The Indian in the Canadian novel in English in the period 1860-1918
The object of a reading project which I began in 1972 was to discover to what extent the Canadian novelist has used the Indian as subject material. When the amount of the material to be covered became clear, I chose to limit the time period for the purpose of this study. The novels used in the study are therfore all from the period 1860 to 1918, since it was during this period in the history of North America that the Europeans created the confederacy they called Canada, and consolidated their hold on the land. It was a time when the "Imperial" faith flourished in Canada The Canadians, as these Europeans could now be called, held the land with fortified garrisons which in time were linked by a railway that ran from sea to sea. While they held these garrisons, however, the Canadians were still for the most part surrounded by the virgin land and its inhabitants. The novels of the period often reflected the cultural conflict which occurred because of this historic situation... It can be said that the majority of the novels that use the Indian as subject matter deal with a conflict of some aspect of the natural wilderness with the forces of civilization. The outcome of the battle is presented in the novel as pre-destined, and the reader's interest relies upon the affirmation of his or her belief in Canada...