No Great Mischief

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eaNo Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod – Topics and Themes Identify and give the significance of terms. Identify and elaborate on the significance (i.e. connection to plot development, characterization, symbols, motifs, patterns, contrasts, literary devices, etc). Make specific reference to the novel. *”All of us are better when we’re loved.”* chess set* Christy* Calum Ruadh house* James MacDonald* “No great mischief if they fall…” Margaret Laurence’s “lost languages” *Catriona * the wrenchCalum Ruadh’s Point* family dogs * parents * Scotland* plaid shirt* gille beag ruadh* crippled pigeon* Colin

* Peru* Renco Development* Lucy Gray* joke picture* the wallet * kitten(Piseag)* Grandma* Grandpa * Vietnam* blackfish
* Grandfather* Catriona“’My hope is constant in thee, Clan Donald.” * Fern Picard * Marcel Gingras* San Francisco Alexander MacDonald Chapter 1 – introduction to the narrator (Alexander MacLeod and his brother, Calum); love of Cape Breton but not ever going back, Cape Breton Island shot glass (10) Chapter 2 – gille beag ruadh (“the little red boy” or “the little red-haired boy”), history of Calum Ruadh (the red-haired Calum who came from Scotland in 1779 with his family), and reference to the original Calum at rest: “Fois do t’anam. Peace to his Soul” (27) Chapter 3 – family knowledge, connections

Chapter 4 – twins raised by grandparents, story of grandfather’s father dying (32), grandfather’s careful habits --“He has always been loyal to his blood.” (35), “the chance” (p. 37), Grandpa’s maintenance job (37-38) Chapter 5 – memories of paternal grandparents, Grandpa’s joke picture (43) Chapter 6 – twins go to live with the grandparents, death of parents and Colin, “Lucy Gray” poem (class memory, reminders of death of the parents, past imagery) p. 50 Chapter 7 – the wake/visitation for Colin at home of grandparents, grandfather’s violin playing (54), melting ice -“as if eaten by a hidden cancer which only now began to make itself visible” (55), family’s dog: “It was in those dogs to care too much and to try too hard.” (56-57), Colin’s parka (57 & other earlier references) Chapter 8 – changing realities e.g. names and maps of places; “Living in the past is not living up to our potential.” (60) Chapter 9 – return of the brothers to the old Calum Ruadh house (61), “It is hard when looking at the pasts of other people to understand the fine points of their lives” (62), “’Rearing the Modern Child,’ and …the subheadings was entitled ‘Grandparents’” (67), “He says you’re not my grandfather, only his,” said the sobbing red-haired Alexander MacDonald” (68). Chapter 10 – migrant workers, different opportunities for different people; ‘It doesn’t make much difference.’ Pick your own.” (71) Chapter 11 – teenaged years of the twins and changes e.g. “Only the hardest promontories of pure stone seemed to remain constant, but if one looked closely one could see changes in them also. A new smoothness born of a new wearing, or small pockmarks on new surfaces where previously there were none. The cliff was moving inland while Calum Ruadh’s grave seemed to be moving out towards its edge.” (73-74), “lamp of the poor” (75), brothers’ lifestyle e.g. embarrassment at questions (75), Christy (dependence upon her assistance + Romantic/pastoral images of her) p. 76-81, Calum’s infected tooth (79-81) Chapter 12 – descriptions of his work as a dentist or dental surgeon, information pamphlets (compare/contrast to Calum’s experience or that of the family altogether) e.g. “Sometimes, as healing advances, small sharp splinters may work up through the tissue and be a source of discomfort and unexpected pain” (83), crippled pigeon Chapter 13 – brothers growing older with some problematic behavior e.g. stopped by the police in their cars (84), talk of Scottish history e.g. At tax time, Grandpa says to Grandfather: “’My hope is constant in thee, Clan Donald,’ which is what Robert the Bruce was...
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