden myth in Canadian literature. The interrelation of form and content existed from the beginning of Canadian literature in the travel journal and travel literature. Myth and Eden are essentially man's reaction against, and his relation to this geographical surroundings as contained in his manipulations of the travel journal. The thesis is divided into six chapters. The first will deal with the early travel journals. The second will delineate Hugh MacLennan's comprehension and definitions of Eden and myth. The third will present Gabrielle Roy's extenuations of this theme. The fourth will examine Gwendolyn MacEwen's manipulation of general mythology and her allusions to Eden and myth. The fifth will consider Margaret Atwood's poetry as a basic restatement of the early travel journals. The sixth shall be a general conclusion and commentary of D. G. Jones' Butterfly on Rock which hints at some of the themes in Canadian literature. Jones briefly alludes to Edenic concepts and some of the pervasiveness and implications of myth, mostly in terms of alienation and frustration. He thereby notes many of the subsidiary details and skims and miscomprehends their implications.

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