Walter's Closet

  • Benjamin Lefebvre

Abstract

Résumé: L'auteur soutient que la vie et la mort du personnage Walter Blythe au centre du roman Rilla d'lngleside de L.M. Montgomery sont peu typiques à l'intérieur des usages du Bildungsroman pour lesquels ses oeuvres narratives sont connues. Sa représentation habituelle de l'Île-du-Prince-Edouard comme espace familial idyllique sert plutôt dans cet ouvrage à symboliser la protection physique et émotive ainsi que l'innocence sexuelle d'un personnage que l'on perçoit comme «different». Cette différence n'est pas sans rappeler la thématique du placard homosexuel. Summary: This paper argues that the life and death of Walter Blythe at the centre of L.M. Montgomery's novel Rilla of Ingleside are completely atypical within the boundaries of the Bildungsroman for which Montgomery's work is renowned. Instead of representing Prince Edward Island as an Edenic concept of home and family, here Montgomery employs the imagery of the Island to symbolize the physical safety, the emotional security, and the sexual innocence of a character who is always seen as "different" in ways that are often associated with the homosexual closet.

Author Biography

Benjamin Lefebvre
Benjamin Lefebvre, an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Winnipeg and Research Associate at the Centre for Young People's Texts and Cultures , has published extensively on adolescent literature and culture. In August 2007, he will take up a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Alberta, where he will trace L. M. Montgomery's cultural capital and its relationship to the transnational circulation of dominant images of Canada. He is currently preparing Montgomery’s unpublished final novel, The Blythes Are Quoted, for publication.
Published
1999-03-01
Section
Articles