Presentation on theme: "1 Walker Brothers Cowboy By Alice Munro Presenters: Rita Chen Christine Chen Teresa Ally Kuo."— Presentation transcript:
1 Walker Brothers Cowboy By Alice Munro Presenters: Rita Chen Christine Chen Teresa Ally Kuo
2 Alice Munro as… A short-story writer A regional writer Setting of her story – rural Ontario A realist her father is a fox farmer her parents ’ s struggles within a variety of rural occupation Source: http://members.aol.com/MunroAlice/images.htmhttp://members.aol.com/MunroAlice/images.htm
3 Munro’s Background 1931 born in Wingham, Ontario, Canada 1949-51 undergraduate, University of Western Ontario. 1951 married James Munro and raised three daughters. 1968 published first collection of stories, Dance of the Happy Shades; won Governor General ’ s Literary Award. 1972 divorced James Munro. 1976 remarried to Gerald Fremlin. Source: http://members.aol.com/MunroAlice/images.htmhttp://members.aol.com/MunroAlice/images.htm
4 Munro’s Works Novel Lives of Girls and Women (1972) Collections of Short-Stories -- Dance of the Happy Shades (1968) -- Something I ’ ve Been Meaning to Tell You (1974) -- The Moons of Jupiter (1982) -- Friend of My Youth (1990) -- The Love of a Good Women (1998) -- Runaway (2004) Source: http://www.nwpassages.com/bios/munro1.asp http://www.nwpassages.com/bios/munro1.asp
6 Historical Background— The Great Depression Time 1929-1933 Depression of 1929 Slump of 1929 Problems Bankrupt and Unemployment Living condition changed Tramps and migrants workers People went starving Causes The stock market crash The overcapacity of agricultural products The raising customs
7 Problems of Great Depression presented in Walker Brothers Cowboy Depressed market and economy “ views of gray barns and falling-down sheds and upturning windmills …” (p. 2711) “ we pass a factory with boarded-up windows …” (p. 2707) Unemployment The tramps they encountered by the Lakes “ Nora, ‘ I guess you count yourself lucky to have the work … he was out of work the longest time. ’” (p. 2714)
8 Waiting for free meals Source Migrant mother with seven children Source
9 Why ‘ cowboy ’ ? The Stereotype of a cowboy Manhood Self-dependent Riding on a horse Grazing cattle The father, a parody of a cowboy Accepting would-be customer ’ s abuse Driving a car, knocking the doors of kitchens Raising foxes Felt like a failure both for bankrupt and marriage
10 Summary (1) “ Walker Brothers Cowboy ” is a story of a girl ’ s growth. The narrator, the girl, takes a journey with her father and her brother. From the journey, the narrator revealed their living condition before and now. Her father raised foxes before, but the price of the foxes fall down from one year to another because of Depression, so they owed the feed company a big money. Then the whole family moved to another place by the Lakes, Tuppertown. Her father earned a living by working as a peddler for Walker Brothers company.
11 Summary (2) One day, because of the mother ’ s sickness, the narrator and her brother took a journey with their father. From the journey, they knew what their father ’ s job looks like. The narrator perceived her father ’ s different aspects. Before they went home, the father took them to visit his ex-girlfriend, Nora. The narrator experienced something that she never encountered before that changed the narrator at the end of the story.
12 Character Analysis The narrator, a girl, 1st person point-of- view sensitive and clever “ I think of what my grandmother and my Aunt Tena, … that was what they would say about Nora (p. 2714, L3 from the bottom) “ My father does not say … the whisky, maybe the dancing ” (p. 2716, L6 from the bottom) The father (Ben Jordan) A fox raiser A salesman for Walker Brothers Company (p. 2708, second par. from the bottom) A good husband (p. 2716, L10)
13 Character Analysis The mother A sorrowful woman who longs for her past home and life. (p. 2709, L12 from the bottom) She likes to keep her class and style. (p. 2709, the first whole par.)
