Behind the Characters: Green Grass, Running Water

I wanted to focus on those characters within the interrogation scenes starting near the beginning of Green Grass Running Water (GGRW). I found these characters are not often talked about but I found them to be quite interesting and intriguing, particularly with their connection to Melville’s story “Benito Cereno.”  There are many similarities between GGRW and this story and I was interested in exploring them through three characters: Babo Jones, Sergeant Ben Cereno, and Jimmy Delano.

Babo Jones is an African-American who works at the mental hospital where four Indians escaped from. The Babo in GGRW is akin to the Babo in Melville’s story “Benito Cereño” in Piazza Tales. In this story, Babo is a black slave who is on board the ship the San Dominick as a leader of the slave revolt and deceives Captain Amasa Delano, their master, into thinking nothing is going on, when really the ship is heading for freedom in Africa. This is similar to what happens in GGRW, as Babo is revealed to have helped the four Indians escape. We also think that the Captain Delano is in charge in Melville’s story, like we think the sergeants are in GGRW. There are little jokes made by King within GGRW as well, such as when she carries around Life Saver candies, in reference to Babo and the ship.

Sergeant Ben Cereno is the sergeant initially interrogating Babo about the whereabouts of the Indians who escaped. Like Babo, this character is reference another in “Benito Cereño.”  Babo asks Sergeant Cereño is his name is Italian or Spanish, then guessing that his first name is Ben and that it is Babo’s boy’s name. This is similar to what occurs in GGRW as well. We find out Babo’s race when he refers to her as “Aunt Jemima,” a  racial slur that references the fictional character used to market breakfast foods like maple syrup.  Sergeant Cereno appears to be in charge during the interrogation; however; Babo had all the knowledge and power during the questioning, even if she seemed all over the place with frequent topic changes. Like the Captain’s mistreatment of the slaves, he treated Babo poorly, and had trouble getting information he could have otherwise obtained.

Jimmy Delano is Sergeant Cereno’s assistant and also is involved with the interrogation process with Babo. Again, there seems to be a strong connection between this character and the one in “Benito Cereño,” either Captain Delano or, more likely, Columbus Delano. Columbus Delano was the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and a career politician. He defended the BIA against charges of mistreating Indians despite evidence. Eventually this lead to his resignation.  Because Jimmy was more patient than Sergeant Cereno, he was able to obtain more information from Babo. In this sense he is more similar to the captain of “Benito Cereno,” as he was able to discover the slaves overtook the ship in a similar manner.

Works Cited

Flick, Jane. “Reading Notes for Thomas King’s “Green Grass Running Water”” Canadian Literature (1999): 140-72. UBC Blogs. Web. 22 July 2016.

King, Thomas (June 1, 1994). Green Grass, Running Water. New York: Bantam Books.

The Ethos behind Tales of Creation


The spirit of the creation story told by King depicts a world that is cooperative and where everyone is treated as equals. A world that is kind and where everyone belongs and is willing to work with one another. King clearly demonstrates that the culture behind this tale is a cooperative one that believes everyone should work together in order to create a working society and a sustainable world to live in. It characterizes the society in a more peaceful way.

The creation stories that I know of have both similarities and differences between them. The one I am more familiar with and remember believing is the story where the Earth was created in 6 days. Where the first days were for the light and the dark, and the land and the sea, before any creatures came along. I also learned of the story of Adam and Eve, a tale with more of a negative connotation. Neither of these stories tell much of cooperation. In both cases, God is said to have created everything. There was no mutual building of the world. In both these stories, creatures like animals and humans were also later brought in.

In a sense, the building of the world in 6 days story of creation did appear as if everything was equal. Everything made equally to enjoy the wonders of the world. In the story of Adam and Eve, God is clearly superior.   As well, it seems some things were made specifically for the human Adam, although some variations may differ in this respect.  As well, the 6 days of creation story had a more positive feel, or at least neutral – similar to the one King told. The story of Adam and Eve, on the other hand, had a more negative message to it, which God was all powerful and banished Adam and Eve from the garden for a sin they were not wholly aware they were committing. As well, which King’s story goes from disorganization to harmony, the story of Adam and Eve does the opposite.

