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.

It is certainly true the plight of GG's -- and indeed, the world of The Year of the Flood follows Atwood's theme of victim/survivor to the ultimate end ...


Leave a Reply.