Symbolism In The Monkey Beach

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Eden Robinson’s Monkey beach is set in the small, coastal village of Kitamaat in western B.C., home to the province’s Haisla community. Robinson’s characterization of a Haisla family living in present day Kitamaat exposes the challenges that are faced by the Aboriginal people conserving their traditions, values and social mores under the dominating influence of Canada’s West Cost society. She frames these concerns by following the struggles of Lisamarie (Lisa) Hill as she reconciles the ideologies of her modern Canadian upbringing with the often-discordant beliefs of her First Nation heritage, which becomes more complicated by the experience of the supernatural appearances that only Lisa can see. Lisa’s relationship with the spirit world allows her to transgress the history of abuse and reconnect with her heritage, however, she must struggle with North American ideologies which consider the supernatural as flawed. With the help of Ma-ma-oo (Lisa’s grandmother) she begins to gain control within the spirt world, thus re-connecting with her heritage. However, with the modern society that they live with Lisa must either…show more content…
While telling her father at the table that the crows were talking to her Gladys refuses to take it seriously, replying with “Clearly a sign, Lisa … that you need Prozac” (3). Disregarding what Lisa has said is a result of the modern Canadian society that they now live in. Lisa’s father is just as rejecting in the supernatural word like the mother. In one of Lisa’s flashbacks Jimmy begs the father to go to monkey beach to see the b’gwus. His father insisted that “Sasquatches are make-believe, like fairies” (10). Both parents refuse to acknowledge the possibility that the spirt word is real, choosing to adopt to the attitudes of the privileged society that they came to know. Also trying to protect their daughter from being
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