The chapter “Adieu to the Woods” begins with “the bitter pangs of parting” expressed in the sorrowful verse “Adieu!—adieu!” and the following prose gives vent to Moodie’s conflicting emotions upon her departure from the bush (her escape from the prison-house), ending with her warning to emigrants. Juxtaposed to this and changing the direction of the text’s ending16 is Moodie’s celebration of the maple tree, the “pride of the forest.”
The forest here remains dark but is less foreboding than in many of the poems placed earlier in the text. For one thing, the setting sun is able to penetrate the “bosky forest shades” and can “brighten the gloom below.” Moreover, the forest lights up from within during maple sugar season with the “ruddy glow” of the sugaring-off fires. The winds have lost their power to terrify as well; now the “sad winds” merely utter “a tender plaint of woe.” While Moodie mentions loss, she looks to the future (rather than to the lost English home) to regret the imminent disappearance of native Canadians: “But soon not a trace / Of the red man’s race / Shall be found in the landscape fair.” For the most part, the poem emphasizes the here and now of settlement: “The busy rout … talk of the cheer / Of the coming year.” Although some “brave tales of old / Round the fire are told,” these appear to be Canadian in origin rather than stories of brave deeds from a heroic English past. Finally, in the last stanza the poet counts herself as Canadian; may the maple tree “grace our soil, / And reward our toil,” she says. (In “Quebec” Canadians are “them.”). Suppress
On June 1st, 1833, after Uncle Joe’s grumbling departure from Melsetter, the Moodies move in. By now Susanna is beginning to be resigned to the fact that her “fate is seal’d! ‘Tis now in vain to sigh, / For home, or friends, or country left behind / Come, dry those tears”. There will, in fact, be many more tears, but the Canadian Susanna is beginning to emerge, to enjoy her adopted country. She has survived “the iron winter” of 1833 with its extreme cold and deep snow, and as spring wildflowers fill the woods, Susanna walks abroad, and feels her spirits lift. She is soon forced, however, eight months later, to move again. Moodie can’t make a go of the farm, even though it is already cleared and producing, and they decide to leave Cobourg for a backwoods lot near the Traills, on Lake Katchawanook.Susanna is now sorry to be leaving: “It was a beautiful, picturesque spot; and, in spite of the evil neighbours, I had learned to love it. … I had a great dislike to removing.”
land isnot only an accurate picture of Canadascenery, butMoodie’sreflexionas response to it,as a sentimentalheroine,expressing herown taste andsensibility instronglyreminiscent 18thcentury Gothic romance, such is the description of Quebec, the fishing in acanoe,night walking in terror of a visitor red in tooth andclaws’, emphasizing thefact that natural world is not benevolent and her sense of beingalone in adangerous and foreign place asshe mentioneda stranger is a strange land’, suggesting, as it seems, the author’s own alienation.
Life in the bush was a disgusting picture, in which Man had the main part; people made noise, riots, drunken meetings, violent quarrels ended in bloodshed whose mind was toughed in hunting and fishing as the sole aim and object of life. The new world enables the object to escape the old limits and the author is resentful at sizing such things throughout her writing. Moodie’s sharp gaze focused over the lack of education of her neighbours she had to deal with and appreciated the friendly Indian and American families who had always been of much help to her and her family. Mrs Moodie’s descriptions are laden with sociological key terms containing a polysemous quality of her landscape aesthetics, including human material, view of nature and economic prospects. She advises the emigrants to wait a few years, because the sun of hope will rise and beautify the landscape, and they will proclaim the country one of the finest in the world! The introductory or interspersed poetry contains the author’s intense message dealing with the sequel event without metaphors, as evidence of her naive and romantic vision of the 18th century genteel woman; her style is simple and direct, mostly warning to build the new Canadian identity.