Canada: A Novel Symbols & Objects

This Study Guide consists of approximately 89 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Canada.
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Bird Imagery: Geese and Pheasants

The bird imagery of pheasants and geese symbolizes the cruelty and violence of characters who either exploit or kill these beautiful animals.

In Canada, Richard Ford punctuates the novel with episodes of violence that trade in this kind of bird imagery. When Arthur first takes Dell “under his wing” in order to educate and groom him, he drives his car 90 miles per hour through six pecking and inoffensive pheasants. This cruel act of animal abuse astonishes Dell, and he disturbingly recounts how “one [of the pheasants] struck the windshield, two catapulted into the air, a fourth and fifth were transformed into feathers on the highway, a sixth was untouched, barely noticing the car passing” (310). Dell’s patient and compassionate account of the outcome of all six pheasants contrasts with Arthur’s dismissive and emotionless reaction to their maiming.

The hotel that Arthur...

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This section contains 3,036 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Canada: A Novel Study Guide
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