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seems like a young bride. When the snow is truly white, that's when it's
easy, that's when I can walk in it pretending that it's sand [127].)
Rouge et blanc again foregrounds issues of race, culture, and relativity,
but with a decided reversal of roles. Narrated by a young Amerindian
(Mohawk) woman in the form of a prayer to her god, the mother of
humanity (193), the story begins with a pledge not to again attempt
suicide and a promise not to return to the reservation but to remain in
Montreal, a place of more authentic origin: 'Cette vieille Hochelaga où
vivaient mes ancêtres.' (194; This old Hochelaga, where my ancestors
lived [169].) The reason for her decision to 'infiltrate' the conquering
culture is not to undermine or overthrow it but, through relativity, to
understand it and thus herself: 'Je veux nous voir comme ils nous
voient' (194; I want to see us the way they see us [169]). What she al-
ready grasps is not the differences but the parallels between the two
cultural situations - 'nos voies parallèles' (194; our parallel paths [169])
- too often ignored by the dominant culture: 'Lorsqu'ils pleurent
l'injustice qui leur échoit depuis cent ans et oublient la nôtre qui dure
depuis des siècles.' (195; When they weep about the injustices they've
suffered these last hundred years yet forgotten ours, which have lasted
for centuries [169].) Indeed, it is the white 'immigrant' for whom im-
prisonment by the delusion of racial and cultural superiority leads to a
lack of identity ('âme'): 'Je veux les contempler, prisonniers du mirage
de leurs corps et de leurs biens périssables, en train de planer au-dessus
du vide qui remplace leur âme.' (195; I want to contemplate them, pris-
oners of the mirage of their bodies and their worldly goods, gliding
above the emptiness that has replaced their souls [170].) Armed with
natural forces ('forces naturelles'), the narrator resolves to adapt to the
times and thus survive: 'Le temps est venu d'affronter le temps lui-
même, de nous adapter à la vie qui a changé de visage … il faut appren-
dre à y enfouir de nouvelles racines ou accepter de disparaître.' (195-6;
The time has come to confront time itself, to adapt to a life whose face
has changed … we must put down new roots or accept death [170].)
This principle of adaptation to change is, according to Proulx, a lesson
that must also be learned by the dominant culture, the French-Canadian,
if it is to survive and thrive in modern times, benefitting by the very
resource the stories are bringing to the fore: cultural diversity.
The final story, titled with the single colour Blanc , takes the form of a
monologue addressed by a young French-Canadian woman, a would-
be writer, to a dying anglophone man whom she had contrived to ac-
company in death in order to better understand life and thus to be able
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