The Return of the Native in Beatrice Culleton’s
IN SEARCH OF APRIL RAIN TREE
Sarah Tucker College Tirunelveli
Feminism is one of the most important social, economic and aesthetic revolutions of modern times. It does not advocate hating men but rather implies the need for women as Virginia Woolf underlines, to have “a room of one’s own and an income of one’s own.” Generally speaking feminist novels are centred on the themes of women’s oppression and women’s resistance.
Beatrice Culleton’s In Search of April Rain Tree tells about the sufferings of two Metis sisters who were taken from their parents and sent to foster homes, is nearly an autobiographical novel. Culleton itself a Metis tried to share the need to rewrite their past in an attempt to discover native ancestry there by rediscovering their identity. One of the major groups of Canadian native is Metis. The word Metis comes from the Latin miscere, meaning ‘to mix’ and was used originally to describe the children of Indian mothers and European fathers. Another term for metis derived from the Ojibwa(Indians) word wissakodewinmi, which means “half- burnt woodsmen “describing their lighter complexion in comparison to that of full – blood Indians.
The novel forcefully brings out the dilemma of the Métis (natives) caught between the two worlds, one dead and the other powerless to be born. The novel is not the story of two Metis sisters alone but it is the story of an entire people. The protagonist April RainTree is unaware of her heritage and is horrified when she is called a “half – breed” she tells that “I wasn’t a half – breed” she thought “just a foster child, that’s all.” How the Metis sisters suffered is clearly portrayed in the novel. The novel begins with
Memories. Some memories are elusive, fleeting like a butterfly that touches down and is free until it is caught. Others are hunting. You would rather forget them but they won’t be...