Phillip Grove's "Settlers of the Marsh" Book Review by Peter Pen

Phillip Grove's "Settlers of the Marsh"
Looks at the female literary archetypes from Greek mythology in Phillip Grove's "Settlers of the Marsh".
# 112018 | 1,485 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2009

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This paper explains that the six strong women in Phillip Grove's novel "Settlers of the Marsh" can be categorized into four different literary archetypes found in many examples of literature: the Earth Mother, the Greater Mother, the Lesser Mother and the Old Crone. The author relates that these roles also resemble some of the major Greek mythological women, such as the Goddesses Gaia, Aphrodite, Artemis, Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Athena and Persephone. The paper concludes that being able to categorize these women into these four literary archetypes provides the reader with greater insight into the author's use of symbolism associated with the Canadian prairies.

From the Paper:

"Ellen had her father take away her minimal femininity and social life by embedding her with farming skills and putting her to work on the farm. Given these challenges, Ellen became a Lesser Mother. The community saw Ellen as a farmer, not as someone embracing herself as a young woman. These faults in her character as a woman make Ellen a Lesser Mother in literature archetypes. With these qualities Ellen mirrored the goddess Demeter; Demeter was the goddess of harvest. Ellen lives for planting and harvesting her farm, putting her pride into her claim this was all Ellen knew just as Demeter does."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Abrams. H. M. A Glossary of Literary Terms.7th ed. Heinie&Heinle, 1999.
  • Athena. A, Sep 24, 2008.Major Greek Goddesses. Retrieved Sep 28, 2008 from
  • Jung. Carl. (n.d) Jung's Archetypes. Retrieved Sep 28, 2008 from
  • Gunnars. Kristajana..'Afterword' Settlers of the Marsh. Toronto: Reyerson, 1989.
  • Grove. Phillip. Settlers of the Marsh. Toronto: Reyerson, 1925.

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