Naturein Moodie and Copway
BothSusanna Moodie and Copway speak of nature and environment withadmiration by showeing the positive sides of nature. In addition,they both describe nature and environment as a rough and challengingelement of life. Susanna Moodie’s speaks of the wilderness as pureand a phenomenon that does not interfere with human activities. Onthe other hand Copway encounters a spectacle in the decription ofnature as presented in the travel documented in the biography.However, both describe environment and wilderness in distinctive waysthat affect their way of presentating Canadian nature.
Moodiedescribes the environment as an area with wide and stormy seas andchilly blasts with wintry storms. The male speaker also fears thedark forests because he plainly says it (CanadianPoetry 1).It is also evident that what Moodie expected is not what sheencounters since she states that her first day’s experience endswithout much activity in the land of all their hopes. To add to thatthe emigrant views his new home in Canada and compares it with nativeland and then he remembers the warm hearts and bright shiny eyes ofhis loved ones that are far away. Copway’s regards to nature areclearly depicted when he decides to write about the Ojibwas. Heattends a Methodist camp meeting with his father when his motherpassed away where he is converted (Copway14).
Moreover,Copway shows that he is chosen to travel to Lake Superior for theAmerican Methodist Church mission at the age of sixteen,surprisingly, because of his dedication. In fact, the reader is ableto note that he travelled a lot when the Great Spirit came to himthrough the dream he never knew he could travel, but all in all hewent to the great lakes, Europe and the upper Mississippi (Moodie16).Therefore, through this massive travelling the reader is able tosee that Copway has a love for nature.
BothMoodie and Copway love natue and environment and present theiraffection in their works. Susana (35) describes a nature that isbeautiful and glowing with storms, rocks, rushing water andmountains. This is considered as a sublime setting because of thephysical features that are described. Copway also shows the love fornature as he takes part of his traveling in a canoe. There is littlecomparison between the life of Copway and his life, but this is shownduring his missionary tours he travels in a canoe (Copway15).This clearly shows that George Copway loved nature and considered itbeautiful that is why there is a connection with him with nature. In1835, on his way to Sault Sainte Marie, he is keen with naturebecause he discovers that one sand point of Grand Island has sunkimmediately he reports the matter.
AsCopway travels within the eastern cities he secures a place on top ofBoston State House, where he sees the industry progresses and a lotof ships in the harbor. This really affects him emotionally until hiseyes are filled with tears (Moodie 21). He later laments through apoem that he insists to be told where the free spirits of his proudancestors flew to and also demands to know where are the lakes thatthose angry waters used to fame are. Taking a quick look at SussanaMoodie’s “There’s Rest”, it is evident that the setting ofthis particular poem is outside and at night because she writes it atmidnight and on the banks of River Saint Lawrence (Moodie 61).
Toadd to that the poet shows us the love of nature in that she writesthis poem at night, even though she is distracted by Irishmen who arevery drunk. Despite of all the disturbance the boat is kept very muchawake by stormsand the chilly winds of Lake Ontario (CanadianPoetry 1).Here it is clear that the poet dislikes this place because in hermind, she prefers to die than to live in Canada just as her statementis put in the form of a metaphor which is comparing a night’speaceful sleep to death.
GeorgeCopway was always occupied with his lectures, several events inLondon or the Peace Congress, but any time that he was not busy hefound himself viewing the landscape. This automatically proves theinterest that Copway had in nature because of the extent at which hegoes into writing and looking at nature. When he looks at the oceanand the Irish coast, he remembers the stories that his father used totell him. However, he prefers the pastoral view of the landscapebecause he sees that all the land looks the same in the way it iscultivated.
Despitethe fact that Moodie has described Canada as hell she proves that herlove for England will remain just like her love for Mother Nature. Inthis sense it is definitely seen that even if she dislikes herpresent setting she has a certain deep love for nature. Although thepoet describes the emigrant as distressed who is lost in the thornymazes of dark and wild forests, she eventually becomes contented withthe buildings and the social class of Canada.
Moodiecontinues to write her poem when standing at the entrance of hershanty while leaning on the open door. The reader is informed thatshe is eagerly waiting for her husband to return home, but she fearsthe wilderness because of all the wolves and the blasts of the wintrywinds (CanadianPoetry 1).To add to that she is frightened by the noises that are heard fromthe woods, but surprisingly, she courageously convinces the readerthat the voices being heard are the sleigh bells of her husband`sarrival (Moodie 24). More so, Copway continues in his exploration ofnature when he views the Rhine Valley and he becomes satisfied withthe picturesque scenes. These scenes harmonize when he goes to theEnglish countryside where there is cultivation as he puts it. Heloves nature so much that he criticizes this cultivation by referringto the cultivators as those that don’t have time for mentalimprovement. He calls all the cultivation as an outer shell that hascovered the landscape’s beauty.
Susanna’sthe Otonabee clearly shows us that she appreciates nature because shecalls the river there and she even tells the reader that she lovesthe river. She is very optimistic in that she is positive that whenthe necessary changes take place this river will provide a directwaterway to England (CanadianPoetry 1).In addition, it can be seen that Moodie burst into tears when shesees her favorite flower because she is reminded of home (Moodie 49).She, once for the first time, appreciates the beauty she sees inCanada when riding in the canoe. She actually appreciates thebeautiful landscape and even goes ahead to admit that her love fornature made her forget her love for home environment.
Onthe other hand Copway ‘s visit to the docks makes him see what hecalls pieces of workmanships. However, he never missed what washappening around him because he noticed that the tide comes in withships and goes out with a lot more. Furthermore, when he is inBirmingham he notes that the works of man have rendered the earth adesolate place through the arts and muskets.
Inaddition, Susanna Moodie praises Canadian nature in the poem Adieu tothe Woods whereby she describes the forest as very dark and thesetting sun will light up the gloom below the shadows caused by thetrees during the season of the maple sugar. As a way of convincingthe reader love the poem, she even says that the wind does not havetheir force to terrify anymore. According to Gersdorfand Mayer(13),Canadian literature that features nature, tends to indicate the finedetails that make the reader love both the nature and literature.
SusanaMoodie presents Canadian wilderness and nature as pure and lovelywhich defines her overall view of the visit to the isle. Despite thechallenges faced in the visit, she presents her appreciation and thelove for the environment in the poem. On the other hand, Copway findsCanadian nature as interesting, addictive to view and beautiful toexperience. This explains why the biography illustrates several timesthat the central person in the book spends time in the landscape onseveral occasions.
CanadianPoetry. Introductionto the Third Edition,1854. Web, Accessed, May 24, 2014<http://www.canadianpoetry.ca/eng%20274e/moodie.htm>
Gersdorf,Catrin and Mayer, Sylvia. Naturein Literary and Cultural Studies: Transatlantic Conversations onEcocriticism.Rodopi,2006. Print
Copway,George. TheLife, History, And Travels Of Kah-Ge-Ga-Gah-Bowh, George Copway: AYoung Indian Chief Of The Ojebwa Nation, A Convert To The ChristianFaith, (LargePrint Edition). Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing. 2011, Print
Moodie, Susanna.Roughingit in the Bush Or, Life in Canada.London,England: Richard Bentley, 1852) and 3rd. ed. (1854). Print