Travel Reference
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scattered over some ten streets of perfect regularity. A great many trees
planted along the streets and around the dwellings lent the locality a fresh
and gay appearance … Two edifices dominated all the rest: the church, a
superb stone building, and the school house, spacious enough to warrant
the term college or convent. The tin roofs of these vast edifices glowed in
the sun's rays … Nearly all the houses were painted white and presented
the eye with an image of ease and neatness. After having admired the
view of the village and surrounding countryside for some time, my eyes
came naturally to my host's farm, and I expressed the desire to visit it.]
As in the description of Jean's home village in the first novel, this one
begins with the designation of viewpoint ('la galerie du second étage')
and continues with denotations of visuality ('ma vue,' 'Je vis,' 'présen-
taient à l'œil,' 'l'image,' 'mes yeux'). The vast space ('s'étendre au loin
de tous côtés') is framed by houses on the right and the village on the
left. Beauty ('joli') is here defined by richness ('riche') and regularity
('régularité'); the trees are 'plantés' and even the light leads the eye to
the two edifices that are the most emblematic of culture: the church and
the school. The description ends when the restless eye roving over the
countryside is involuntarily drawn back to the centre, the habitat, the
place of culture, as was the young Rivard's in the first passage.
On second reading, however, when the two passages are seen to-
gether, significant differences appear, ones that unearth and under-
score profound ideological differences in the two descriptions and
thus in the two landscapes portrayed; the first landscape represents
the old order (Grandpré, whose name recalls the 'grand dérangement' 9
as well as agriculture ['pré']), the second landscape reveals the new vi-
sion (Rivardville, named for its self-made founder and designating it-
self as a city ['ville'], as the narrator points out). In the first case, Jean's
solitary viewpoint, emphasized by the third-person singular pronoun,
was from below; in the second, the collective viewpoint is shared by the
narrator and his hero, captured initially by the first-person plural pro-
noun 'nous,' as they dominate the scene below them. Space is more
open here ('ma vue pouvait s'étendre'), and the sparsely placed houses
are arranged in perfect equality ('une régularité parfaite') not by ranks
denoting orders of generations and classes. Unlike the first scene, framed
by the two church steeples, this one is shared by the church and the
school, emphasizing the importance of education and progress in addi-
tion to past traditions and rites. Indeed, the incense-like mist of the first
scene has dissipated, and both buildings bathe in the brilliant sunlight of
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