Essays on Modern Quebec Theater

By Joseph I. Donohoe Jr.; Jonathan M. Weiss | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Cross-Fertilization of Cultures in Quebec Theater 1

Alonzo Le Blanc

When the word half-breed strikes the ear of a Quebecer, the image it prompts is that of a hero, Louis Riel, the leader of an important rebellion in the Canadian West, arrested by order of John A. MacDonald, founder of the Canadian Confederation, and executed for murder after sentence was pronounced in 1885. Louis Riel's identity depended on the fact that he was a half-breed, born of a father of mixed blood and a mother of French ancestry. His execution was regarded as a national insult in the province of Quebec, where Riel had received his secondary education, for it put an abrupt end to the dream of a Native North American and Francophone community in western Canada. A whole century would pass before the memory of Louis Riel would be rehabilitated and the legitimacy of his cause recognized by the Federal Government in Ottawa. Yet his struggle had always seemed exemplary in the eyes of Quebecers because, despite his status as a half- breed, he embodied resistance to political homogenization. No doubt there was in this recognition an instinctive solidarity and a spontaneous identification with an Indian brother.

Contrary to what is commonly believed outside of Canada, Quebec has been the locus of an extraordinary racial mixing of the population. When you hear, as in a recent advertisement, "Nous sommes six millions de presque parents"--indeed seven million now--you might imagine, on the basis of genealogies neatly conserved through baptismal records, that old Quebec families with names like Tremblay, Lévesque, Bouchard, Côté, Gagnon, Charest, Lachance, Lacroix,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Essays on Modern Quebec Theater


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 256

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?