Author

Mallory Hogan

Date of Award

2013

First Advisor

Rebecca Fiske

Second Advisor

James Hutchinson

Third Advisor

Joan DelPlato

Abstract

This thesis is an exploration of the status of Québecois identity through the lens of Canadian literature. Discussed are works by three Canadian writers: Margaret Atwood, Michel Tremblay, and Mordecai Richler. The central focus is the conjunction between Québecois nationalism and Canadian nationalism, and the ways in which the linguistic division of French and English has perpetuated itself in Canadian identity from the colonial era into the modern day. What becomes apparent after examining the divergent viewpoints of these three writers is that, though they hold fundamentally different perspectives on the nature of Québecois identity, their works can be considered paradigmatic of the theme of internal exile that defines Canadian national identity. Through critically examining the evolution of Québecois identity in the latter half of the twentieth century, it is clear that the phenomenon of separatism and provincial nationalism in Québec poses a significant problem to the stabilization of Canadian identity and creates a quandary for Canada as it enters into the twenty-first century. In seeking to reconcile the diametrically opposed French and English sectors of Canadian society, an argument for the preservation of a unified Canada can be made as opposed to the provincial separation of Québec.

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