Studying Canadian Literature

Topics: Canada, Ontario, Culture Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: February 1, 2014
This essay will prove that graduating students in Ontario should only study Canadian literature in a Grade 12 English course. While good writers exist in all cultures, Ontario students should only study Canadian writers. Because we need to become more familiar with our literature. Three reasons for this are; the need to focus on our own Canadian culture despite being surrounded by other cultures, the need to promote and establish our own writers, and the need to encourage younger Canadian authors. Students in Ontario taking English should only study Canadian literature because we are completely swamped by the American culture around us. This is a Canadian tradition because we have always been a “branch plant” of another country starting with England and France meaning that our own culture has never had the chance to develop since we have always been under the thumb of a more powerful foreign culture. So, for years, a student in Ontario would study Shakespeare and other British writers: today they may also study American authors such as Fitzgerald. But many schools limit a students exposure to the Canadian novel to ISP reading lists. In this sense, Canada is an attic in which we have stored American and British literature without considering our own. 1 No wonder a Canadian student has problems appreciating there culture. Often what Canadian literature is studied is very old. This includes works such as Mordecai’s Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz or Lawrences Stone Angel. Fifth Business, which was published in 1970 - over 35 years ago - is still on many courses of study in Gr. 12 classrooms. Atwood’s Handmade’s Tale the most recent of these books was published in 1985; over ten years ago. Again while most teachers allow and may even encourage a student to focus on more modern Canadian books for their ISP, his classroom experience is usually limited to studying these golden oldies. Then there is the issue of these authors being primarily white, English Canadian and...
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