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Critiques:Roberts, Moodie, Carman Essay, Research Paper

Article # 1


?In Roughing it With the Moodies?

By Edward A. McCourt

The article ?In Roughing it With the Moodies? is an explanatory essay on the life

of female author Susanna Moodie and her family. Most of her life was spent I he

backwoods of Ontario with her family. Susanna Moodie was born in England. She was

born into a wealthy family and was the youngest of five children. She received a good

education, more so than any of the other girls of her social standing. While in England

she published a variety of poems and children?s stories. She married J. W. Dunbar, a half

pay officer with the English army. They came to Canada because the British government

offered a tax free land grant to anyone willing to move, army officers also received a full

title. When she arrived in Canada her family had to travel through Montreal to arrive a

Port Hope where they were to be settled only someone was living there until the snow

arrived. They were forced to live in a log barn. She made an effort to be friendly with

her neighbours. They were always taking advantage of the newcomers by borrowing

things from them. They finally decided to give up the farm and moved into the

backwoods of Ontario, just north of Peterborough. Susanna heavily objected the move,

but to no avail. It is stated that Susanna had a better sense for business than her husband

did. The Moodie?s were unsuited for life in the backwoods. For the first year the

Moodies lived in what some would call luxury. They lived in a log house and had a male

and female servant. After a year of crop failure the Moodies had to fire their servants and

work the land themselves. They did not mind the work. The family sometimes lived on

eating bread and frozen potatoes, they had none of the luxuries which they were once

accustomed to. Susanna?s husband then got a job in Toronto coinciding with the

Rebellion of 1837. Susanna wrote to Sir Georges Arthur, the Lieutenant Governor of

Upper Canada about keeping her husband at work for a longer period. She was left alone

to tend the farm and take care of the family. She and her children developed near fatal

illnesses but luckily recovered. Her husband later got a job in Bellville and the family

moved there in 1839. ?Roughing it in the Bush? was written during the harsh winter of

1839. It was then published in 1852. She uses her ordeal in the backwoods of

Canada to write her story. She uses the many interesting people, which she faced in

every day life as characters in ?Roughing it in the Bush?. She died at the age of 83.

Moodie feels that through her experience in the backwoods of Canada she has grown as

an individual and grown to love Canada, her home.


?In Roughing it with the Moodies?

The article ?In Roughing it with the Moodies?, by Edward A. McCourt, reveals

the life and times of author Susanna Moodie. It is written in such a way that it is

explanatory of the details of Moodie?s life, both before she arrived in Canada and after

her family settled in Ontario.

This article was extremely easy to understand because the language McCourt uses is not

complicated and heavily over worded. It gave me an important understanding of the life of

Susanna Moodie and what she had to go through to survive in Upper Canada in the Nineteenth

Century. It also helps me to better understand the technique and subjects, which she uses for her

works. She has experienced everything that she is writing, therefore making it more interesting

to read and fully understand.. It assists in the appreciation of her writing and the life she led.

I have always felt that Susanna Moodie has been a very remarkable and interesting

person. In my past studies and research on the women?s rights movement, I found that she was

women?s rights advocate. She was a very dominant figure, who helped women accomplish

many goals and aspirations. I feel that she is a very strong woman. It is because of my past

interests with Moodie that I have chosen further research her.

I do not feel that the article was ?self contained?. I fully understood the point the author was

trying to convey. I did not have to consult any further sources because the article was straight

forward and to the point, talking about Moodie?s life. I have already had past experience in

researching this author, so it was not necessary for me to consult any other sources. This article ahs

helped me to better understand the writings of Susanna Moodie.

Article #2


?Carman By the Sea?

By M. M. Ross

Bliss Carman has gone from one of the finest Canadian poets of his time to being criticized

because of his technique and lack of appreciation for his works. Carman has been, scrutinized by

Canadian Nationalists because he had no sensibility to Canada. Carman?s use of the maple tree can

be seen as Canadian but it is stated that the maple tree was grown in a Connecticut garden and not in

Canada at all. M. M. Ross? feelings are that Carman was not a Canadian in any sense of the word.

He did not live in Canada he only came here for lectures and to be buried. He was not a typical

Canadian and had no sense of patriotism. He never really felt at home in any part of Canada. In his

writings he never mentions Ontario. This to the Canadian reader and critique is what makes him fall

idle to the expectations of a true Canadian. In reading Carman?s works Ross finds that the landscape

of poetry is not ?transcendental? and ?foreign?. Ross states in ?Carman By the Sea? that this is not

Canadian. Carman does not mention true Canadian landmarks such as the Georgian Bay, or

Muskoka in his works. Ross discusses poets from other countries being more patriotic and Canada

driven than Carman, and considers then true Canadian poets. Ross confers about reading Carman?s

works with a bias. Although he found that he liked and enjoyed reading Carman?s literature. Ross

found that Carman?s works were full of the sea and talked about the New Brunswick coast and the

rock of Saint John. Ross concludes that Carman is original but that he hides his style by using single

stanzas and phrases and that this is why the magic of his writing gets lost.


?Carman by the Sea?

?Carman by the Sea?, dictates Bliss Carman?s rise and fall in Canadian literature. Written

by M. M. Ross, this article has shown that Carman was not the Canadian author and that he does

not pride himself in being Canadian. At times the language Ross uses is difficult to understand

but I think that he made his point clear that there are many critiques that think that Carman?s

work is by far not patriotic. I do not think that to be a Canadian author one must write about all

things that are Canadian, as long as the author fells what they are writing and trying to portray.