I can also see King’s story being received as beautiful. Not only the way it is written but the content within itself. The stories in genesis, as one blogger pointed out, cannot really be seen as such. King story also has a more fictitious feel, while the stories in Genesis feel more assertive and historical.  I found this the case with many Native American creation stories. I loved how these tales are told and how they give a more storytelling feel, even if they feel more like myths than truth. It is defiently interesting to see what different stories different cultures create.

Works Cited

“Is the Genesis Creation Story Beautiful?” EvolutionBlog. N.p., 2012. Web. 20 July 2016.

King, Thomas. (2003). The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative. Peterbough: Anansi Press.

“Native American Myths of Creation.” Native American Myths of Creation. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2016.

The Royal Proclamation: Some Notes

The Royal Proclamation was an important document that lead the way towards recognizing existing Aboriginal rights and title. In 1763, the Royal Proclamation was issued initially by King George III, and was used to claim British territory officially within North America after the Seven Years War was won by Britain. King George was issued ownership over North America, but the Royal Proclamation acknowledges that Aboriginal title has existed and continues to exist. Until ceded by treaty, all land was to be considered Aboriginal land, and settlers were forbidden to claim land that belonged to Aboriginals, unless certain conditions were met. Only the Crown could buy land from the Aboriginals, and they were to be compensated for land or resources taken from them. While both parties were involved in the establishment of treaties, and that some form of consent was required from the First Nations, the British Crown still had a clear monopoly over Aboriginal lands. In current times, some consider the Royal Proclamation to still be valid in Canada, since there has been no law overruling it.

I decided to look into the Royal Proclamation, since it was something I was not very familiar with. I was actually surprised it acknowledged First Nation land as belonging to Aboriginals, and that some sort of consent and compensation was required to change ownership. While it’s clear the British Crown still had an advantage over the First Nations, it feels more reassuring that this acknowledgement was made, even if it did not mean much. We can see that someone from Britain did not simply take land and claim it was theirs. Even if the land was taken unfairly, it shows that there was still understanding about who the land belonged to originally. But then, this is also where the problem lies. These people made it appear like they were doing things fairly — how they traded or claimed land — when in reality there was a clear dominance of one side over the other.

I believe the Royal Proclamation satisfies Coleman’s argument regarding white civility. Overall, the document works to recognize Aboriginals and their land, even though it’s clear who holds more power. The Royal Proclamation makes it appear as if the are being civil, and are building their ‘project’ correctly by showing that they are consensually obtaining land from the First Nations. This makes the country appear multicultural, even though there is a clear dominance of Anglo-Canadians. The Royal Proclamation makes it seem like things are fair and romanticizes the view that the two nations are working together as one.

In the end, the Royal Proclamation does still acknowledge that some land rightfully belongs to the First Nations, and did acknowledge that the Aboriginals were treated unfairly. (And, interestingly, that Quebec was distinct from the rest of Canada).

Works Cited

\”Royal Proclamation, 1763.” Royal Proclamation, 1763. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2016.

“The Royal Proclamation of 1763 Is 250 Years Old on October 7.” Land Claims Coalition. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 July 2016.

What it Means to Roar

In his article, Sparke considers what Chief Justice Allan McEachern meant when he said “we’ll call it the map that roared” when he was beginning to unfold a map of Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en territory. He explores some ideas about what this may be in reference to. The two points that stood out to be was when he suggested the phrase may be in reference to a movie or in reference to a “roaring map.”  I will now begin analyse each of these suggestions.

Sparke smartly considers that Chief Justice Allan McEachern declaring “we’ll call it the map that roared” could be in reference to the 1959 film “The Mouse that Roared” by Peter Sellers, which satirizes Cold War geopolitics. To understand why Sparke made this correlation, it is improtant to understand what the movie is about. Simplified, the movie’s plot revolves around the tiny European country called the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, whose economy is almost exclusively dependent on making wine. The country is on the verge of bankruptcy when a knockoff version of the wine is being made by an American winery. The Prime Minister decides to declare war on the United States, expecting defeat. However, by accident, the Duchy actually beats the United States.

