The child in the contemporary Canadian novel
Seed, Deborah Myra
This thesis is a comparative study of contemporary Canadian novels written during the period 1945-70 which deal with youths and children. Its principal aim is to examine characteristics of our recent child-centered literature. A total of twenty-two novels are taken into consideration. The first chapter serves to define the terms of reference to outline an approach based on the study of certain variables (class, religion, economic level) as applied to the three major groups in Canadian society: immigrants or New Canadians; French Canadians; and English Canadians. The Introduction elaborates the secondary aims of the thesis; to examine the developmental novel as a genre in Canadian literature, and to gain insights into our social environment. In the second, third, and fourth chapters, the most representative novels from each of the groups are analysed in depth, while the fifth section attempts to enlarge upon the discoveries contained in the preceding chapters. The conclusion primarily aims to explain the appeal of childhood to the novelists of immigrant and French-Canadian descent compared to those of English Canada, as well as to discuss the image of the child in the contemporary novel.