A Missed Opportunity How Using Concordance Might Have Enhanced a Study of Settler Womens Diaries By Lucinda M. Rasmussen The Research: To explore the roles played by a number of British women who immigrated to western Canada during the early part of the twentieth century where they helped to establish the Britannia colony located on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Also referred to as Barr colonists, these women were part of a large group of Britons belonging to an emigration scheme lead by the Reverends Isaac Barr and George Exton Lloyd, in which the intention was to establish an all-British settlement on the prairies. Various autobiographical narratives written by some of the female colonists serve as primary source materials and provide insight into ways that
women functioned as imperialist subjects to contribute to the development of the Britannia colony and to the creation of the historical narrative that has come to be known about it. The Challenge: These hard-working women were portrayed as cheerful and compliant. It was a picture painted by men and reinforced by the reluctance of most women to disagree even in their diaries, which make curiously flat reading. There is a lack of emotion demonstrated and the cheery acceptance of their lot does not ring true. (Bowen 175)
Speculative Outcomes: An Observation... The Britons felt that western Canada needed women of some culturewho will keep up the tone of the men with whom they mix by music and booklove when the days work is over (Joyce, cited in Bush 159). Literary Advice: Kent tells her fianc to
read a bookThe Sky Pilot by Ralph Connor which she describes with enthusiasm: its great (July 17, 1909). Concordance: THE SKY PILOT: A TALE OF THE FOOTHILLS Word list: Man (n=101) Woman (n=4)
Mother (n=18) Father (n=24) Wife (n=12) Husband (n=12)
West/west (n=9) Civilization (n=5) Britain (n=2) English (n=5)
Home (n=47) Home: (Clusters) The rolling prairie of the Foothill country was her home. She loved it and all things that moved upon it with passionate love There crowded in upon me thoughts of his home; his mother, whose letters he used to show me full of anxious love
Her home became the centre of a new type of social life. With exquisite tact, and much was needed for this kind of work, she drew the bachelors from their lonely shacks and from their wild carousals, and gave them a taste of the joys of a pure home-life, the first they had had since leaving the old homes years ago. Mother: (Collocates 2R 2L) Home
Touch Bible Song White
Letters I brought to him the last letter from his mother. He held the envelope before his eyes, then handed it to me, whispering: "Read." I opened the letter and looked at the words, "My darling Davie." Civilization: A dozen years' stay in Montana had proved with sufficient clearness to them that a church was a luxury of civilization the West might well do without.
It was the advance wave of the great ocean of civilization which many of them had been glad to leave behind--some could have wished forever. Still," he added, after a pause, "it IS a shame, as you say. She ought to know something of the refinements of civilization, to which, after all, she belongs, and from which none of us can hope to escape. The approach of the church he seemed to resent as a personal injury. It represented to him that civilization from which he had fled fifteen years ago with his wife and baby girl, and when five years later he laid his wife in the lonely grave that could be seen on the
shaded knoll just fronting his cabin door, the last link to his past was broken. Conclusion: Any non-traditional study should only be undertaken after an exhaustive traditional study (Holmes, Robertson, and Paez). A cursory examination of The Sky Pilot indicates that more research is warranted. Elsie Kents enthusiasm for the textand the fact that she recommended this text to fellow colonistsis of interest, given that key themes and phrases associated with imperial discourse present themselves throughout the text. After reading the Sky Pilot, Concordance could be revisited to do further analysis. Additionally, if Kents diaries were transcribed and analyzed in Concordance, interesting crosscomparisons could occur.
References: Bush, Julia. Edwardian Ladies and Imperial Power: Women, Power, and Politics. London; New York: Leicester University Press, 2000. Bowen, Lynne. Muddling Through: The Remarkable Story of the Barr Colonists. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1992. Connors, Ralph. The Sky Pilot: A Tale of the Foothills (1902). Release Date: May 30, 2006 [EBook #3248] Project Gutenberg. Produced by Donald Lainson, May 30, 2006. Holmes, David, Michael Robertson, and Roxanna Paez. Stephen Crane and the New York Tribune: A Case Study in Traditional and Non-Traditional Authorship Attribution. Computers and the Humanities (2001): 315-331. Images All images from Authors private archive Copyright protected. Do not reproduce images without the authors permission.
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