14 Character Analysis Nora, the father ’ s ex-girlfriend, loving dance The blind woman, Nora ’ s mother The narrator ’ s brother — insensitive and childish “ Pee, pee, … he can do to walk in. ” (p. 2712, L 10)
15 The father-daughter relationship Teacher-student “ He tells me how the Great Lakes came to be …. ” (p. 2708, the first whole par.) Degraded “… and I feel … you cannot imagine. ” (p. 2717, L4)
16 The mother-daughter relationship Uncomfortable “ With me her creation, … on the street. ” (p. 2709, L25) “ Don ’ t you remember … any unwanted emotion. ” (p. 2709, L12 from the bottom)
17 The husband-wife relationship Polite and cold “ No. No thanks, I ’ m better just to lie here with my eyes closed. ” (p. 2710, L13) They don ’ t understand each other “ Just don ’ t tell your mother that, … She isn ’ t liable to see the joke. ” (p. 2712, L11)
18 The relationship between the father and Nora Cheerful “ He tells about the chamberpot that was emptied out the window … that ’ s all you are. ” (p. 2715, L13) The end of affection between two of them “ Stay for supper …. ” (p. 2716, L23) “ Bring the children. Bring your wife. ” (p. 2716, L21)
19 An initiation story … A story of a character ’ s growth or retreat that takes the shape of a journey. The character changed or became experienced at the end of the journey. A journey to Knowing her (the narrator ’ s) father The adult world The world outside her home To herself
20 A journey to know her father As the journey proceeded, the father figure changed from a mentor, an amusing father into a sophisticated person. The father figure as … A mentor “… He tells me how the Great Lakes came to be … They were new as time went. ” (p. 2708, par.1)
21 The father figure as … A buffoon or an amusing “ cowboy ” “ Now then, missus, are you troubled with parasitic life? … He would would wave the imaginary box of pills … and she would laugh finally, unwillingly …” (p. 2711, par.2) “ Where are the Baptists … My brother takes this for straight truth … trying to see down to the Lake …” (p. 2710, par.2)
22 The father figure as … Tough ‘ cowboy ’ both in physical and psychological aspects “ He should know how to quiet animals, he has held desperate foxes with tongs around their necks. ” (p. 2711, par. 1) “ Just then a window is opened upstairs, a white pot appears on the sill, … He picks up his suitcases with no particular hurry and walk, no longer whistling … lights a cigarette before he starts the car …” (p. 2712, L 2-8) A father / husband of responsibility “‘ Ben. ’ My father drops his head and says quietly, ‘ Not me, Nora. ’’’ (p. 2716) “‘ Stay for supper. ’…‘ Oh, no. And their mother would worry …’’’ (p. 2716)
23 The father figure as … A sophisticated adult covered with a cheerful “ cowboy ” “ I feel my father ’ s life flowing back from our car in the last of the afternoon, darkening and turning strange, like a landscape that has an enchantment on it, making it kindly, ordinary and familiar while you are looking at it, but changing it, once your back is tuned, into something you will never know …” (p. 2717, par. 2)
24 A journey to the adult world The cruelty of life “… a white pot appears on the sill … tilted over and its contents splash down …” (p. 2712) The suffering of life “ This is first blind person I have ever seen close up … From one hollow comes … a miraculous tear. ” (p. 2713) The emotional suffering “ The woman … holds on to them tightly, pushing them against her stomach as if it hurt. ” (p. 2712) “ Nora ’ s dress, when she appears again …” (p. 2713) The unacceptable relations between Protestants and Catholics.
