Category Archives: English 20-1

Presentation order & dates

Following is the schedule for presentations in English 20-1. If you have an unexcused absence on the day that you are supposed to present, you will not receive credit for this assignment. Please ensure that you are in school on the day you are scheduled to attend.

For the next two weeks, we will be starting with one presentation, have a ten-minute break, move to the second presentation, and conclude the class with silent reading.

Tiffany Douglas – Tuesday, Jan 7
Morgan Cook – Tuesday, Jan 7
Alex Oczkowski – Wednesday, Jan 8
Tisha Moulson – Wednesday, Jan 8
Sadee Pisony – Thursday, Jan 9
Jilisa Finn-Fraser – Thursday, Jan 9
Ryley Penner – Friday, Jan 10
Abby Zur – Monday, Jan 13
Sam Paton – Monday, Jan 13
Anna Blomgren – Tuesday, Jan 14
Morgan Michalsky – Tuesday, Jan 14
Raeley Hucik – Wednesday, Jan 15
Raelyn Rutledge – Wednesday, Jan 15
Hannah Penner – Thursday, Jan 16
Britnie Zur – Thursday, Jan 16

The final “weekly assignment” for English 20-1 will be a paper on one of the presented poems, to be assigned on Thursday, January 16 and due at the end of class on Wednesday, January 22. This is the last assignment of the semester for 20-1 students as there is no written final exam for the course.

Themes within Canadian literature

There are four major themes that can be found within Canadian literature:

1) Nature:
-desolate/empty landscape (prairies, ocean, harsh mountains/forests, etc.)

2) Frontier life
-historic (settlers)
-contemporary fascination with rural life (urban/rural divide)

3) Our position within the world
-multiculturalism (which should be its own theme, but for our purposes right now…)
-influence of U.S. / mild anti-Americanism
-isolation of small towns, even cities from each other

All three lead to what Northrop Frye (and, later, Margaret Atwood) term

4) The garrison mentality
-characters tend to look outwards, outside of themselves
-characters tend to build walls (metaphorically) against the outside world, shutting out friends, family, others

John Donne said “No man is an island”, but Canadian literature tends to write about the opposite.

SO, how do you read a Canadian short story?

1) Read the story & annotate: what do you get? What don’t you get?
2) Read the story again and look for these themes. At this point, just identify.
3) Then, ask the “Why? So what?” questions: what do these themes mean? How do they change our interpretation of the characters’ actions? How does the weather, frontier life, our isolationism, and/or the garrison mentality mirror the characters’ thoughts or actions? THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to get here!