I think this is comparable to what happened between the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people and the Canadian government and Chief Justice Allan McEachern, where the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people are akin to the Duchy of Grand Fenwick and the others, like the United States. Initially the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people may have felt they would lose the battle, but that it was worth the effort anyway. To their surprise, McEachern’s judgement was overturned. However, I think McEachern would have to have known this would be the outcome, and it did not seem that way at the time. This correlation also puts the Gitxsan and Wet’sunwet’en people in a more negative light, as we would be comparing them to the fools of Duchy — an unfair and unjust comparison.

Sparke also suggests that this phrase could be referencing a roaring map that “simultaneously evoked the resistance in the First Nations’ remapping of the land.”  The Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en people are reclaiming their land through this map and are letting Canada know that they do not agree with their classifications or how they wanted to remap it. They are being loud about it, and are showing them clearly what their beliefs are about the land, exactly how they believe it. Their cartography shows a “roaring refusal” to how Canada wished to map their land.

I think Sparke’s last reference suggestion fits best with the statement “we’ll call it the map that roared,” because it is the map that spoke out against Canadian colonialism on native land. The associations between the phrase and the movie “The Mouse that Roared” seem disrespectful and requires futuristic assumptions.

Works Cited

Clement, Wallace. Understanding Canada: Building on the New Canadian Political Economy. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 1997. Print.

“The Mouse That Roared.” AFI: Catalog of Feature Films. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2016.

Sparke, Matthew. “A Map That Roared And An Original Atlas: Canada, Cartography, And The Narration Of Nation”. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 88.3 (1998): 463-495. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

Dichotomies in Stories: How Books are not Always Consistent

King presents to us two different creation stories in “The Truth about Stories” — one regarding a peaceful story about cooperation, the other using an authoritative voice promoting competition. But which one of these is true? Which one should we believe? King uses dichotomies to show the difference between these two stories, and points out how the way these stories are told, and what is in these stories, influences what the reader or listener believes.

It is interesting to note that even the Bible has two different creation stories within it. The first one is told at the very beginning of the book and the second one is in Genesis 2.4-2.5.  The first one sets out the seven days of creation, and how first God created the heavens and the earth, day and night. The next day he separated the waters and the third day he created dry land. Then came the stars, moon, and sun and then water creatures and birds. Finally on the sixth day land animals and humans were created. Then on the seventh day God rested.

In the second story, the days are no specified and the sequence of events is different. The heavens and the earth were created, and then man (but not woman). Then came the garden of evil, with the tree of knowledge that would soon spell doom for the man living in Eden. God tells man about the tree, and not to eat from it, then notices that Man is lonely, so he then makes Woman. Eventually they end up eating from the tree of knowledge and are banished out of Eden for their sins.

In this case, which story are we to trust? They both come from the same book, the same Bible. Both are told in a more authoritative voice. Which one is true?

Both stories are still different from King’s story regarding cooperation. Neither of the Bible stories are really about this — it’s just God creating everything and commanding things to be the way they are. Both are still told in an authoritative way vs. storytelling. But the point here is that there are even dichotomies within the same collection of stories that some believe to be true as a whole.

In the first story, all of creation is said to be good. Even within this story, dichotomies like heaven and earth and day and night are discussed. The second story is more harsh, particularly for humankind. The garden of Eden is a place of work and where things are off-limits. Furthermore, it is an unfair place, as Woman never knew that eating the fruit off the tree was bad.  Furthermore, they would not have knowledge of what was good or bad (like that it was wrong to disobey God) without this knowledge from the tree. There is no such thing in the first story of creation. One may say one story follows from another, but the events in both stories are still different, as is the way the creation of humans is told.

