In this dissertation, I analyze the depiction of the mother figure in a selection of Québécois texts spanning from 1916 ( Maria Chapdelaine by Louis Hémon) to 2008 (Le Ciel de Bay City by Catherine Mavrikakis). During the course of the 20 th through the start of the 21st centuries, Québécois authors have consistently given importance to mothers in their works, although the mothers often appear to play a minor role. Througout the nearly century-long span of the literature in this study, I observe how the mother evolves from a martyred "guardian of the hearth" who upholds religious and domestic duties to various depictions of maternal (and frequently anti-maternal) women. These myriad "maternités et identités" reflect what is happening within Quebecc either at the time each text was written or when the story takes place. I argue that the literary mother represents not only the domestic sphere in which she plays a central role but also social and political changes within Quebecc. For example, cruel mothers are used as a subversive tool to critique both traditional gender roles and governmental and religious oppression during the grande noirceur period. Québécois authors such as Marie-Célie Agnant, Lori Saint-Martin, Ying Chen and Mavrikakis present texts from multicultural perspectives that reveal discrimination and injustices on a global scale. In every text studied here, the authors privilege mother-child relationships significantly more than those between the mother and her spouse. These mother-child relationships reveal the important influence mothers have upon their offspring and the desire children have to cultivate close relationships with their mothers, regardless of their mothers' degree of affection. The authors included here rarely present the mother's point of view (the protagonists being most frequently the children), and oftentimes she plays what appears to be a minor role in a given text. This lack of centrality, however, belies her compelling significance.
|Advisor:||Spear, Thomas C.|
|Commitee:||Blanchard, Maxime, Blum, Antoinette|
|School:||City University of New York|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||French Canadian literature, French Canadian Culture|
|Keywords:||Family, Gender, Literature, Motherhood, Quebec, Quebec history|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be