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|Title:||TWO PRAIRIE TOWNS|
|Authors:||Dececchi, James Michael|
|Advisor:||Hyman, R. L.|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>The disparate themes of W.O. Mitchell's <em>Who Has Seen the Wind</em> and Sinclair Ross's<em> As For Me and My House</em> are linked to the abnormal elements of wind and weather that scourges the towns and prairie regions of Saskatchewan during the depression years of the 1930's.</p> <p>Both novels are set ,in towns having strongly entrenched Calvinistic backgrounds, where the ministers of the respective churches suffer the indignities heaped upon them by well-meaning, but sublimely ignorant groups Qf people who fill the ranks of the churches' auxiliaries. However, neither Ross nor Mitchell underestimate the importance of, and the need for lay people who volunteer their services to the ichurch in the name of Christian charity. Ross's largely humorless novel emphasizes their weaknesses and faults in a forthright and direct manner. It also explores the nebulous area of communicatidm that exists between Philip Bentley and his parishioners.</p> <p>Mrs. Bentley's diary entries move from one tension-filled episode to another. The Bentley's domestic upheavals are temporarily alleviated by compromise on the part of Mrs. Bentley, at least that is what the reade~ is led to believe. Moreover, it would seem that each compromise by the minister's wife was induced with a built-in mechanism for more tension. Ross tells his story in such a manner, that as sooln as one dramatic situation is resolved, another succeeds it. The I overwrought sensibilities of the Bentleys are further exacerbated by the intermittent wind continually sounding its discordant obbligato as if in derision of the occupants of the manse which, ironically, is dedicated to the servide of the Lord.</p> <p>Mitchell imposes his pwn unique order upon <em>Who Has Seen the Wind</em>, one that bespeaks an intimate knowledge of town; and prairie life In Saskatchewan. His altruistic portrayal of a boy and his dog is expanded to exwlore and depict the relationship existing between the denizens of a I prairie town and its immediate environment. Threading the story line are the distinct themes of mortality and ecology, which, in: some measure, affect and shape the mind of Brian O'Connal during his pre-pubescent years. On the lighter side, Mitchell infuses the novel with a rare and satiric perception of temporary and local conditions that govern the actions of his principal characters in their everyday lives and pursuits.</p> <p>Much of <em>Who Has seen the Wind</em> is inextricably bound up with the various objects of satire such as classes, literature, religion and small town bigotry. Mitchell balances the satiric thrust of his novel with a notable sense of altruism that finds expression in a caring sensitivity for the plight of humans and animals alike. That same sensitivity extends to the song of the meadow larks and the hum of the telephone wires which relay the message of the wind. The meadow larks are symbols of hope for the future, a future that Mitchell, guardedly and repeatedly, points to as being "from everlasting to everlasting".</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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