King is trying to show us what we choose to believe, even if we would believe parts of the other story, we overall want to pick the one that makes sense to us and that we trust. We see these opposites being told and it shows that they could be the same story, but that every aspect of it is opposite to one another. But even stories in the same book show dichotomies, so we must be really careful with our biases in choosing what we believe, and be careful of any inconsistencies between stories. Dichotomies can show us what biases we have, and perhaps what we grew up believing, but it is important that we are careful of these things when reading or listening to stories.

Works Cited

Arnett, Autumn A. “Promoting Growth Mindset Means Checking Biases at the Door, Experts Say.” Education Dive. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.

“Two Creation Stories.” Bible Wonderings. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.

Genesis. Digital image. Biologos. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.

King, Thomas. The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 2005. Print.

Shared Thoughts on Home


I read a few of the other student’s posts, and I found some interestingly similarities between them. Not only that, they were quite different experiences and feelings than what I considered to be home for myself, and it let me look at things from a new perspective. Not only that, but I realized I actually shared some common themes that I may not have considered before or hadn’t not really gone deeply into.

Given what I have read, I discovered these common things each poster seemed to share:

  1.  Their sense of home was in a person or an object, not a specific place
  2.  They found this out through self-discovery
  3. Home was somewhere they were comfortable in

The most striking similarity I found within all three of the postings I read was the fact that the writer did not identify home as  a specific place but rather home was a person (or in one case, an inanimate object). Upon further analysis, I realized this was a common theme for many people.

In the first post I read, the writer considered their plush toys a home — they would feel comfort and joy whenever she had them with them. Being an alone child who was living in Canada alone without her parents, these were the only things that could connect her to her parents and therefore to her home. She also further considers her husband to be her home, someone who has helped guide her through her life’s journey. The second poster considered her brother to be her home, as they had shared many of the same life experiences together as well. Finally, the third writer also reiterated this idea that “home [was] always been the people [they] have been with.” In this, they meant their two siblings and their mother.

These three posters also shared similar stories about traveling and how this related to their sense of home. They had either moved to a completely new place to continue on their journey, or had just traveled to find their own sense of self. These travels or changes of place made them realize what home actually meant to them, and in that sense found that home wasn’t a specific place, but somewhere where their loved ones were. They felt displaced and homesick without them In this way, it did not matter where they went, or what changes in scenery they experience. As long as the ones they found home in were there, they would be home.

Last but not least, home was also a place they found comfort and joy in. Not only that, but home was where a lot of their life experiences lay. Having shared experiences with other helps with the comfort, I think, as you know someone went through similar things as you did.

Overall, the most evident thing about these posts was that home was connected to a person or a group of people, and wherever they were, they found home.

Works Cited

Gosal, Navi. “Assignment 2:2 – Home.” Web log post. ENGL 470A Canadian Studies. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2016.

Hudson, Paul. “You Know You’re In Love When Home Becomes A Person, Not A Place.” Elite Daily You Know Youre In Love When Home Becomes A Person Not A Place Comments. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 June 2016.

James, Heather. “Home.” Web log post. Heather James: ENGL 470A. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2016.

Li, Christy. “MY HOME….” Web log post. ENGL470- CHRISTY’S BLOG. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2016.

Buying a home. Digital image. Money Smart. Australian Securities and Investment Commission, n.d. Web. 12 June 2016.

Tam, Ruth. “Home Is Not A Place.” Thought Catalog. N.p., 2012. Web. 12 June 2016.

A Tale of Two Homes: One Larger Than the Other

I was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC. I have lived in the same house my whole life. In a way, it would be pretty simple for me to determine what home meant to me: it’s the place I had my first birthday, where I learned my first song on the piano, the place I would always bring friends over to, and the room I was consistently messing up. I grew up with my older sister, my mother and father, and my grandmother from my mom’s side, who helped take care of us. I also found a home in my elementary school, where I had many close friends with classmates and teachers. I’m far away from that home now – close in distance but far in memory. But it always feels like an old friend whenever I visit it.

