Shields, , Presenting the speculation about the killing which circulates in local gossip, Shields leaves readers uncertain whether the murder was the culmination of a perpetual cycle of abuse or an aberration.
A Reassessment of the Fiction of Carol Shields rejected. However, there is a global context for her exploration of these issues which has also been overlooked. Shields, , The perception offered here is a familiar one: Canada as peaceable neighbour to the belligerent US, full of amiable citizens and presided over by brave Mounties and a beneficent monarch.
Such stereotypes are not endorsed by this novel, however; in fact, they are subtly subverted. The country is, moreover, the site of the early deaths of both her mother and her adopted aunt. These pieces gave way. In particular, violent metaphoric images of female silencing have often featured in her fiction.
Other incidents of female struggle in the non-West are referred to throughout Unless: there is an allusion to the public flogging of a Nigerian woman for adultery, and a reference to the Mozambique woman who gave birth in a tree during a flood Shields, , However, this view does involve extracting Unless from several significant contexts. In her work, darkness, fear and brutality coexist with the comedic and the celebratory, and none of these elements should be overlooked in any serious, comprehensive analysis. Endnotes 1. He stabbed her through the heart; he cut off her head and her arms and her legs.
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The images of bodily mutilation here anticipate those of Swann. See, for example, Hollenberg, A Reassessment of the Fiction of Carol Shields 8.
Works cited Anderson, Marjorie. Prairie Fire Atwood, Margaret. In Negotiating with the Dead. London: Virago Press, , In Carol Shields. Collected Stories. London: Harper Perennial, , v-ix. Cox, Ailsa. Alice Munro. Devon: Northcote House, Dasgupta, Rana. Ellen, Barbara. The Observer Magazine 28 April Henighan, Stephen. Hill, Tobias. The Observer Sunday 13 February Hollenberg, Donna Krolik. Contemporary Literature In Edward Eden and Dee Goertz eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, , Lee, Hermione.
Morrison, Blake. Roy, Wendy. Shields, Carol. London: Fourth Estate, Mary Swann. The Republic of Love. The Stone Diaries. London: Harper Perennial, Werlock, Abby.
London: Continuum, The main aim of the paper is to examine to what extent the image of the RCMP in popular culture has influenced the belief that Canada is a safe place created in large measure by the Mounties. Today the core values of the RCMP are integrity, honesty, professionalism, compassion, respect, and accountability. The Mounted Policeman is the awe-inspiring image still treasured in Canada, the physical symbol of political and moral authority.
Among the Mounties there were men like Sam Steele or James Walsh, but, all in all, what gave them their authority was the symbolic impact of the idea of the Force. And from that stems the strength of the legend of the Mounted Police and its widespread influential power. Nowadays, when on normal duties, the RCMP, the largest police force of Canada, uses standard police methods, equipment and uniforms.
What is more, horses are no longer used operationally by any Mounted Police unit. Yet, both Canadians and people from other countries visiting Canada are sure that whenever they encounter an officer of the RCMP he will be sitting on a horse, wearing his red serge. Such is the power of the myth of the Mountie Macleod, p.
The reader should bear in mind, however, that this perception may vary from country to country due to the nature of the relationship the respective country has with Canada. By means of hundreds of personal accounts, biased stories and fictional portrayals the popular myth of the Mounties developed and became so powerful that it remained almost unchanged until today. It was even strengthened recently as a result of various current events peacekeeping missions the Mounties took part in or the Rochfort Bridge Massacre in March, It had the structure of the Irish Constabulary, but the tactics and equipment were copied from the U.
Much of the legend of the Mounted Police is, to some extent, historically inaccurate, the creation of the NWMP to begin with, which is one of the most romanticised events in Canadian popular history.
The fact is that Canada acquired this unique police force almost by accident, as the Mounted Police was intended to meet the needs of the North West Territories for a decade or two and then disappear. The Whiskey Traders from the south crossed the Medicine Line to make huge profits selling alcohol to the First Nations at grossly inflated prices. It was also the presence of American fur traders and their not-so-peaceful encounters with the First Nations that forced the Canadian government to consider the creation of a national police force to protect Canadian sovereignty.
Sir John A. The North West Mounted Police was successful from the first years of its existence; it not only helped police the Northwest Territories, but also managed to establish friendships with the First Nations, and this accomplishment constitutes part of their legend. Peaceful conquering of the North-West also meant bringing these lands under the rule of the British Empire.
But here was the conscious, deft and masterful creation of the human environment, the transforming of a wilderness, often harsh, often sparse, into a cultivated landscape, a human abode, waterways to carry commerce, roads to be followed along hillside and over rivers without jar or stay. To create a Human Habitat, to make the land habitable, and responsive to human needs, that might be articulate and sensitive, was to work a gigantic masterpiece, to draft a very Shield of Achilles. Morton, , And it was to this place that the Mounties were sent to perform the task equating to the struggles worthy of the mythic hero, Achilles.
And by succeeding, they earned their place in history and legend of the Canadian west. Those scenes included descriptions of friendly encounters with the First Nations people, the life of the First Nations under the guidance and protection of the members of the NWMP, and confrontations of an unarmed officer with a band of armed and angry criminals. They preferred the former. Horses were sacrificed for the arrest, but the M.
The complete lack of any analogous organization in the Western United States during the frontier period, in conjunction with the story of the Mounted Police, had a powerful influence on the way Canadians felt themselves to be distinct from, and morally superior to, the United States. Authors, by the very act of writing those accounts, perpetuated the myth of the Mounties.
Among such works, there are some official histories of the Force written by former Mounties, for example the one written by S. Charles Douthwaite or The Royal Canadian Mounted Police: A Century of History by Nora and William Kelly, which tend to omit those incidents from the history which might be seen as embarrassing to the force and create a negative image. The mythologised history of the RCMP, however, also has its darker elements; the parts which consist of police violence.
Despite the fact that acts of police violence always receive public attention because the members of the force, who swear to protect the society, abuse some of its members , the ones committed by the Mounties did not enter the consciousness of the wider public. The years after World War 1 were times of a rise of militancy of the working class in Canada. The first wave of labour unrest in was seen as the outbreak of Bolshevism.
The most serious strike of the time took place in Winnipeg and was soon to be known as Winnipeg General Strike. Francis notes: For the strikers it was about their right for collective bargaining. Francis, , 44 As the city police themselves joined the strikers, the army and the Royal North Western Mounted Police were sent to break up the strike. After a major riot, in which officers fired into the crowd of strikers, killing several people and causing the injuries of thirty others, order was restored.
Because the Mounted Police needed a sense of mission when the frontier period was over, the Bolshevik threat replaced the threats of the past. In order to exist and survive, the Mounties needed an enemy to fight with.