Literature in Canada. I began searching the WWW on information about lit in Can. I came across an interesting point that summed up the diversity of individuals within Canada.
It pointed out that "there is a literature and an "identity" distinctly Canadian" and that different genres and categories come from this.
The vast amount of written pieces that fall into the category "literature of Canada" is a good representation of what Canada is. Diverse.
As discussed in class, Margaret Atwood played a significant role in defining Canadian literature in the 1970’s. Atwood’s Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature published in 1972 discussed Atwood’s view of what defined Canadian Literature at that time period. She stated that Canadian Literature is primarily about survival and victimization.
One of the victim positions Atwood identifies, is the acknowledgment of the character as a victim, but attributes it to a higher power such as religion. This describes the theme in Year of the Flood, where the Gardeners could be seen as “victims” and they could attribute it to their belief in God and the waterless flood.
Also, Atwood’s teacher Northrop Frye described the garrison mentality which was seen as a common theme in Canadian literature. The garrison mentality (associated with seeking a Canadian identity) fits with the characters in The Year of the Flood in that the characters are removed themselves from the larger group (Gardeners) and have to fend for themselves.
As for 'being in literature', it is of course very different for each of us, but we can still look at the book as a commentary on our world. We can see how the culture of excess (as seen by the Anoo Yoo spas), of mad science (with animal splices), and greedy companies thinking only of lowering costs (Secret Burgers with any kind of unknown free meat) could very easily be a vision of the future considering the way our society is now.
Margaret Atwood's novel "The Year of The Flood" is about a man-made pandemic that annihilates human life. The beginning of the story starts with introducing two people that have amazingly survived this "waterless flood"; Ren and Toby. Both Ren and Toby were part of the Gardener's religious group that once operated out of the "pleeblands". The book jumps back and forth from present to past showing how the two women ended up where they are now. Ren was stuck in high-end sex club, Scales and Tails, and Toby at the AnooYoo spa. As the novel moves into the future, they each leave the building in which they are safe and surviving and meet each other and other survivors from their past life.
The aspects of the novel we want to focus on are the themes religion and science. The terminology and names created and used by Atwood is a point of interest.
The Year of The Flood