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par les triomphants Canadiens.' (Moreover, the Toronto team was regu-
larly laid low by the triumphant Canadiens.) 16 The mother has simply
failed to understand the symbolic value of the sweater just as the Eaton
establishment fails to understand French, and the young priest fails to
understand the boy's anger, mistaking his shame for pride. For pride
here (like identity and power) is a national, not an individual, matter, as
Carrier explains in his interview with Tarasoff: 'Et j'ai l'impression que le
hockey, c'était un monde à part où on avait quelque pouvoir. Et on avait
le pouvoir par Maurice Richard. On avait le pouvoir par les Canadiens.
Et les Américains pouvaient venir ... Toronto pouvait venir, les Canadiens
français, on n'avait pas peur parce que Maurice Richard était là: il pou-
vait marquer.' (And I had the impression that hockey was a world apart
where we had some power. And we got our power from Maurice
Richard. We got our power from the Canadiens. And the Americans
could come ... Toronto could come, the French Canadians had no fear
because Maurice Richard was there: he could score.) In his interview on
the educational CD-ROM, Carrier again links hockey to national tradi-
tion and goes so far as to see in the hockey stick itself a vestige of the
axe used by the French-Canadian pioneers and 'colonizers' of the land:
'Et ensuite, il y a la glorification de nos ancêtres, qui étaient défricheurs,
des hommes qui n'avaient peur de rien, des hommes qui ne craignaient
ni les ours ni les érables à abattre. Alors, on a ces gens-là sur glace avec
leur bâton qui reproduit vraiment le geste très souvent du bûcheron.
Donc, c'est toute l'expérience canadienne qui est dans le jeu du hockey.'
(And then there's the glorification of our ancestors, who were land-
clearers, men who feared nothing, men who feared neither bears nor
maples to fell. So, we have these guys here on the ice, with their hockey
sticks which very often really replicate the logger's motion. Thus, the
whole Canadian experience is in the game of hockey.)
The main themes of the story thus seem relatively clear and highly
typical: national pride and identity through myth-building (an assertive
not passive one at that); and change, in the familiar French-Canadian
form of paradise lost. But the values upon which national pride and
identity are founded and the causes of the young protagonist's fall from
grace, two intertwined issues, are somewhat more clouded.
Identity would appear to be unicultural and isolationist, even reac-
tionary and negative, based as it is on a series of refusals: the mother's
refusal to learn English or even to muddle her way through the forms;
the shipping clerk's refusal to learn French or to seek help in decipher-
ing the mother's letter; the boy's refusal to wear the jersey; the mother's
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