Susanna Moodie Criticism - Essay

Marian Fowler (essay date 1982)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Fowler, Marian. “Susanna Moodie.” In The Embroidered Tent; Five Gentlewomen in Early Canada: Elizabeth Simcoe, Catharine Parr Traill, Susanna Moodie, Anna Jameson, Lady Dufferin, pp. 93-131. Toronto: House of Anansi Press Limited, 1982.

[In the following essay, Fowler presents Roughing It in the Bush as a blend of fact and fiction that borrows heavily from the conventions of the sentimental novel.]

It is hard to imagine two sisters less alike than Catharine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie. They were different in looks, in temperament, and in response to the New World. They were Snow White and Rose Red; they were Martha and Mary. They were Elinor and...

(The entire section is 16163 words.)

Carl Ballstadt (essay date 1986)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Ballstadt, Carl. “Secure in Conscious Worth: Susanna Moodie and the Rebellion of 1837.” Canadian Poetry 18 (spring-summer 1986): 88-98.

[In the following essay, Ballstadt explores the inconsistencies of theme and purpose in Moodie's political poems and prose published during the period of the Rebellion of 1837.]

During the period of the Rebellion in Upper Canada in late 1837 and early 1838, Susanna Moodie, writing from her backwoods home in Douro township, entered the conflict on the government side with her poetic calls to loyal men to quell the rebel forces.1 Several of these poems, “Canadians Will You Join the Band. A Loyal Song,” “The...

(The entire section is 4966 words.)

Susan Glickman (essay date 1991)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Glickman, Susan. “The Waxing and Waning of Susanna Moodie's ‘Enthusiasm.’” Canadian Literature 130 (autumn 1991): 7-26.

[In the following essay, Glickman discusses Moodie's early religious and literary influences evident in her poetry collection Enthusiasm.]

“At my Heart's Core” by Robertson Davies is a Shavian discussion play starring the three Otonabee pioneers who are best known to posterity through their writings: Frances Stewart, Catharine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie. The play is set at the time of the Upper Canada Rebellion and Susanna Moodie, whom the stage directions describe as having “a ladylike hint of the drill-sergeant in her...

(The entire section is 8509 words.)

John Thurston (essay date 1996)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Thurston, John. “Roughing It in the Bush: A Case Study in Colonial Contradictions.” In The Work of Words: The Writing of Susanna Strickland Moodie, pp. 133-66. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996.

[In the following excerpt, Thurston considers the composition, editing, and import of Roughing It in the Bush.]

That Moodie dredges up recollections of her first years in Upper Canada when she first writes about it speaks of the emotional burden those years laid upon her. A desire to wrest meaning from her earliest experiences of the colony drives Roughing It in the Bush. It is as much an expression of her needs in the 1850s as a...

(The entire section is 19349 words.)

Elizabeth Thompson (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Thompson, Elizabeth. “Roughing It in the Bush: Patterns of Emigration and Settlement in Susanna Moodie's Poetry.” Canadian Poetry 40 (spring-summer 1997): 58-73.

[In the following essay, Thompson analyzes the use and placement of poetry contained in Roughing It in the Bush.]

Although some preliminary studies1 have been made of the poetry included in the early editions2 of Susanna Moodie's Roughing It in the Bush (1852), much is left to be said. The poetry is an interesting addition to the text, and an examination of Roughing It or of any single sketch ought to consider both the topic and the placement of the poems....

(The entire section is 6260 words.)

Carole Gerson (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Gerson, Carole. “Nobler Savages: Representations of Native Women in the Writings of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill.” Journal of Canadian Studies 32, no. 2 (summer 1997): 5-21.

[In the following excerpt, Gerson uses sketches and anecdotes from Moodie's Roughing It in the Bush to portray Moodie's image of Native women.]

In her 1986 essay, “‘Indians’: Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History,” American literary critic Jane Tompkins demonstrates the impossibility of establishing historical “truth.” She concludes that the post-structuralist reader seeking the history of European-Native relations can only navigate among the...

(The entire section is 6152 words.)

Sherrie A. Inness (essay date 1998)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Inness, Sherrie A. “‘An Act of Severe Duty’: Emigration and Class Ideology in Susanna Moodie's Roughing It in the Bush.” In Imperial Objects: Essays on Victorian Women's Emigration and the Unauthorized Imperial Experience, edited by Rita S. Kranidis, pp. 190-210. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1998.

[In the following essay, Inness categorizes class ideology and insecurity as factors for Moodie's perception of the female emigration experience.]

“This colony is a rich mine yet unopen'd,” states Colonel Rivers, hero of The History of Emily Montague (1769), the first Canadian novel about the riches awaiting settlers in Canada. “Nothing is...

(The entire section is 8685 words.)

Alison Rukavina (essay date 2000)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Rukavina, Alison. “‘Of the Irritable Genus’: The Role of Susanna Moodie in the Publishing of Roughing It in the Bush.Studies in Canadian Literature 25, no. 1 (2000): 37-56.

[In the following essay, Rukavina considers the publication history of Roughing It in the Bush, including motive for author and publisher and the process of revision for later editions.]

When Roughing It in the Bush was first published in 1852, it was advertised as a “glowing narrative of personal incident and suffering,” which would “no doubt attract general attention” ([Centre for Editing Early Canadian Texts; hereafter cited as CEECT]...

(The entire section is 8600 words.)