Margaret Laurence’s “The Loons”, is a story about an Indian girl who tries to overcome obstacles in her life and discover a place of belonging, but in the end, dies at an early age. She grows up in an environment where she is not happy, and despite her efforts to leave, ends up back in her hometown, which leads to her death. The theme of this story is that everyone is a product of their environment, which is illustrated by Vanessa and Piquette’s lives and the loons on the lake.
Vanessa MacLeod was raised by a supportive family and friends in a positive environment. She had a wealthy family who were interested in her happiness, her behavior and how she dressed. Her parents cared for her and allowed her to do amusing things as a child, including traveling to their cabin during the summers. Vanessa was able to be a happy kid and develop social skills at school to make friends. She also had a strong relationship with her mother and father. When Vanessa describes her return home as, “I spent the first few days I talking non-stop with my mother, as we exchanged all the news that somehow had not found its way into letters” (p.255), you can not only see that Vanessa was happy to visit her home and her mother by spending time together, but that they kept in touch and shared details about each other’s lives through letters while Vanessa was away at school. Vanessa’s positive environment led her to college, to be happy and find her place of belonging, unlike Piquette.
Piquette Tonnerre grew up in a family with no care and no one to look out for her. She was not happy in Manawaka. Her mother left when she was a child and her father made her do all of the cooking and work around the house. This resulted in her becoming a bitter and unhappy person. She never had a break or a real opportunity to be a child. You can see this when Ewen Tonnerre says to his family, “’The mother’s not there, she took off a few years back. Can’t say I blame her. Piquette cooks for...
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