Margaret Laurence (1)

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Margaret Laurence: To Set Our House in Order from A Bird in the House (1970)Oral Presentation by Lina Herber, lvaro Garrote and Cornelia SchadLiteratura Canadiense en Lengua Inglesa Profesora Ana Maria Fraile Marcos 29.10.2008

Outline1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Biography of the author Margaret Laurence Main features of a Short Story Analysis of To Set Our House in Order Conclusion Bibliography

MARGARET LAURENCE FIRST LADY OF CANADIAN LITERATURE

BIOGRAPHY(July 18, 1926-January 5, 1987)

Grown up in Neepawa Her parents died when she was a child Bachelor of arts degree at United College 1947, married Jack Laurence 1949-1957, she left Canada and lived in England, Somalia and Ghana. In 1952 and 1954 had her children. 1957, moved to Vancouver. 1962, she moved with her children to Penn (England) 1969, got divorced 1974,went back to Canada-Lakefield, Ontariopage 2 of 15

1. Biography of the author Margaret Laurence

WORKSTHE MANAWAKA CYCLE 1964- The Stone Angel Hagar Shipley 1966-A Jest of God Rachel Cameron 1969- The Fire-Dwellers - Stacey MacAindra 1970- A Bird in the House Vanessa MacLeod 1974- The Diviners Morag Gunn

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hamiltonst.jpg

COMMON FEATURES: Set in Manawaka (Neepawa) Feminism - Main characters are women- four different generations. God s presence1. Biography of the author Margaret Laurence page 3 of 15

SHORT STORY The story has not many places of action

The action has already begun when the story starts

Normally the ending is not closed

All types of narrators2. Main features of a Short Story page 4 of 15

3. Analysis of To Set Our House in Ordera) Relation to other stories in the collection A Bird in the House b) Summary c) Characterization of the main characters d) Typical and special aspects of a short story in To Set Our House in Order e) Relation to the title f) Autobiographical aspects

3. Analysis of To Set Our House in Order

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A BIRD IN THE HOUSE 1970 Collection of interrelated short storieshttp://www.fantasticfiction.co.u k/images/c2/c12611.jpg

Autobiographic Main character and narrator - Vanessa MacLeod The story opens on Remembrance Day To set our house in order

a) Relation to other stories in the collection A Bird in the House

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VanessaThe narrator of the story 10 years old Has no close relationship to her grandmother Likes her aunt Edna (p. 429) Is unable to comprehend certain things according to her young age (p.431) Is about to discover how reality looks like in her family Does not know if she feels happy or sad about her new brother (p.432) Questions the rules and orders of her grandmother (p. 435) c) Characterization of the main characters page 7 of 15

Mom Beth Has already lost a child before Can`t assert herself towards grandmother MacLeod is in an inferior position to her

Dad Ewen

Doctor in Manawaka Highly influenced by his mother He feels guilty that his brother has died bad conscience He is afraid of disappointing his mother He still wants to treat her like a ladypage 8 of 15

c) Characterization of the main characters

Grandmother MacLeod She thinks of herself as a lady (p.432) Likes and lives the British lifestyle Wealth and prestige matter to her the most Vanessa claims that grandmother MacLeod does not believe in the existence of fear (p.426) She has a lack of sense of reality Is not aware of the change that has taken place in the last couple of years sticks to the old times Contradictory character (p. 428) Her rules and orders on Vanessa are based on the Bible (p. 427)page 9 of 15

c) Characterization of the main characters

Aunt Edna Makes fun of the Royal Highness (p.429) Reveals certain parts of the truth to Vanessa Helps Vanessa to bare her anxieties Down-to-earth Friendly character - the reader sympathizes with her

c) Characterization of the main characters

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Typical and special aspects of a short story in To Set Our House in Order Single main character: Vanessa Predominant element: Vanessa s feelings during the days when her little brother is born Narrator: Vanessa (first person) Initial incident: the moment when her mother has to be brought to the hospital Primary action takes place in Grandmother MacLeod s house (p. 426 / 427) Time period: 2 nights and 2 daysd) Typcial and special aspects of a short story in To Set Our House in Order page 11

Relation to the title Quotation from the Bible P. 428 Grandmother: he wants each one of us to set our house in order P. 429: (she had) never lived in a messy house P. 435 Vanessa: I felt that whatever God might love in this world, it was certainly not order

e) Relation to the title

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Autobiographical aspects The Vanessa MacLeod stories of the collection A Bird in the House are known for the highly autobiographical content Removal to grandparent s house Aunt Edna is similar to Laurence s aunt who encouraged and guided her in writingThe Margaret Laurence House (house of her grandfather John Simpson)

f) Autobiographical aspects

http://www.margaretlaurence. net/about.html

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4. Conclusion Is there a morale of the short story? What is Laurence s purpose in writing the Vanessa MacLeod s stories? Can you identify with Vanessa? Do you think religion plays an important role in the short story? Do you think Laurence wants to criticize the church? How do the accidents influence Vanessa s thoughts?4. Conclusion page 14 of 15

5. Bibliography To Set Our House in Order from A Bird in the House (1970) Short Story analysis: http://www.newi.ac.uk/englishresources/workunits/ks3/genr e/shortstory.html (22.10.08 19:51) http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm= TCE&Params=A1ARTA0004552 http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/laurence.ht ml http://www.bookrags.com/biography/margaret-laurence/ http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/margaret-laurence/birdin-house.htm

5. Bibliography

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Thank you for paying attention!