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The comic vision of Susanna Moodie

Inasmuch as one has deeply read the texts selected from Susanna Moodie´s piece of literature: “Roughing it in the bush”, I am in the position to talk with regards to the comic vision of this author as you are about to discover.

Let´s start with “A visit to Grosse Isle”. I do not deem this story a comic one insofar as I truly believe the text does want to impress the reader: “What sublime views of the north side of the river those habitants of St. Thomas must enjoy”, “It was a scene unlike any I had ever beheld and to which Britain contains no parallel”, “I was not less struck with its low fertile shores”, “My daydreams were dispelled by the return of the boat”. Notwithstanding this feeling, it is clear that the end of this story has a comic element. As a matter of fact, this is when the wife of the old Scotch dragoon interrupts the captain: “She whispered something confidentially in his ear. “Oh, ho, the brandy” he responded aloud”. This is comic as it is the final element of the story as they are going to have a good dinner: “The bread, the butter, the beef, the onions, and potatoes are here”. Overall, I do not find the text fully comic, yet it has some comic at the end.

Abide by sentences such as: “With his jolly red face, twinkling black eyes, and rubicund nose” or “he will know how to value the whiskey bottle”, we discover the comic in the story: “Uncle Joe and his family”. Furthermore, the author even point out the comic in Canada: “I should not be surprised to meet with Judas Iscariot, Pilate, and Herod. And then the female appellations”. This is thereby a comic story. Given how the story develops with uncle Joe and his family refusing to leave the house, this story can epitomize the comic of writer Susanna Moodie. Just see some of the conversations full of wit: “the longer you remain in Canada the less you will like it”, “you Britishers are not made of flesh and blood”.

Is “Brian, the still-hunter” a comic story?? To say the truth, it has some moments overlaid with comical elements. You can sense it with the description the author does of the main protagonist, Brian, that ends up with: “In short, a perfect reprobate”. Likewise, when the soldier Layton talks about Brian, you can feel the comic too: “He loved his pipe and his pot too well”. The end is comic too, albeit we should not be happy with the death of the dog, the way it perishes is comic. Yet, it is even more comic some of the sentences uttered by Brian, the protagonist, “I need not mention the manner in which I transgressed God´s holy laws”. Indeed, this story is utterly comic.

All in all, this is what I have felt as far as comic is concerned after reading the texts penned by Susanna Moodie.

WARNING: This is a piece of writing I have done for my University degree. The subject: Canadian Literature in English.

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  1. I want to confess something: I was penalized in this text because I start paragraph one with: “Let´s start with “A visit to Grosse Isle” and paragraph four with “Is “Brian, the still-hunter” a comic story??” According to the teacher, These sentences were too informal for a formal text. This is an exaggeration in my opinion but I do not fail the work overall

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