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Empire of the North : nature and the hero in narratives of English exploration of the Arctic

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Empire of the North : nature and the hero in narratives of English exploration of the Arctic

Price, Terry (2008) Empire of the North : nature and the hero in narratives of English exploration of the Arctic. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

England's search for the Northwest Passage marks an important dividing line in the development of the English narrative of exploration, for during the centuries in which England was deeply preoccupied with finding a passage to the riches of Asia the form came into its own as part of a significant literary genre. During this period of exploration, spanning from the 16 th to the 19 th century, major innovations came about thanks to such men as Richard Hakluyt, John Hawkesworth, George Back, David Thompson and Samuel Hearne, whose literary interventions helped elevate the explorer narrative to the rank it occupies today within Canada's collective imagination, and establishing its role within the nation's literature as a whole. These men's narratives, as well as those of others who explored the New World, stand as important reflections of their respective eras and are imbued with elements central to the literary construction of the New World. Nature, wilderness and landscape are at the heart of this process and of early literary representations of North American exploration literature. These three elements became vital factors both in the establishment of an early tradition linked to Britain in the Old World and to Canadian literature as we know it today. Exploration narratives act as literary vehicles distorted for the means of propaganda; as constructions of British heroes confronting the age-old struggle to survive and inscribing them into history; and as representations both of man's journey into the self and a European attempt to gain access to the worlds of the Other as understood by Frantz Fanon.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Price, Terry
Pagination:vi, 90 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):O'Leary, Daniel
ID Code:975671
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:12
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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