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“Liv[ing] Poetically Upon the Earth”: The Bioregional Child and Conservation in Monique Proulx’s Wildlives

Melissa Li Sheung Ying

Abstract


A child’s positive attitude towards his surrounding environment, as Sidney I. Dobrin and Kenneth B. Kidd express in their collection on children’s culture and ecocriticism, becomes crucial in the act of environmental planning and activism; and this paper will explore that very connection by following the Canadian child figure’s growth to maturity in Québécoise writer Monique Proulx’s Wildlives. By tracing the formative moments in young Jérémie’s environmental experience in nature, the personal change and self-discovery he undergoes deeply informs the role he will be inspired to take up as an adult – to become a caretaker of nature through the act(ion) of conservation. In understanding his connection to his surrounding environment, Jérémie’s emergent feelings of responsibility towards the natural world accentuates the powerful hold the wild places of childhood can have on our sense of self, sense of place, and sense of duty to the very bioregion that shapes those ideas.

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