Theme Of Isolation In Canadian Literature

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Margaret Laurence’s Manawaka novels – The Stone Angel (1964) A Jest of God (1966), The Fire-Dwellers (1969) and The Diviners (1972) bring to the fore the lives of four women – Hagar, Rachel, Stacey and Morag respectively belonging to a fictitious small Canadian prairie town, Manawaka. In these novels Margaret Laurence deals with the feeling of isolation and alienation of Canadian women and the resulting otherness and futility of their life. In order to achieve personal development, they frequently confront with their ancestral history and individual past; they achieve the deeper understanding and fuller appreciation of life which further leads to the development of survival ethic. The journey of all the Manawaka heroines culminates with the acceptance of their conditions of life as they are which they repudiated initially at the beginning of their…show more content…
. . the universal reader . . . Laurence treats Canadian experience as the valid continuation of larger world” (228). The experience of isolation and journey to personal development can be considered not only as Canadian but also universal as it is a common and frequently discussed theme in twentieth century literary works. By discussing the issues of the discovery of lost personal self of her characters and their search for meaning and significance in life, John Moss states that, “Laurence . . . share[s] . . . in a vision of individual isolation that is both universal and contemporary. [Her novels] participate in the traditions of Canadian fiction that they are also continuous with the cosmopolitan tradition of contemporary literature written in English is not irrelevant”
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