“After months of hospitalization, she was allowed to come home. The first thing she did was reclaim her children.” (35)
What intrigued me about this passage is how the first thing she, Fay’s mother, thought of when she got out of the hospital was getting her kids back. When you get released from a hospital, often the first think one thinks is making sure they stay healthy, so they don’t have to go back. For some content on this quote, she was sent away to a hospital for stress and anxiety and depression and it is thought that having to care for her six kids contributed to her condition. Knowing that the stress of looking after six children could have been a factor to her hospitalization it was surprising that she would want back the thing that hospitalized her.
This passage, and the content behind it, shows how much family means to her and I think that is a huge Canadian value from then and now.
“There had been no money in their tiny home, no man to provide for them, six hungry mouths and some days nothing to feed them but bread soup.” (3)
What I found interesting about this quote was how I would always confuse the word bread soup for bread and soup. To me this just shows how I didn’t realize how bad things were back in the 1910’s when there wasn’t a prominent male figure to provide. She said how her siblings and her “stomachs were often growly with hunger” (36). When I read it, I see bread and soup, as in two separate things, but when rereading it and reading bread soup, I realize how they only had pieces of bread in warm water and called it bread soup. It’s hard to connect this to my life personally because I have never been in a position where I have my family has financially struggled, but I can connect it to my grandmother’s story; growing up in a house of eleven she was used to having little food even when her father, my great grandfather, was there to provide.
An insight that this passage gives is about the hardships that people growing up in the 1910’s had to go through and the things that we complain about today are mere pebbles on a mountain of struggles.
“got up at five in the morning, bought fifty newspaper for five cents each and sold them for a quarter.” (36)
The fact that this is how their family made most of their money was really interesting to me because it shows how desperate they were for money and how little resources they had. The way I can connect this to my own life is by using my childhood lemonade stands to connect with their newspaper sales. The biggest difference between the two is that I was selling my lemonade for fun and I didn’t have to live off the money I made, while the Wrays had to live off the money they made from their newspaper sales.
A piece of wisdom that I have picked up from this passage is to work with what you have, and you can always find a way to make things work. Along with perseverance, I think being resourceful is a part of Canadian values back in the times the novel is about.
“She used her earnings to buy her family a home in Hollywood and support them in comfort.” (4)
What intrigued me in this passage is how she went from living with her family, with no provider, to moving away, being her own provider and making enough for herself and her other family members to live in comfort. Connecting this to prior learning, we all have to go through this stage some point in our life; when we have to leave the comfort our of home and go off into the world and fend for ourselves. In Fay’s case though, she was leaving a broken home to work for a better life that she deserved.
A piece of wisdom that sticks out for me is that if you persevere and work hard enough you can get to a remarkable place that you once could only dream of. Canadian identity is shown through her perseverance. She was a small-town girl who never gave up and her hard work payed off, not only rewarding her, but her loved ones too.
“Seventy years later, when my mother returned to the hamlet of Cardston as their most famous citizen, […] and the Kaini First Nations elders anointed her with an official Indian name, Little Beaver Women.” (34)
What intrigued me in this passage was the fact that she returned to this small town that she was born in but barely grew up in, since she was sent to Los Angeles at the age of 14. Also, for the time she was there, she didn’t seem to have huge interaction with the community, so for the First Nations from there to give her an official name was surprising but sweet. I know from prior learning that getting an official Indian name is an honour and only few get the pleasure of receiving one, so the First Nations must have been really proud that one of their own made it big.
I think this gives us an insight on the relationships between the First Nations and the citizens at the time. It shows that there was a lot less tension between the two group then than there is now. Finally, it really shows that no matter where you go and no matter how long you’ve been gone, once you’re born in Canada, you are forever a Canadian at heart.