25 A journey to the world outside her home What poverty is “ My father says he is a bit hard up himself ” (p. 2708) Aligning himself and his family with the destitute “ the factory with boarded-up ” (p. 2707) “ it is hard to find any colors. Gray for the barns … The rusting cars show rainbow patches …” (p. 2711, par.2) “ Not living things to be seen … Except dogs … their lean sides rising …” (p. 2711) “ One yard after another … the old cars, the pumps, dogs, views of gray barns and falling-down sheds and upturning windmills …” (p. 2711, par. 2)
26 A journey to herself A sense of loss: her father ’ s mortality and her own “ The tiny share we have of time appalls me, though my father seems to regard it with tranquility … he was not alive when this century started. I will be barely alive — old,old — when it end. ” (p. 2708, par.1) Displaying her discretion as an adult “ My father does not say anything to me about not mentioning things at home, but I know, just from the thoughtfulness, … The whisky, maybe the dancing. ” (p. 2716 bottom) The deadening quality of life “ When we get closer to Tuppertwon the sky becomes gently overcast, as always …” (p. 2717)
27 Theme “… both the pathos and the degradation of men and women who face the deadening quality of life in a cycle of promise and decay.. ” (p. 2706) The mother “ Mrs. Oliphant who is the only neighbor she (the mother) talks to …” (pp. 2708-09) “ She walks serenely like a lady shopping …” (p. 2709) “ She is not able to keep from mentioning those days. ” (p. 2709) “ No bathroom with a claw-footed tub and flush toilet is going to comfort her …” (p. 2709) The father “… my father hung on hoping they would get better next year, and they fell again, and he hung on one more year and one more and finally it was not possible to hang on anymore …” (p.2708) The narrator “ When we get close to Tuppertown the sky becomes gently overcast, as always …” (p. 2717)
28 Theme — Poverty “…poverty stamps itself on all facets of life…” (p. 2706) “ We poured all we had into it, my mother says, and we came out with nothing. Many people could say the same thing, these days … my mother has no time for the national calamity …” (p. 2709) “ Nora laughs. ‘ Well, I guess you count yourself lucky to have the work, Isabel ’ s husband in Brantford, he was out of work the longest time …”’ (p. 2714). Color images — gray and brown (p. 2707, 2711) all suggest depressed economy.
29 Theme — Isolation Isolation Children are still playing. I don ’ t know them either because my mother keeps my brother and me in our own yard … separate into islands of two or one … (p. 2707). He goes back once again, probably to say goodbye to my mother, to ask her if she is sure she doesn ’ t want to come, and hear her say, “ No. No thanks, I ’ m better just to lie here with my eyes closed. ” (p. 2710).
30 Questions Characterize the narrator ’ s relationship with her father. Does it change over the course of journey? What does the word ‘ cowboy ’ in the title suggest? Is that positive or negative?
31 Works Cited “Alice Munro.” Homepage. 6 Mar. 2006. "Author: Alice Munro." Literature and Culture Teaching Database ( 文學與文化教學資料 庫 ). 2004. Hermes Database Project 匯文網資料庫計畫. 23 Apr. 2006. “The Comparative Analysis of the Father Figure in Boys and Girls and Walker Brothers Cowboy.” Hong En. 8 Apr. 2006. “The Great Depression.” Modern American Poetry. 18 Apr. 2006. Martin, W. R. “The Strange and the Familiar in Alice Munro.” Studies in Canadian Literature. 21 Mar. 2006.. Munro, Alice. “Walker Brothers Cowboy.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M. H. Abrams. 7 th ed. Vol. 2. New York: Norton, 2000. 2707-17.
32 Works Cited “Photographs of the Great Depression.” 20th Century History. 15 Apr. 2006. “Walker Brothers Cowboy.” 20th Century English Literature. 3 Mar. 2006. “Walker Brothers Cowboy by Alice Munro.” English286. 19 Apr. 2006. “Walker Brothers Cowboy Study Guide.” Book Rags. 10 Apr. 2006. “What Caused the Great Depression of the 1930’s?” Gold Ocean. 12 Apr. 2006. “ 經濟大蕭條與第二次世界大戰 (1929-1945).” America’s Library. 7 Apr. 2006.