La figure du Metis dans La bourrasque de Maurice Constantin-Weyer

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This thesis examines the representation of Louis Riel and the Metis people in the novel La bourrasque (1925) by Maurice Constantin-Weyer. It is argued that by using vulgarity, irony and historical manipulation, the novel stresses the racial inferiority of the Metis and the racial superiority of the English in order to illustrate the Darwinian principle of natural selection. The representation of the Metis is slightly ambiguous in that the novel conveys sympathy towards their plight, but suggests that their defeat was inevitable. By applying the metaphor "Survival of the Fittest" to the story of the Red River Rebellion, La bourrasque professes Social Darwinism. The thesis discusses the popularity of Social Darwinism in France at the turn of the twentieth century, and traces a social trajectory of Constantin-Weyer to suggest that the Social Darwinist themes of La bourrasque stem from the social context in which the novel was conceived and produced.

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Department of French - Simon Fraser University
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Thesis (M.A.)