Through reading this, I gained the sense that Carman did this in terms of his writing.

Furthermore, this article did not help me to understand Carman?s writing more. If

anything it somewhat confused me because at one point Ross states that Carman is not patriotic

enough, but on the other hand he praises Carman?s writing. The article also made me read

Carman?s works with a bias in the back of my mind, since he states that he too read with a bias.

This article has confirmed the previous myths that I have heard about Carman not being a

true Canadian writer, but I do not agree with these findings. I feel that everyone has their own

opinions and are entitles to them.

Moreover the article did not want to make e accumulate and research Carman further. I

found that through this article Carman did not experience a very exciting life, certainly not one that I

would be interested in pursuing. ?Carman by the Sea? did mot give extensive biographical

information, which I found disappointing. I would have liked the article to contain more references

to his life and his background, it might have changed my perspective on the views which were

entertained in the article. Furthermore, I feel that Carman is not an author, which appeals to my

particular literary preferences. I would not on the basis of this article want to read Carman?s works


Article #3


?Sir Charles G. D. Roberts and his Time?

By Phelam Edgar

Charles G. D. Roberts was an essential figure around the commencement of poetry.

Young poets of today should be thankful and appreciative to Roberts for his great influence.

Pelham Edgar, talks about the importance of Roberts? achievement and development. Roberts?

father Canon George Goodridge Roberts was a gigantic influence of his son?s early, developed

literary ambitions. Roberts was gentle, compassionate and he was very devoted to his family.

He inherited his literary genes from his mother a descendant of the Concord family Bliss. Her

older sister was mother of Bliss Carman, which made Roberts and he first cousins. Roberts was

a naturalist, he loved the wildness and danger of the wilderness. Even as he moved from Canada

later in life, he still remembered in detail, the countryside he passionately loved. Canadian

nationality was very important and danger of the wilderness. Even as he moved from Canada

later in life, he still remembered in detail, the countryside he passionately loved. Canadian

nationality was very important part of Roberts? life. He received education in collegiate school

and at the University of New Brunswick. Edgar states that in the beginning it did not occur to

Roberts to bring Canadian topics into his poems. It was not until later that he began to

incorporate this subject into his writing. Roberts taught briefly at Chatham and Fredericton, then

he went on to be an editor of Goldwin Smith?s ?The Week?. He finally graduated from

University in 1885. He enjoyed writing verse in his spare time. Roberts finally begins to write

about the Canadian scene, in ?Diverse Tones?. Edgar states that no other poet since Roberts has

been as artistically observant or has revealed ?resonant dactylic hexameters? of the Tantramar.

Roberts became a professor at Kings College from 1885 to 1895. After ten years he resigned and

moved to Fredericton. In 1897, Roberts went to New York and was the assistant editor of ?The

Illustrated American?. While in New York he published ?The Book of Rose?, and ?New

Poems?. Twenty-eight years passed before he moved back to Canada and settled. Edgar states

that although verse was Roberts? favourite, he excelled most in poetry. Roberts considered

himself a good woodsman, canoeist, dancer, but he has never claimed supremacy among

Canadian poets. He prides himself in his poetry and takes it very seriously. The two poems,

which are most significant to Roberts, are ?Ave? and The Iceberg?. Lastly, Edgar states that he

is extremely happy that in the end Roberts found his way home.


?Sir Charles G. D. Roberts and his Time?

In reading ?Sir Charles G. D. Roberts and his Time?, I found that Roberts was an

extraordinary individual who contributed outright to the Canadian community. The language, which

Pelhem Edgar uses, is at times very difficult to understand. Although I understood what the article

was about, it was not a very smooth read. There was some particular wording that was difficult o

comprehend. The article helped me to understand the life Roberts lived and the hardships he

encountered along the way. The article served as a biographical document as well as a positive

critique towards Roberts and his works. It helped me to appreciate Roberts more because I had an

idea of what his life was like and the events that lead up to each of his works.

Furthermore, I do not think that this article has dispelled any myths or fallacies. I am

however disappointed that Edgar did not talk by any means of Roberts twenty-eight years in New

York. I have heard many stories about what had happened, but I would have liked to have these

stories confirmed.

Moreover, Edgar?s article gave an extensive bibliography of Roberts? life. I enjoyed

discovering what Roberts did during his life. That he was a traveling man, but that he always knew

that Canada was his true home and that he could always come back to it. Edgar did a fantastic job in

logging Roberts? jobs and his publishing dates. I think that it is always interesting to hear the story

behind the poems because most of the time an author?s life is depicted in their writings.

No I did not have to make references to other sources in order to fully comprehend the

article. I found the article interesting and the only way I would read another article is to find more

information on this amazing author. I feel that Edgar did the best job he could in incorporating

biography and fact. Sir Charles G. D. Roberts is certainly a true poetic hero of his time.


Edgar, Pelham. ?Sir Charles G. D. Roberts and his Time?. University of Toronto Quarterly,

Vol. 13. University of Toronto Press: Toronto.

Ross, M.. ?Carman by the Sea?. Dalhousie Review, Vol. 27. The Rev Publishing

Company: Halifax, 1947-48.

McCourt, Edward. ?Roughing it with the Moodies?. Queens Quarterly, Vol. 52. Kingston,


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