Teaching Margaret Laurence's <em>The Diviners</em> as a Postcolonial Text

  • Gillian Siddall

Abstract

Résumé: Cet article propose une lecture du roman The Diviners de Margaret Laurence qui priviliégie les éléments qui font de ce récit un exemple idéal pour aborder en classe les questions fondamentales du postcolonialisme: la définition de l'identité canadienne dans un milieu multiculturel, la dénonciation des partis pris de l'histoire traditionnelle, la volonté de réviser l'histoire du Canada et l'exploration des liens entre le féminisme, la conscience des classes sociales et l'idéologie postcolonialiste. Summary: This paper offers a reading of Margaret Laurence's The Diviners that highlights its potential as a basis for classroom discussions of issues central to postcolonial theory: the definition of Canadian identity in a multicultural classroom; the biases of traditional Canadian history; the movement towards rethinking and rewriting Canadian history; and the links between feminism, class, and postcolonialism. The Diviners illustrates the extent to which Canadian history has been fictionalized but has become regarded as truth. The novel re-imagines Canadian history and uses multiple perspectives--and consequently multiple narratives--to create a space for those who have previously been denied creative/political power, namely the Métis, the working classes, and women.
Published
2007-12-26
Section
Articles