Was there a lesson in the book Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq? Provide examples.
One of the most important lessons in the book Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq is that love can still be powerful, even in the face of adversity. Inuit life, as presented in the book, is extremely harsh, and yet the narrator is still able to find strength through the loving connection she develops with nature.
At times, there is no doubt that Split Tooth can be a pretty difficult read, concerned as it is with a grim, unforgiving world in which rape, violence, alcoholism, and drug abuse are rampant. Yet the book doesn't wallow in gloom; if it paints a dark picture it's because it seeks to give a realistic account of a woman's formative years in a remote Inuit community in Canada. In that sense, it cannot but reveal the often sordid details about life in a community that remains marginalized within Canadian society.
What relieves the litany of woe is a lyrical, almost poetic use of language that expresses the power that love exerts upon the narrator and gives her the strength to transcend the hard grind of day-to-day existence. To be sure, this isn't a sentimentalized version of love that seeks to provide a phony resolution to the rigors of life in Iqaluktuuttiaq. The love that gives the narrator wings, as it were, emanates from the very soil on which she stands, and whose traditions still exert a certain primal energy and force. In one particularly lyrical passage, the narrator recounts an extraordinary encounter with ice that grows into a bear:
We are lovers. We are married. He swims with incredible strength and we travel quickly...My skin melts where there is contact with my lover. The ocean and our love fuse the polar bear and me. He is I, his skin is my skin. Our flesh grows together.
This eco-eroticism, as some critics have dubbed it, reestablishes a link between the narrator and her immediate natural landscape that had been severed by the pressures of modernity.
The value of this strategy is both therapeutic and cultural. By escaping the miseries of daily life this way and reaffirming her deep, almost sexual connection with the environment, the narrator is getting in touch with those aspects of the Inuit belief system that encourage acts of loving piety towards nature.
The narrator may not be able to do much about the many terrible things that happen within the community in which she lives. But she can at least derive enormous strength and consolation from the loving connection she's been able to establish with the environment.
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