The loss of individuality through literature is every bit much a concern today as it was old ages ago for the First Nations colonists in Canada. Stories serve as prophylactic narratives or informational narrations of a clip and topographic point. Narratives, produced orally and written allow readers to understand the impressions of an writer and that which has affected them the most. Basil Johnston ‘s “ One Coevals From Extinction ” represents First Nation loss of ability to “ believe Indian or experience Indian ” due to their linguistic communication that has been lost. Today, Margaret Atwood ‘s concerns are similar in her verse form “ Death by Landscape ” stand foring the physical decease of the writer through the Canadian landscape. For both writers, single individuality has been lost through the Canadian experience where either First Nations individuality has been removed due to unwritten traditions or individuality has been lost through the publication of a work.
As First Nations people progressively lose their ability to “ believe Indian or experience Indian ” it is the unwritten traditions of literature that are able to reconstruct First Nations sense of “ Indian-ness ” In his narrative, “ One Coevals From Extinction ” , Basil Johnston argues that the alteration from unwritten literature to written literature has removed First Nations sense of individuality, as it no longer concentrate ‘ on an person ‘s memory to orally state a narrative of traditions, but instead words that have been written on paper, transcribed from unwritten narratives of First Nations people. The switch off from unwritten literature to written literature is a move off from connexion and interaction, to a sense of isolation for First Nations people.
These unwritten tradition of literature, practiced through storytelling have been lost due to the written traditions that our modern society has focused on. Written literature suggests a sense of certification ; something that can non be changed or alliterated in the sense that the written words can non be changed when the narrative is being told, where unwritten traditions allow for the narrator to state the narrative with alterations, as orally produced literature has room for alterations. When people read literature, they are reading what is in forepart of them on the page, unable to alter the narrative. Oral literature allows for personal reading, as the narrator relies on memory to reiterate the narrative, they are besides bring forthing a colored version of the narrative, where the parts that influence and affected them the most are the 1s that they are puting their focal point on when they are reciting the narrative. The focal point is placed non simply on the content of the narrative in unwritten traditions, every bit much as the manner the narrative is told. A narrative told orally is intended to be told for an audience, differing from written literature which is normally read entirely. Just as Johnston uses memory to implement the importance of unwritten storytelling, Atwood ‘s verse form “ Death by Landscape ” plays on the thought of memory in order to integrate the exposure she uses in her verse form. Photographs tend to capture personal individuality when taken of a topic, nevertheless they can besides resemble the loss of individuality of the topic ; as Atwood writes of the loss of the talker ‘s original individuality in her verse form. Atwood writes, “ merely under the surface. ” ( line 18 ) This resembles a actual drowning in her new individuality. This besides resembles the manner that we interpret verse forms, as the writer is inquiring us to look beneath the surface of what is being said in poesy as we tend to look at the actual significance of the verse form. Atwood wants the reader to look deeper, merely as a poet or writer is hidden behind their words. Within every exposure is something you ca n’t see. The exposure was n’t taken of the subject/speaker under the surface ; it was of the lake and it ‘s milieus. The talker is stating that sometimes a lensman does n’t see what it ‘s camera does, and that there is ever something more within it.
The job with First Nations literature is that much of it is n’t written down, go forthing behind a limited trail to follow these narratives. Johnston writes, “ words and symbols were reduced to compose symbols and have been stripped of their enigma and thaumaturgy ” . The jobs lies with the procedure from ideas to paper, acquiring this literature written down is a challenge as a narrative intended to be told in an audience, written down, changes the narrative itself, losing much of the traditions and linguistic communication of First Nations people in the procedure. Atwood uses the exposure to depict her photographic memories of Canada and her ain memories of the topographic point. As the verse form is split into two portion, the first portion describes a exposure and the 2nd portion which is separated by brackets resembles the world she encountered. This is the thought of visual aspect versus world. The exposure obscures instead than uncover the talkers cryptic individuality and history.
