Poetry Review The Journals of Susanna Moodie

One of the finest collections of poetry known is The Journals of Susanna Moodie, reiterating several poems contoured to environmental factors. Most of the poems are interconnected and weaves a cumulative effect on the reader. Of course, the cohesiveness comes from one persona, which is Susanna Moodie. Significantly, this book utters a woman’s growth and development into another land where light, darkness, trees, and fire form an important story in Moodie’s life. For instance is Moodie’s transformation in a foreign land, translated by light protruding into darkness.

Sensibility on Moodie’s part will enhance the captivity of making such values on the environmental influences during and after her migration (Bilan, 2007). In this book, Atwood emphasizes the lack of connection a person has with a specific land. The “light” specified in the character of Moodie derives an inner margin between the land and the protagonist. The first of the three journals conveys the initialized entrance of Moodie unto a foreign space.

It is described that Moodie sees herself as a light shedding to rocks. It seems that she already knew herself as a foreign character.

Seen in this book, is the addressed change through acceptance and eventual exploration of greater self. Susanna Moodie is the protagonist, where she lives in the period of the 19th century, as an English immigrant to Upper Canada. This book is composed of eighteen poems under three journals. The first journal entails Moodie’s journey across the Atlantic and up the St. Lawrence where her departure becomes a difficult undertaking.

Her migration has caused several deaths among her children. Following this event is her husband’s work as sheriff in Belleville.

In the second journal, Mrs. Moodie experiences the haunting of the difficulties she had known in her past, which eventually links to what she has become in the third journal, a haunting ghost (Hammill, 2003). The Planters This poem sees how their adaptation comes in the unknown land. In the first stanza saying, “They move between the jagged edge Of the forest and the jagged river On a stumpy patch of cleared land. ” (Atwood 16) Clearly, the stanza reiterates the difficulty of migration. Somehow, there is a description of their origin, “jagged” meaning diverse or interchanging life.

On the next verse, ‘stumpy patch of cleared land,’ the characterization of the foreign land looked civilized to her or quiet. This description may also mean silence, where there is no one to cling to because of adapting to a new culture. The next stanza focuses on her husband’s and other neighbor’s status on their quest. Identified by describing how they foster their imminent work in the fields, she describes their hard adjustment through exploration uttering, “my husband, a neighbor, and another man Weeding the few rows Of string beans and dusty potatoes They bend, straighten; the sun

Lights up their faces and hands, candles Flickering in the wind against the” (Atwood 16) It seems as though their work is very hard. Mrs. Moodie knows that their migration costs a lot than it should and the primary factor beaming is their culture. She also sees that their experience is similar to what other persons like them endure. The sun emphasized are the superiors, she sees her husband and the other who work as only candles, “flickering” or unsure of what they are doing. In addition, the instability portrayed may come from the sense of viewing their upholding traditions or what they are used to.

Connected to this proposition is still the diffidence they feel on a foreign land. As said in the following, “unbright earth. I see them; I know None of them believe they are here. They deny the ground they stand on. ” (Atwood 16) Their uncertainty dictates their actions. Moodie knows the unpleasant fact of their migration. Hence, the acceptance should be obscure rather than clarified. In a sense, the viewed party is undermined not by the consequences but of experiences they reach. She accepts yet another hurtful fact of their stay in that cleared land, as she utters of their future troubled but coping, to the unknown world.

“pretend the dirt is future. And they are right. If they let go Of that illusion solid to them as a shovel,” (Atwood 17) Uttering these words would mean of the unpleasant pursuit dictated by their present status. Dirt would mean the strange, unacceptable, and unworthy but still, they have to and need to approve of it as part of their lives. She accepts it, spoiled and impaired. She acknowledges that if they try to accept that fact, stated as “solid to them as a shovel,” they are doomed. Finally, she identifies of the unknown world vehemently depraved of freedom, stating,

“open their eyes for a moment To these trees, to this particular sun They would be surrounded, stormed, and broken In upon by branches, roots, tendrils, the dark side of light As I am. ” (Atwood 17). Mrs. Moodies know of her position. She knows that similarly, other people superior to them determine her fate. Her understanding of that freedom, when persevered to the highest will result to a much bigger problem. She describes it by trees, its members, that they are the darker side of light. Generally, Mrs. Moodie experiences alienation from the verge of Victorian era.

Her perception is more complex than any other is, more than her husband and those having similar fate. The separation of dark and light begins to break down unto her senses. Paths and Thingscape Explained in this entry is the attempt of Mrs. Moodie to take course of assimilation, though she is unsure of what she is doing. She wants this to happen, as she ventures into a new world. In these words, she starts to wander of other person’s embrace of the new world, asserting, “Those who went ahead Of us in the forest Bent the early trees So that they grew the signals: The trail was not among the trees but

the trees” (Atwood 20) Again, she sees superiority over those who went ahead of her. She becomes the observer of the future unfolds of to the people comparable to her status. However, she dreams of awakening herself and accepting what these trees offer. She expresses what others dream of, extolling of the detriments, “and there are some, who have dreams Of birds flying into shapes Of letters; the sky’s codes; And dream also The significance of numbers (count petals of certain flowers). (20) The endowment of certain plans to make their future pleasant upholds her wishes of a better future.

It supports her adaptation to the new land. Even though it proclaims of an uncertain trail held by people superior to them, still, she manifests of her justifications as correct. Guided by uncertainty and mere courage she advances into a more treacherous state of adjusting, she exalts of her undertakings, “In the morning I advance Through the doorway: the sun On the bark, the inter- twisted branches, here a blue movement in the leaves, dispersed Calls/no trails; rocks And grey tufts of moss” (Atwood 20) Her endeavor of finally settling to new pastures becomes wide and unsurpassed.

She feels more comfortable of telling her spiritual bereavement over many things. More importantly, she endures of freedom like any body else and cannot commit herself to dependence. However, she feels insecurity of what is hiding unto the depths of the new world. She picks up the obligatory impression parallel with the others who dreamt of liberation. She exclaims of her concerns, “The petals of the fire- Weed fall where they fall I am watched like an invader Who knows hostility but not where The day shrinks back from me” (Atwood 21) Her definition inclines a surety of purposeful downfall after an undertaking.

She exceeds advancement but treats it as a threat and not a triumph. Her overwhelmed quest modifies the true picture of the superiority over her and excludes courageous acts. However, this comprehensive characterization of Mrs. Moodie’s opinions may be false, as some elements may prove supportive of what she plans or does. The transformation possible ends in a negative opinion rather than a separate entity. What she does not conceptualize is the harmonious feeling of the subjective entities around her. Even though this is partially correct, she gratifies each vision as complete though it is not.

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