By Elizabeth Galway
As Canada got here to phrases with its function as an self sufficient country following Confederation in 1867, there has been a choice for a literary voice to precise the desires and needs of a brand new kingdom. Children’s literature was once one of many skill during which this new voice stumbled on expression. obvious as a device for either unique and instructing young children, this fabric is usually brazenly propagandistic and nationalistic, and addresses a few of the key political, monetary, and social matters of Canada because it struggled to take care of nationwide team spirit in this time. From Nursery Rhymes to Nationhood reviews a wide number of children’s literature written in English among 1867 and 1911, revealing a different curiosity in questions of nationwide harmony and id between children’s writers of the day and exploring the impression of yankee and British authors at the shaping of Canadian identification. The visions of Canada expressed during this fabric are usually in pageant with each other, yet jointly they light up the country’s makes an attempt to outline itself and its relation to the realm outdoors its borders.
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Extra info for From Nursery Rhymes to Nationhood: Children's Literature and the Construction of Canadian Identity (Children's Literature and Culture)
He tells Harry that war “is not between men, but between Governments. British and American ofﬁcers will be personally good friends the day after a hard ﬁght, and will be ready to ﬁght again the next day, if their Country requires it of them” (Walker 1845: 74). This work, with its emphasis on the need for patriotism and national pride, is an early example of American children’s literature that addresses the issue of Canadian–American relations, as it attempts to justify the American invasion of Canada during the War of 1812.
For instance, as Ted leaves his house to join his friends in setting off ﬁrecrackers in celebration, his father muses on more appropriate ways to honour the English Queen: His father nodded indulgently across his littered desk. “Go on,” he said, “and don’t blow yourself to pieces. But I wish people would honor the day more nobly. One might do better things in memory of the great Queen-Empress than setting off rockets. ” (Pickthall 1907b: 1) The symbolic Victoria Day holiday is central to this story’s message of “spiritual victory,” giving it a uniquely Canadian air and demonstrating that there was an interest in Canadian content among publishers of juvenile literature in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century.
In the backwoods” betrays a belief in the improving nature of Canada. Through their exposure to the new country the settlers ultimately evolve into wiser and braver beings. In these evolutionary terms, however, the genteel Macdonalds prove themselves to be better ﬁt for survival in Canada than their servant girl. The fact that Harry makes much of Betsy’s status as a “Cockney,” demonstrates that he and his family are still keenly aware of, and keen to maintain, the social divisions and practices familiar in England at the time.
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