The Art and Genius of Anne Hébert: Essays on Her Works: Night and the Day Are One

By Janis L. Pallister | Go to book overview

First Mothers,
First Garden

LORI SAINT-MARTIN

The First Garden is part of a recent movement in the Québec novel toward a woman-centered rereading of history. Like Nicole Houde's La Maison du remous (The house by the whirlpool), Madeleine Ouellette-Michalska's La Maison Trestler ou le 8e jour d'Amérique (The Trestler house or the eighth day of America), or Francine Noël's Myriam première (Myriam the First), to mention only a few, Anne Hébert's novel questions history, both recent and long past, through a feminist rereading/rewriting of the "family romance."1 Its return to the origins of New France is orchestrated in such a way that Flora Fontanges's personal history and the collective history of Québec overlap and merge. This rereading of history involves few male characters; Marie Rollet (wife of Louis Hébert and, with him, founder of the first French family in New France), the "Filles du Roy" (young women, mostly poor or orphaned, sent by the king of France by boatloads to marry the settlers in the new colony), the chambermaids who worked for the wealthy families of the Grande-Allée—in other words, the mothers and daughters of the past—are at the forefront of Flora's quest. It seems that women authors cannot rethink, reconceptualize, and rewrite history without opening narrative space to accommodate the feminine, and especially maternal, figures and values repressed by Western male culture.

In fact, the entire novel rests on an intimate relationship with the maternal; maternal origins, although they are always already lost for good, inspire ardent longing. "What is the initial wound of love, for everyone, not just for Flora Fontanges who has no father or mother?,"2 one passage reads, with the answer following immediately: everyone is in mourning for the "notion of absolute maternal goodness" (Hébert 1990, 79).3 Behind every passionate love of adult life, this novel implies, lies the first love of all: the passion that united mother and child within the first embrace, in the heart of the first garden.

-92-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Art and Genius of Anne Hébert: Essays on Her Works: Night and the Day Are One
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 400

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.