The loss of individuality at the personal degree expands to that of a community/nation degree, as their single individuality is based upon that which they have learned as a community. Photographs represent the truths a spectator chooses to contrive. They are no longer inactive recording equipments of a fixed history in which nil can alter or turn older.
The thought that written literature has about eliminated unwritten literature is what Johnston argues as something that can non be changed. He writes, “ they will hold lost their individuality which no sum of reading can of all time reconstruct. ” When First Nations people lose their individuality, Johnston argues, they will ne’er be able to derive it back through literature, as much of it will hold been forgotten. The disregarded literature and linguistic communication of First Nations people as Johnston suggests, relates to Atwood ‘s supplication for the reader to look beneath the surface of her poesy in order that they may understand what is traveling on in her work. This besides relates to literature on the larger graduated table, where readers tend to see what is on the surface, but non beneath it. A feminist herself, Atwood ‘s verse form contains feminist undertones where she uses the analogy of submerging in the H2O ( lake ) to resemble drowning in life ; that which happens to adult females under the influence of work forces. In lines 17-20, the talker refers to being hidden underneath the H2O, merely underneath the surface. Atwood writes, “ I am in the lake, in the centre/ of the image, merely under the surface./ It is hard to state where/ exactly, or to state how big or how little I am. ” ( 17-20 ) Atwood is doing mention to domestic ideals, where the universe has come to see the adult male, non the adult female behind the adult male. At the clip the verse form was published ; in 1966 ; societal categories and thoughts were being redefined ; as Atwood shows the laterality of work forces ad the suppression of adult females. The domestic landscape represents the disaffection and marginalized domestic sphere in society. The talker feels suppresses ; pushed beneath the surface, non truly seen, but ever at that place. Never noticed, yet ever nowadays is the manner Atwood describes adult female ‘s function in a conspicuously male society. The talker is hidden beneath the surface of the lake, merely as the poet is concealed behind her words. This represents the decease of the writer as one time a poet writes a piece, they are no long a large portion of it.
The thought that “ lone linguistic communication and literature can reconstruct Indian-ness ” , implies that for a First Nations individual, basically their individuality is based on linguistic communication and literature. Without linguistic communication and the literature of First Nations, they are unable to identity themselves as a First Nations individual. This loss of linguistic communication detracts from an persons sense of acknowledging themselves as a First Nations people. First Nations individuality is formed in portion by their familial traditions. Without pattern of these traditions, First Nations people are losing their linguistic communication and individuality.
The thought that First Nations people are losing their ability to “ believe Indian or experience Indian ” , is a consequence of a deficiency of unwritten literature and an increased sum of written literature. The unwritten traditions of First Nations people are in portion embedded into their civilization, nevertheless, as we continue to travel frontward in a society that focal point ‘ on engineering and the permanency of that which has been written, unwritten traditions have been left behind and about forgotten. Embedded in the construct of wilderness as described in Canadian literature and through the ocular representation in exposure picturing Canada, landscape represents the unknown as something that is feared. Atwood makes mention to decease in order to research the animalism of landscape and wilderness through linguistic communication. Atwood uses landscape as a background for decease ; both literally ; picturing the mental and emotional decease as erasure of First Nations people. The important voice Atwood uses is that of the landscape as a metaphor for the horrifying adventures that can take to decease in the wilderness.
Through Basil Johnston ‘s “ One Coevals From Extinction ” and Margaret Atwood ‘s “ Death by Landscape ” we can see the narratives of each as representative of a clip and topographic point in Canada making the loss of individuality of the writer. The loss of “ Indian-ness ” that Basil Johnston describes has resulted from the loss of unwritten tradition and the move toward written literature. The rubric “ Death by Landscape ” that Margaret Atwood writes about is non simply doing mention to decease, but is a drama on the thought of endurance, lasting the Canadian wilderness. The decease of the writer through the publication of her work, where single individuality has been lost is what Atwood describes to her readers as individuality that has been removed. For both writers, single individuality has been lost through the Canadian experience where either First Nations individuality has been removed due to unwritten traditions or individuality has been lost through the publication of a work.