Individualism: Quest for Self-Actualization in The Diviners

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Rupa Rana


The meaning of individualism has shifted over the decades in Canada. Canada was founded as a bilingual country, where individuals were supposedly strongly aligned with the principal and views of their groups and religions. Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as “A theory maintaining the political and economic independence of the individuals and stressing individual initiative action and interests also: conduct on paretic guided by such a theory.” According to Laurence, “To had to deprive them, but if a person does not look after herself in this world. No one else is likely to” (The Stone Angel, 173). Women were not permitted much individualism of any kind. Their economic and social roles were preset. They were not to express their views. They could not wish marriage of her own choice. They had no right regarding children. They were considered less in the matter of employment and payment. They were not open sexually. Indigenous Canadians were certainly not permitted much individualism. They were forced into reserves or back into the bush. They are not capable of being an individual in the way a male like Britishers, or French Canadians are. One of Canadian’s most accomplished writers, Margaret Laurence (1926-87) received many awards, including Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award for The Diviners and A Jest of God. The Diviners (1974) was Laurence’s final novel and is considered one of the Classics in Canadian Literature. In her novel, she searches herself when she stands because this last novel is considered her autobiography. She goes through an identity crisis in her life. She explores her routes and identity where she stands. Many of the incidents in her life, her agony, and curiosity to know her routes are well expressed in this novel. In The Diviners, the story of writer, Morag Gunn is true in its spirit to Laurence’s own maturing, is the climate work of the Manawaka cycle. A complex and profound novel, it brings the Scottish pioneers and the metis outcasts of Manawaka together and climates is the joining of the past and present and the affirming of the future person in the person of Pique, the daughter of Morag and Jules Tonnere.



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How to Cite
Rupa Rana. “Individualism: Quest for Self-Actualization in The Diviners”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 6, no. 2, June 2021, pp. 13-18, doi:10.53032/TCL.2021.6.2.03.


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