Separation from the world, postcolonial aspects of Mennonite/s writing in Western Canada
Kroeker, Amy D.
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Many Mennonites who immigrated to Western Canada brought with them a history of religious, geographic, cultural, and linguistic separation from those outside the Mennonite community. This desire to remain "separate from the world" translated into a struggle over language as most of the Mennonites in Western Canada exchanged the German language of their heritage for the English language of the majority in their new home. An examination of Rudy Wiebe's novel 'The Blue Mountains of China,' Armin Wiebe's novel 'The Salvation of Yasch Siemens', Di Brandt's poetry collections 'questions i asked my mother, Agnes in the sky,' and 'mother, not mother', and Patrick Friesen's poetry collections 'the lands i am, The Shunning, Unearthly Horses,' and 'st. mary at main' reveals how cultural and linguistic pressures from outside the community coupled with a desire to express aspects of the Mennonites' cultural heritage has led to and continues to lead to the creation of a new "hybrid" language that uses elements of Standard English, the language of the outside majority, to express the different experiences and identities of many Mennonites and to resist these often oppressive external forces. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)