What is one major theme in Marie Chapdelaine?

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What strikes me as the principal theme of Maria Chapdelaine is the importance of ethnic identity. To understand Louis Hemon's novel, one has to have some knowledge of the history of Canada and the way it has shaped the mindset of the French-speaking people of Quebec.

With the defeat of France in the Seven Years' War, control of Canada passed from the French to the British in 1763. The colonial population of Canada had two main features that reinforced its ethnic self-determination: the French language, and the adherence to the Roman Catholic Church. Often throughout history when a people are defeated, their identity as a group is paradoxically strengthened and they feel themselves greater in defeat than the enemy who triumphed over them. In Maria Chapdelaine, the title character turns down a chance to marry a man who loves her and to move to the U.S. with...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 440 words.)

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