I have another place I consider to be a type of home – a place I didn’t visit until I was 11 but came to know of early on: Poland. The place my mother was raised, along with my father’s grandparents. This place holds a lot of my family heritage, so I also consider it a home. A very distant home to me, but a place my ancestors considered theirs. My father always loved to tell stories about our family in Poland, especially regarding our family tree. In particular, my father loves to talk about my grandfather’s childhood and the place he grew up in: Szczekociny Turns out he had quite the lifestyle growing up, what with living in a mansion with servants, a large front and backyard (perfect for riding horses) and being raised to speak the elegant and universal tongue that was French. Unfortunately, they had to sell the place during the Great Depression, and the insides got burned down after it was converted to a school (the teachers were angry about something or another). It still stands, but looks more like a ruin more than anything. It still looks fantastic and grand, however, and you can imagine where everything was at the time: the ballroom, the great staircases and chandeliers. Some of the side buildings have been rebuilt though.

Me in front of Szczekociny!

Me in front of Szczekociny!

Another interesting place related to my family: the Halpert Chapel in Warsaw! My father always talks about how he wants to be buried there. It was rebuilt in 1975 but unfortunately most of the graves were destroyed. The cemetery surrounding it is very beautiful as well. I always feel a little special going inside. It’s neat being connected to something as historic as this.


Going back to my mother’s side: my grandmother passed away when I was quite young, around 10. I found this led to a loss in my language ability in Polish (which wasn’t too great to begin with). With it, slowly losing touch with my second home. I’ve visited Poland around 3 times now, but I often find it hard to communicate with the older generations of my family. There is someone who I really wish to be able to communicate with, however, and that is my Great Aunt, or my grandmother’s sister. My grandmother had two sisters, but one is quite different from her. The other one reminds me very much of my grandmother though. I would love to hear the stories she has to tell, and actually have a heartfelt conversation with her one-on-one without the need for any translations. I want to hear more about my grandmother and my mother and their life in Poland. I want to learn more about my family’s history. I want to gain knowledge of a life, a different side of my family, which I don’t have. I want to learn about their values and teachings. I think then I will be closer to my second home.

(I do plan on going back there for a few months in the fall, hopefully to become more fluent in the language and experience more of the culture and life in Poland as well!)

I still consider here to be my primary home. But I know I always have somewhere else to go – somewhere I can still feel comfortable in. It won’t be the same as where I have grown up, and where I have spent most of my life, but it’s somewhere to go when home here is too much or when I want to experience something different, just for a bit. But I will always come back to a place I call home.

Works Cited

Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery, Warsaw on Evangelical-Augsburg Cemetery, Warsaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.
Szczekociny. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.

How Evil Came Into the World — A Witch’s Tale


I have a great story to tell you. One that contains a story within itself.

Once there was an elf who lived in a village occupied by other elves ,fairies, ogres, and orcs. He overheard some elders one day talking about a witch who lived in the woods who had the most fascinating of stories to tell about the world’s ancient history. The elf was very curious to hear this story, so off he went on his adventure, going off into the woods to find the witch with the fascinating story.

As he got further into the woods, he noticed a little cottage near the edge of a river. To his surprise, there was indeed a witch there. She stood by the brook with her hands in the water, perhaps collecting newts or frogs. He started to get nervous but remember what the elders had told him and his excitement took over his anxiety.
The elf approached the witch with a sense of curiosity. What could this story be? He briefly introduced himself to the witch and told her what the elders had said to him.

“I warn you, this is not a tale you wish to hear.” This only made the elf more intrigued. He begged the witch to indulge him with her words.

“You will not be the same after this tale. You will think differently. Act differently. It will change your perspective of the world and everything you believe of it. You will be a different person than who you were when you came to me.

The elf entertained this, and was interested to see what the witch meant. He had always thought the same about the world, he was curious to discover another perspective. He realized he wanted to find out what it was like to think differently.

“I would like to experience this,” he finally consented, and waited anxiously for the witch’s reply.

“Very well.” And this is the story she told.

“Long ago, in an ancient time, there existed many creatures, more than you would see today. Not just orcs and elves and fairies and orgres, but creatures like pixies, dwarves, trolls, goblins, dragons…”

The elf had only heard about these creatures in other stories.

