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Canadian Identity and the Myth of Social Systems: Reconsidering Northrop Frye's Myth

  • Asia-Pacific Journal of Canadian Studies
  • Abbr : APJCS
  • 2021, 27(1), pp.81-104
  • DOI : 10.22691/kacs270104
  • Publisher : Korea Association For Canadian Studies
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies > North America > Canada
  • Received : May 9, 2021
  • Accepted : June 20, 2021
  • Published : June 30, 2021

Sukjin Kang 1

1한국항공대학교

ABSTRACT

This study explores the social meaning of Northrop Frye’s myth system in connection with Canadian identity, focusing on his book, The Critical Path. To read and interpret Frye's mythological system in Canadian studies instead of as a literary theory requires an understanding of the social situation in Canada. A young country open to the future in which different races and value systems coexist is a key concept that defines Canada's identity. Myths present the values and wishes of the members of the community and convey the core values of that group to future generations. Frye's myth also reveals the spirit and reflection of Canada's core cultural heritage. Frye emphasized the balance between the myth of concern and the myth of freedom. The dialectic between these myths is repeatedly emphasized by Frye. Additionally, the virtue of tolerance, which allows for the diversity of the myth of concern, is essential for the maintenance and prosperity of Canadian society. Frye presented an ideal world where different values and myths coexist while exploring the function of criticism. The spirit of tolerance is the most essential virtue for building Canada as a complex cultural construct. The coexistence of the myth of concern and the myth of freedom and the virtue of tolerance that Frye emphasized in The Critical Path represents Canadian shared spirit and culture.

Citation status

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