First Advisor

Claudine Guégan Fisher

Term of Graduation

Fall 1995

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in French


World Languages and Literatures




Gabrielle Roy (1909-1983) -- Criticism and interpretation



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, viii, 145 pages)


Gabrielle Roy's novels are filled with images of childhood and aging, of family, of rural and urban French-Canadian settings, and of Roy's experiences as a young, impressionable teacher. The generation gaps present themselves in many human relationships and thread themselves throughout Roy's works. For this thesis, the generation gaps will be studied in three important relationships.

Part One presents largely the relationships within the microcosm of the family. It explores the gap between mothers and daughters. La Rue Deschambault, La Route d'Altamont, and Bonheur d'Occasion are included. The relationship between the father and child in La Rue Deschambault, Bonheur d'Occasion, and Alexandre Chenevert will then be explored. Important elements of these relationships are: the circle of life, the inevitable resemblances between parent and child, and their reversal of roles as the parent ages.

Part Two focuses on bridging the gap between teacher and student in Gabrielle Roy's works. This relationship is studied extensively in both La Petite Poule d'Eau and Ces Enfants de Ma Vie. The teachers in Roy's works represent the link from the family to the outside world, as education empowers students to progress. Part Two also presents the elderly as teachers of the children in their lives. This special relationship is seen in La Route d'Altamont.

Part Three studies the relationship between life and nature. Roy's urban novels, Bonheur d'Occasion and Alexandre Chenevert, in which the author draws contrasts between rural and urban life, are explored. The gap between the urban dweller and nature is focused on in Alexandre Chenevert. The bond that links humankind and animals is studied in La Montagne Secrete. There is an important contrast between the inherent need for solitude and humankind's communion. The artist's place within the universe is shown to be unique. In this macro setting of humankind and the universe, all human relation ships take their places within these interwoven, circular patterns.


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