By Elizabeth Galway

ISBN-10: 0203929276

ISBN-13: 9780203929278

ISBN-10: 0415958482

ISBN-13: 9780415958486

As Canada got here to phrases with its function as an self sustaining country following Confederation in 1867, there has been a decision for a literary voice to specific the wishes and wishes of a brand new nation. Children’s literature was once one of many capability in which this new voice came upon expression. obvious as a device for either interesting and teaching childrens, this fabric is usually brazenly propagandistic and nationalistic, and addresses many of the key political, financial, and social issues of Canada because it struggled to take care of nationwide solidarity in this time. From Nursery Rhymes to Nationhood stories a wide number of children’s literature written in English among 1867 and 1911, revealing a special curiosity in questions of nationwide team spirit and identification between children’s writers of the day and exploring the impression of yank and British authors at the shaping of Canadian identification. The visions of Canada expressed during this fabric are usually in festival with each other, yet jointly they remove darkness from the country’s makes an attempt to outline itself and its relation to the area outdoors its borders.

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Additional info for From Nursery Rhymes to Nationhood: Children's Literature and the Construction of Canadian Identity (Children's Literature and Culture)

Example text

In the backwoods” betrays a belief in the improving nature of Canada. Through their exposure to the new country the settlers ultimately evolve into wiser and braver beings. In these evolutionary terms, however, the genteel Macdonalds prove themselves to be better fit for survival in Canada than their servant girl. The fact that Harry makes much of Betsy’s status as a “Cockney,” demonstrates that he and his family are still keenly aware of, and keen to maintain, the social divisions and practices familiar in England at the time.

And while he developed no affection for them, he none the less grew honestly to respect them. He speedily learned that Perrault and Francois were fair men, calm and impartial in administering justice, and too wise in the way of dogs to be fooled by dogs. (London 1903: 37) The View from Afar • 31 These “swarthy” Canadians demonstrate fairness and justice in their handling of the dogs, and as a result, Buck gains some respect for them: “That was fair of Francoise, he decided, and the half-breed began to rise in Buck’s estimation” (38).

For example, the class distinctions and racial stereotyping of the Welsh and Irish, which were a part of English life in the nineteenth century, are transported along with this family to Canada. This is largely evident through the character of the Macdonalds’ servant Betsy, who has accompanied the family to Canada and who furnishes much of the story’s humour. Betsy’s Cockney accent and position as a servant reveal her status as a member of the working class. While Betsy’s physicality equips her with the strength required for the chores of settler life, she appears less able than her employers to cope either emotionally or intellectually with the challenges of a new environment.

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From Nursery Rhymes to Nationhood: Children's Literature and the Construction of Canadian Identity (Children's Literature and Culture) by Elizabeth Galway


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