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THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE
Transcript of THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE
THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE
A novel by Joseph Boyden
Through black spruce is a novel by Joseph Boyden. It is a book about survival, in both the city and the bush, and the importance of family.
In the book, we follow a year in both the lives of Will Bird, a Cree bush pilot, and Annie Bird, (Will's niece) who is searching for her lost sister in Toronto.
Short Intro on
Born on October 31, 1966, Joseph Boyden has
written three novels : "Three Day Road", "Through Black Spruce" and "The Orenda". He has also written a short story, and other books.
Born in Ontario, he spends his time between Louisiana and Ontario with his wife.
He has won numerous awards, such as the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize in 2006, was nominated for the governor General award in 2005 and won the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize, amongst others. (Wikipedia)
Will Bird, who is in a coma, silently relives his past year, which was filled with pain, paranoia, death, and love. While the doctors say he is in critical condition, we learn that throughout the past year, he had been beaten and stalked by Marius Netmaker, because he had thought that Will was giving info on him to the cops, which was false. We learn about the struggles of Will, and the harm that Marius had brought upon their hometown of Mosonee, in northern Ontario.
Throughout the story, Will Bird is a constant reminder of
the importance of family and friends (due to the fact that in times of fear and need, his family would help him recover). He is also an example of human strength and the will to survive.
Niece of Will Bird, Annie is a very strong woman who appears to be in her twenties.
We follow her throughout the year on her
mission to find out about the fate of her sister, Suzanne Bird, who is a fashion model. Annie finds herself following her sisters footsteps, arriving in Toronto, moving on to Montreal and ending up in Manhattan. She becomes a model herself, trying to trace her sisters footsteps. We find out that Suzanne's boyfriend was involved with drugs, and Annie fears the worst.
Annie represents the
resilience of families. As she makes her way through the cities, she gets deeper and deeper into things that she does not want to be a part of. Nevertheless she continues on with the goal of finding her sister being the only thing she cares about.
There isn't much to say about Gordon's past, as virtually nothing is said about him in the book regarding his origins. Gordon is a man that Annie meets on the streets of Toronto. He was part of an aboriginal group who lived on the streets, and was given the name "Painted Tongue", due to the fact that he could not speak (This is never explained). Gordon ends up being assigned by "Old man", the leader of the group to be Annie's "Protector". Throughout the book he follows Annie, and ends up saving her life multiple times. Annie and Gordon eventually end up in a relationship, and later on in the book, is revealed to have come back to Mosonee to live with Annie.
Even though he does not speak a single word throughout the entire book, Gordon ends up being one on the most important characters in the story. He, like Will, represents the importance of friendship, and the strength of love.
Analysis of the setting:
The book is set in two completely different settings: The northern Canadian Bush, and three urban centers (Toronto, Montreal and Manhattan). However, both settings have their own dangers. The cities represent the feelings of being helpless and lost, due to the fact that Annie coming from a town in northern Ontario with a population of roughly 2000 people. She then has to make her way through cities of millions of people to find her sister. The bush, however represents home, while also representing loneliness. As Will fights off his paranoia of Marius, he feels as if no one can help him due to there being only a small police force and very little residents nearby.
Overall theme of the book:
The importance of friends, family and love. The entire story revolves around these three elements. Examples: Annie searching for Suzanne, Will seeking the help of his friends, and the unbreakable bond between Gordon and Annie.
Three major events:
One day while jogging, Will gets brutally beaten up by Marius and his crew. After finding out the reason, which was that Marius thought that Will was giving the police information on Marius' activities involving drugs and weapons, Will gets constantly stalked by Marius and his henchmen, due to there being no information proving Will innocent.
Eva, Annie's friend, wins the Mosonne Mega Bingo, and decides to take her and Annie on a vacation to Toronto. After being there a few days, a group of aboriginals living on the streets tell Annie that they knew her sister, who had gone missing a few months ago.
After wandering the streets of Toronto trying to find traces of her lost sister, Annie gets mugged and beat up by a stranger. Suddenly, Painted Tongue (Gordon), one of the aboriginals that she met on the streets, saves her from the man, and carries her to her hotel. This is when we learn that Gordon had been following her for a while, and was now her "protector".
"Through Black Spruce" is
one the best novel I've read
in a long time. It was never boring, and was very well written. It was a fantastic read, and I recommend it to people who like action, good character development and survival.