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Volume 02, Number 2 (1977)

The Alien Role: Farley Mowat's Northern Pastorals

  • T. D. MacLulich
May 22, 2008


Farley Mowat's People of the Deer and Never Cry Wolf, both part of a vigorous Canadian tradition of nature writing and exploration literature, express in a vivid and forceful way preoccupations central to the Canadian imagination. Rather than focussing on his own personal adventures, Mowat concentrates on understanding the land, people, and animals. He has evolved towards a deliberately literary presentation of his subject, seeking not to impose his own preconceived values on the new modes of existence he encounters. In Mowat's hands, the North becomes a Canadian version of the pastoral dream -- an alternative model of society commenting on the urban world -- allowing a deeper understanding of this world and its shortcomings.