The Loons-Margaret Laurence

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The Loons

Piquette Tonnerre the daughter of Lazarus had a history of regularly visiting at the hospital where Ewen makes a living. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis and her bone began to flare up again as the chapter begins. Vanessa’s father plans to bring Piquette on the family’s summer break to Diamond Lake but the dilemma in this plan was that Beth and Grandfather Macleod did not agree. “Oh dear, I’ll bet anything she has nits in her hair” (Beth. page 107) “Ewen, if that half-breed youngster comes along to Diamond Lake, I’m not going.” (Grandmother Macleod. page 107). Beth and Grandmother Macleod represent a majority of Manawaka who look down upon the Tonnerres and believe that they are low, delinquents and not worth it. “They were as my Grandmother Macleod would have put it, neither flesh, fowl, nor good salt herring.” (page 106). These put downs by everyone drive the Tonnerres down a dark path of alcoholism and financial distress. They lost their way of life and now struggle to even live a satisfying life with everyone who persist on racism on the Tonnerres and just believing that they are not worth it. This has affected their lives and each one of them deals with it differently. Piquette’s mother who escaped, “She took off a few years back. Can’t say I blame her.” (page. 107). Piquette’s father is an alcoholic, lazy deadbeat, “Piquette cooks for them,and she says Lazarus would never do anything for himself as long as she’s there.” (page 107). Piquette hates everyone back because that is the way she has been treated, “Piquette looked at me with a sudden flash of scorn” (page 109).

Margaret Laurence has connected the Tonnerre way of life with the loons at Diamond Lake. Just like the Tonnerres, humans have invaded the loons’ native land forcing them to live in a small “reservations” also known as Diamond Lake that they may lose in a few years to the increasing number of humans, “My Dad says we should listen and try to remember how they sound, because...
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