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Crow Lake

Presentation on Tuesday, January 15th, 2012
by

Kate Duldner

on 15 January 2013

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Transcript of Crow Lake

by: Mary Lawson Crow Lake About Mary Lawson Most Significant
Moment Best Canadian
Novel Mary was born in 1946 and grew up in Blackwell, Ontario as a distant cousin of L. M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables).
She traveled to Britain to work as an industrial psychologist, where she met her husband, Richard Lawson.
On her return to Canada, she spent her summers in the north, which inspired her to use Northern Ontario as the setting and theme for both of her novels (Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge).
Crow Lake, which she spent over 5 years writing and 3 years trying to find a publisher, won many awards: in 2002 the Books in Canada First Novel Award, in 2003 the McKitterick Prize, and the Evergreen Award in 2005. Citations Mary Lawson.Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia
Foundation, Inc. 17 November 2012. Web. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Lawson Kate Morrison Summary In this book Kate Morrison, the main character, leads us through her journey for self-identity and healing from past mistakes and tragedies.
It takes place in a small town called Crow Lake in Northern Ontario.
At the beginning, there is Kate who is seven, and her siblings: Luke, nineteen; Matt, seventeen; and Bo, who is one and a half.
Their parents are killed in a car crash that impacts the kids for the rest of their lives.
The four siblings decide to stay together, instead of the girls going to live with their aunt in a different city.
Kate idolizes her older brother, Matt and as part of their healing process they go to the ponds by their house and watch them teem with life. This is where Kate acquires her love for nature and her desire to become a biologist. "Your disappointment - you thinking that his whole life is a failure, feeling so sorry for him for the way that he let himself down - that's been so hard for him to bear.. You do think his life is a failure.. You think what happened to him is the great tragedy of his life. You can hardly look at him, you feel so sorry for him and so angry with him still. After all this years you can hardly look at him, Kate (p.279)." - Marie Morrison Finding yourself isn't easy, and dealing with past mistakes that were driven underground takes courage. I believe that Crow Lake is the best Canadian novel because it outlines the strength it takes to face yourself and dive into your own bitterness. It also has many different themes that are commonly found in Canadian literature, such as the search for self-identity (which is the most evident) and the beautiful landscape of Crow Lake in Northern Ontario. Kate also tells of another family who is struggling, the Pyes, who are troubled and on the brink of disaster.
The Pyes are pushed over the edge when Matt makes Marie Pye pregnant, choosing then to marry her and give up on his academic dreams.
Matt's decision to abandon his dream causes Kate to look at his life as if he is a failure, and she starts to resent his decision.
In the future, when Kate is 27 and living in Toronto as a biologist, she still hasn't forgiven Matt. She also keeps her past hidden from her boyfriend Daniel and refuses to talk about it.
When she is invited back to Crow Lake to celebrate Matt's son's 18th birthday, she has a choice to make: Will she go back and face her past, or will she continue to harbor the bitterness and resentment against her brother for his mistakes? This, in my opinion, is the most significant part of the book, because Kate is finally confronted by Marie about her resentment against Matt. She is given a rude awakening to how she has been living her life, and she finally realizes that Matt's life is not a failure. He is still the same Matt that she has always known and will always be. Her eyes are finally open to the man that he has become, and she sees her brother in a new way, realizing that it's not what happened that made Matt a man, but rather the way that he responded to the cards that he was played. Lawson, Mary. Crow Lake. Toronto, Canada: Vintage
Canada, 2003. Print. Kate is 27 when she narrates the story, but she is much younger (7-12 years old) in the memories she reflects back on.
She is very smart, the top of her class, and she goes on to the University of Toronto become a biologist and part-time professor.
Kate is troubled by her past and mistakes made in her childhood that she can't deal with. This plays a lot into the theme of a search for self-identity, as throughout the entire book Kate reflects back on her life and tries to find herself within it.
At the end of the novel, she finally accepts who she is and moves on.
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