Canadians and Americans: Myths and Literary Traditions

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Much can be learned from a nation's literature. Examining three hundred years of cultural traditions, Katherine L. Morrison, a former American, now a Canadian, takes the reader through the historical, political, and sociological milieu of Canada and the United States to dispel misconceptions that they share near-identical social attitudes and historical experiences.

To most Americans and much of the rest of the world, America and Canada differ little except in terms of climate. ...

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Overview

Much can be learned from a nation's literature. Examining three hundred years of cultural traditions, Katherine L. Morrison, a former American, now a Canadian, takes the reader through the historical, political, and sociological milieu of Canada and the United States to dispel misconceptions that they share near-identical social attitudes and historical experiences.

To most Americans and much of the rest of the world, America and Canada differ little except in terms of climate. It is true that they share a common British heritage and immigration patterns, but there are subtle cultural differences between the two countries. These may appear insignificant to Americans, but they are not insignificant to Canadians. Comparing mythologies each of the countries share about the other, the author examines national views of their histories, from the common origin of both nations in the American Revolution, through the two world wars. She also examines the role of nature and images of place and home in Canadian and American literary writing, noting the disparate historical development of the two national literatures. Using specific works by recognized authors of their time, Morrison considers the role of religion and the church, violence and the law, and humor and satire, in the literature of both countries. The book also explores the role of women, race, and class in the literature of both countries. It concludes with a discussion of the tenacity of national myths, and draws some tentative conclusions.

Now published in paperback in the United States, Morrison's broad-based approach to a largely unexplored subject will invite future study as well as improve understanding between Canada and the United States. Canadians and Americans will be of interest to cultural historians, American studies specialists, political scientists, and sociologists.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412804837
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/9/2005
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine L. Morrison has taught at the University of Toronto and published in American and Canadian academic journals.

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Table of Contents

1 The launching of national myths 1
2 A sense of the past 27
3 Nature 67
4 A sense of place 103
5 Religion and the church 139
6 Gender, ethnicity, and class 177
7 Violence 215
8 Humor 253
9 The tenacity of national myths 289
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