Imperialism in the Works of Leacock, Duncan and Wilson

Examines how authors Sara Jeannette Duncan, Ethel Wilson and Stephen Leacock portray imperial life in Canada through their works.

During its heyday, England flew the Imperialist flag over a number of nations–India and Canada being the two most significant perhaps–and in doing so, colonized literature. The notion of Empire and all it represented was both fervently embraced and just as fervently repudiated depending on where you stood. Canadian authors of the early twentieth century were either British born, or born of British parents on Canadian soil. Imperialism, then, in one way or another permeates the novels and short stories of such authors as Sara Jeannette Duncan, Ethel Wilson and Stephen Leacock. Duncan’s attitude to Imperialism is mixed, Wilson’s is innate while Leacock embraces it – showing that his writing is, what is regarded by many as a “quintessentially” Canadian work.