Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis compares the presentation of Native characters and Native voice in Margaret Laurence's The Diviners and Lee Maracle's Ravensong. The purpose of the project is twofold: to evaluate Maracle's claim that Laurence's portrayal of the Métis people is racist, and to describe how Maracle challenges the racism she perceives in White writing about Native peoples. The introduction addresses the theoretical challenges facing White academics who want to engage critically with Native texts.
The first chapter examines how each author's social affiliations and political priorities determine the way that she represents Native characters, and Native/White interaction, in her fictional writing. Particular attention is paid to the writers' perceptions of the relationship between feminist and anti-racist interests.
Chapter Two summarizes the history of linguistic tyranny that has threatened Native cultural voice in Canada. It considers Laurence's invention of Métis stories and songs in terms of current controversies over "appropriation of voice," and shows how Ravensong acts as a distinctly "Native" narrative that fuses storytelling tradition with the new Native language, English.
Lauridsen, Kristi, "Ir/reconcilable Differences?: A Comparative Study of Margaret Laurence's The Diviners and Lee Maracle's Ravensong" (1994). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6137.
McMaster University Library