“All these creatures lived in harmony, and in a beautiful place called Alivea. Alivea was a place where all beings could live as they wished, with waterfalls that ran freely and trees that grew endlessly. Everyone took care of each other. And while some creatures were stronger and more intelligent than others, this never affected the peace each being felt with one another.”

The witch paused for a moment there. The elf looked at her with excitement in his eyes. He had already become so invested in her story. The witch sighed. She knew his expression would soon change.
“But the Orcs did not like being equal to creatures such as fairies or gnomes or elves. They did not want to share what they had, and they wanted control over Alivea.”

“Soon the Orcs began fighting with those they considered as their equals, so no one would be as strong as them. They started with the goblins, then the trolls, wiping them out of Alivea. The dragons, arguably the strongest of them all, did not approve of this at all. They tried to restore order to Alivea. But alas, they were outnumbered, and they, too, were wiped from existence. They stopped after killing off the pixies, satisfied they had done enough but also aware they could not wipe out all the creatures. So they took over Alivea and enslaved the beings that remained: the fairies, the elves, and the ogres. They made them hate each other, had them fighting over resources. Not that they realized not everything had to be shared, not that they realized some were stronger than the others and could use it to their advantage, they began to harm and steal and do all these terrible things, all because these Orcs brought this evil upon their world.”

The witch saw how the elf’s face had fallen. She had warned him, but perhaps it was time he knew of this tale.
“But surely things are better now. Unless, of course, it’s in their nature…”

The elf became unsettled, particularly after that last line. He nodded and stood up uneasily. He thanked the witch as he turned away from her and continued back along the path.

As the elf made his way back to his village he began to feel sick. Some of his good friends were Orcs. Were they really this cruel? Did they really believe the same things the Orcs in the witch’s story had? Were they all related in some way?

When he got back to the village and saw his friends, he couldn’t help but think back to what the witch had said. Would his Orc friends do something so unjust like in the story? Would they cause him to turn against his other friends, like the fairies and the Orgres? The witch was right — he had gained a new perspective. But it wasn’t a very nice one. Maybe his thoughts were a form of the evil in themselves.

He wish he hadn’t heard the story. He wished he had heeded the witch’s warning. If only he wasn’t so curious…

But it was too late. The story had already been told. And he could never give it back.


Telling this story orally was certainly a different experience from reading and writing it. In particular, I found it more uncomfortable to the read the story out loud to someone rather than have them just read it while I distract myself with something else. I think this changed how the story went — I was more nervous and giggly and unsure of myself, feeling strange and a little silly as I am not usually confident with putting my work out there, especially when someone can see me as an author but also put my voice to the words. But orally performing the story does give you more connections with your audience than if they were to just simply read it.

I found it’s also difficult to keep a consistent story. By this I mean, while all the elements are there, the story will always be told a little differently each time. Even if you have memorized the whole thing, you may have forgotten some words, or, more often, you feel like something should be changed in that particular moment. Something as subtle as just a word or a phrase, but you may change it depending on your audience or how you feel. It may never be exactly as how you have written it.  That is why story reading is different from story telling. Chesin puts it perfectly: “the teller is free, the reader is bound” When reading a story, you tell it exactly as it is written. One may argue that a reader can change the story as well, but that just makes it more like they are telling the story, not just reading it.

In conclusion, I found that telling my story was much different from what I am used to. If I am presenting orally, it is usually by improvisation, and I find reading the words of my story out loud is easier than just telling it. But telling the story defiantly makes me feel more connected to my audience, and, with that, the story I am telling as well, and I feel it is a much more powerful means to get a point across.

Works Cited

Chesin, Gerald A. Storytelling and Storyreading. Jstor. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016.

Denning, Steve. Oral versus Written Stories. Steve Denning. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016.

Witch Elf v White Lion. Digital image. Https:// N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2016.

A New Age of Literature (#7)

The advancement of technology has given us new tools to work with in all forms of life and culture, and literature is no exception. Digital literature includes platforms such as eBooks, websites, and blogs, but even social media platforms like Facebook can be used to share stories with others, and without the need for a professional publisher.

