Récits de déserteurs et de volontaires : enquête sur la configuration narrative de deux figures de l'imaginaire franco-québécois

Authors: Tilch, Florence
Advisor: Létourneau, Jocelyn
Abstract: Military deserters and military volunteers represent two antagonistic choices during wartime. These choices are difficult to define, and both embody the unique symbolism in Quebec’s past. For example, in French-speaking Quebec, volunteers and deserters are surrounded by mythistories, historical accounts which ascribe significance to these roles beyond simple acceptance or rejection of military service. Since the Boer Wars in South Africa, Canada has debated its alliances and discussed its historical trajectory, its origins, and its destiny whenever troops are sent abroad. Hence, volunteers and deserters are often depicted in significantly charged contexts and in stories that are determined by narrative structures. To understand these two roles in the Quebecer collective reference, we need to examine the historical narratives of Quebec, including the depictions of both World Wars and the stories of the deserters and the volunteers. These narrative worlds are neither static nor isolated; in fact, they are constantly changing. Different discourses, such as fiction and historiography, enter into the dialogue. In this thesis, we investigate the multiple changing values and principles represented by these two protagonists, both in the historical narratives and the stories that characterize the collective imagination. We examine fictional sources, including novels and theatrical works, in which volunteers and deserters are portrayed side by side and are thus comparable. We analyze plot structure to establish different leitmotifs, to define the roles of military deserter and military volunteer, and to understand their roles in the representations of the World Wars. In this way, we can evaluate the subtle and complex transformations of Quebec’s historical narrative and offer a new perspective on the everlasting negotiations with the community’s identity references.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2013
Open Access Date: 19 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/23999
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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