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									Lesson 12 The Loons
           Margaret Laurence
     Objectives of Teaching
1)Improving students’ ability to read between lines
    and understand the text properly;
2)Cultivating students’ ability to make a creative
3)Enhancing students’ ability to appreciate the text
4)Helping students to understanding rhetorical
5)Encouraging students to voice their own viewpoint
    fluently and accurately.
    Important and Difficult Points

   1)understanding the theme of this
   2)appreciating the writing style.
    I. Background information about the author

     Margaret Laurence is one of the major
      contemporary Canadian writers. After her
      marriage, she lived in Africa for a number of

     Her works include A Tree of Poverty(1954), This
      Side of Jordan(1960), The Tomorrow-Tamer
      (1963), The Prophet’s Camel Bell(1963), The
      Stone Angel(1964) and The Fire Dwellers
      (1969), A Bird in the House (1970), The
      Diveners (1974).
II. Type of writing
“The Loons” (1970) is included in the
   Norton Anthology of Short Fiction,
   2nd ed., 1981.
III. Background of the story
 This touching story tells of the plight of a girl
from a native Indian family. Her people were
marginalized by the white-dominating society.
They were unable to exist independently in a
respectable and dignified way. They found it
impossible to fit into the main currents of culture
and difficult to be assimilated comfortably. At
school, the girl felt out of place and ill at ease
with the white children. When she had grown up
she didn’t have any chance to improve her life. In
fact her situation became more and more messed
up. In the end she was killed in a fire.
IV. Detailed Study of the Text
 1. shack: a small roughly built house, hut

 2. dwelling: n (fml) place of residence; house, flat, etc
   eg: my dwelling in Kaifeng
   dwelling-house(esp. law): house used as a residence,
not as a place of work

  3. belong: to be suitable or advantageous, be in the right
   eg: I don't belong in a big city like this.
       He doesn't belong in the advanced learners’ class.
       She refuses to go abroad: She belongs here.
IV. Detailed Study of the Text
  4. odd: not regular, occasional, casual, occasional, random
  eg: odd jobs
      His life was not dull with the odd adventure now and

  5. relief: aid in the form of goods, coupon or money given,
    as by a government agency, to persons unable to
  eg: a relief lawyer

 on relief: receiving government aid because of poverty,
   unemployment, etc.
IV. Detailed Study of the Text

  6. …with a face that seemed totally unfamiliar with
laughter, would knock at the doors of the town’s brick

  This suggests that the Tonnerres had lived a very
miserable life. They had never experienced happiness in
their whole life. The “brick houses” indicates the
wealthy people’s home.
IV. Detailed Study of the Text
7. flare:
   1) burn brightly but briefly or unsteadily
     eg: The match flared in the darkness.
    flare up: burn suddenly more intensely
     eg: The fire flared up as I put more logs on it.
   2) reach a more violent state; suddenly become angry
     eg:Violence has flared up again.
         He flares up at the slightest provocation.
 3) (of an illness)recur, happen again
     eg: My back trouble has flared up again.

8. dogged: determined; not giving up easily
    eg: a dogged defence of the city
       Although he's less talented, he won by sheer dogged
    V.Organization of the story
   Part I. (Paras 1-2): Introduction of the novel---the general
   Part II. (Para.3-4) The whole story
    Section 1. Para.3 (p.206) – Para.6 (p.208) Introducing the heroine
    Section 2. Para.7 (p.208) – Para.2 (p.214) Days together with
    Piquette at
   Diamond Lake
   Section 3. Para.3 (p. 214) – Para.2 (p.217) Second meeting with
   several years later
   Section 4. Para.3 (p.217) – Para.4 (p.218) Piquette’s death
   Part III. (Para. 5 on page 218 – end). Analogy
  VI.Rhetorical devices
   …dresses that were always miles too long.
    …those voices belonged to a world separated by aeons
    from our neat world
   …the filigree of the spruce trees
   daughter of the forest
   I tried another line
   A streak of amber
   The two grey squirrels were still there, gossiping…
   The news that somehow had not found its way into letters.
   I tried another line
   a streak of amber
    VI.Rhetorical devices
Transferred epithet
    All around, the spruce trees grew tall and close-set,
     branches blackly sharp against the sky which was
     lightened by a cold flickering of stars.

    I was ashamed, ashamed of my own timidity, the
     frightened tendency to look the other way.

    My brother, Roderick, who had not been born when we
     were here last summer, sat on the car rug in the sunshine
     and examined a brown spruce core, meticulously turning it
     round and round in his small and curious hands.
    VI.Rhetorical devices

    Those voices belonged to a world separated by aeons from
     our neat world of summer cottages and the lighted lamps
     of home. (our modern civilization)

    the damn bone’s flared up again
    VII.Rhetorical devices

    Those voices belonged to a world separated by aeons from
     our neat world of summer cottages and the lighted lamps
     of home. (our modern civilization)

    the damn bone’s flared up again
  VII. The theme of the story

   The death of the heroine is like the disappearance of
the loons on Diamond Lake. Just as the narrator’s father
predicted, the loons would go away when more cottages
were built at the Lake with more people moving in. The
loons disappeared as nature was ruined by civilization. In
a similar way, the girl and her people failed to find their
positions in modern society.
    VIII. Questions for discussion

   How is the diasappearance of the loons
    related to the theme of this story?

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