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The Portrayal of Ukrainians in the Works of Morley Callaghan, W.O. Mitchell, Margaret Laurence, and Sinclair Ross

Description: CIUS Seminar Audio Part 1 and 2.

On January 29, a seminar was presented by Anna Balan of Toronto entitled, "The Portrayal of Ukrainians in the Works of Morley Callaghan, W.O. Mitchell, Margaret Laurence, and Sinclair Ross." The speaker focussed on four Ukrainian characters in four novels by prominent Anglo- Canadian writers. All of these characters are Canadian-born, well educated professionals, and not pioneers. They are: Ann Prychodko in Morley Callaghan's They Shalt Inherit the Earth Peter Svarich in W.O. Mitchell's Who has Seen the Wind, Nick Kazlik in Margaret Laurence's A Jest of God and Nick Miller in Sinclair Ross' Sawbones Memorial.

The speaker summarized the plots of the four novels, showed the role each of these characters played in the novel, and discussed how their ethnicity was depicted. She concluded that the Ukrainians were credibly. and effectively portrayed in all four novels. The more recently a novel had been written, the more central was the role played by the Ukrainian character, and the more the writer reflected changing attitudes of the Anglo-Canadian majority towards Ukrainians —from acceptance, through envy, to identification. Unfortunately, all of the Ukrainian characters are portrayed only as individuals within an Anglo-Canadian community. Although all four authors should be commended for introducing representatives of the ethnic component in Canadian society into their writing, the ethnic diversity of the Canadian reality has not yet truly been explored or developed by Anglo- Canadian writers. This must be done if Canadian literature is to be both relevant to all Canadians and present a truer picture of Canadian society.

Found in CIUS Newsletter Vol 3 Issue 2 (Spring 1979)
Author: CIUS
Publisher: CIUS
Date: January 29, 1979
Contributor: Anna Balan
Language: English, Ukrainian
Original Format: Magnetic tape, audio cassette

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CIUS, “The Portrayal of Ukrainians in the Works of Morley Callaghan, W.O. Mitchell, Margaret Laurence, and Sinclair Ross,” CIUS-Archives, accessed June 20, 2024, https://cius-archives.ca/items/show/1983.
Unless otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license .