Particularly with the advancement of social media, I would argue that there are multiple mediums in which to share stories. Social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram can communicate stories through the use of images, and with little to no words involved. People have been telling stories this way for years, just like the First Nations peoples did with their totems. You can also combine these platforms into creating powerful narratives, using a combination of words and images to make a story even more impactful.

There are digital platforms that allow you to share your story orally as well. Youtube is a great example of this. You can record yourself telling stories, self-publish them, and share them with a large amount of people. However, this way of storytelling is different still from traditional storytelling, where someone is able to change their telling of the study (MacNeil). In the case of Youtube videos, it is like publishing a literary work, in that once it is published it remains (virtually) unchanged, or cannot be changed as easily as traditional storytelling can.

Hypertext is also a ‘digitized’ form of another type of literature or piece of writing – that of interactive stories. Perhaps you remember the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books from your younger days. These books required you to read through a passage and then flip to a certain page depending on what you want your next actions to be. This allows the reader to have even more involvement with the story, and in a way they are able to shape the story themselves. They still do not know what their choices will bring (unless, of course, you opted to read the choice passages beforehand and chose the path you found most desirable), so a story is still being told to them, but they simply have more interaction now and a greater sense of control. ;Through the use of hypertext, this same form of storytelling can be brought in the form of digital literature. Sometimes hypertext may just be used in a posting like this one, where the reader can make a decision about whether they want to delve further into the literary work or not, or sometimes it can be used like in the interactive fiction books, where one is immersed within the pages of the web to follow through a story with many clicks and page changes.

I believe these two aspects of digital literature have positive impacts on literature and stories. They allow more people to communicate easily and through multiple mediums as well.  More readers and listeners can be reached, and this can allow a single story to spread very far – one that would probably not be able to otherwise. And that could be a very sensational story indeed.


Works Cited

Croom, Kukhautusha. Visual Literature. Digital image. Morementum. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

Jerz, Dennis G. “Interactive Fiction: What Is It?” Interactive Fiction: What Is It? N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

MacNeil, Courtney. “The Chicago School of Media Theory Theorizing Media since 2003.” The Chicago School of Media Theory RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

“How to Tell Powerful Narratives on Instagram.” Nieman Storyboard How to Tell Powerful Narratives on Instagram Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

An Introduction to My Journey

My name is Sylvia and I am currently a 4th year Cognitive Systems student specializing in Psychology. In general, my literature choices revolve around topics such as the human mind and artificial intelligence.  I have not taken an English literature course since my first year at university, and my most recent literature course was Philosophy of Literature, which was quite interesting as it allowed me to view literature from a deeper perspective.

I am excited to discover new literature and stories that I would not otherwise come across. I love taking literature courses because they introduce me to new worlds and points of view that would be difficult to discover otherwise.

I got my first taste of First Nations culture early on in elementary school when we stayed the night in a Traditional Coast Salish Bighouse, where we made bannock, rock soup, and slept together in the large room. We also learned about different family roles such as weaving or plant gathering – I was part of the wood carvers! Overall it was a very educational experience. I learned lots from the elders and it gave me an interesting and hands-on look into Indigenous culture.

This course appears to delve deeply into storytelling, and explores topics such as colonization and nation building in a historical context. I am eager to develop awareness of past and current issues related to Canada’s history and the relationships between its people. I decided to do some research on Aboriginal writers and came across this list that spoke of some great Aboriginal women that wrote amazing stories. Reading about these people made me more excited to discover the stories we would be reading within the course, and I cannot wait to discover them and to share my experiences of them with all of you.

Until the next blog,

Sylvia Halpert

Works Cited

Kirton, Jónína. “14 Aboriginal Women Writers to Read This Summer.” Room Magazine.
________N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016.

“Experience a Traditional Coast Salish Bighouse.” North Vancouver School District.
________N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016.

First Nations Bighouse Program. Digital image. North Vancouver School District.
________N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2016.