National identity in the book "The Englishman's Boy" by Guy Vanderhaeghe

Essay by hitman99College, UndergraduateB-, February 2003

download word file, 4 pages 3.4 2 reviews

Downloaded 67 times

Many aspects of a country contribute to the formation of a national identity, but none more than the exported views and feelings to the world. Art is a major export and factors in the formation of national identity. In The Englishman's Boy, Guy Vanderhaeghe exposes the problems that are caused with the creation of a national identity. Art can come in many forms; music, theatre, paintings, and also motion pictures. It is important to control the means in which an identity is created and if there is no control over the means, then there is no control over the outcome. The novel portrays outsiders controlling the means, truth and myth being treated as indifferent and incorrect ideas and values all contribute to problems with the formation of a national identity.

According to Chance, American people produced no great art; which in turn effects on the lack of a national identity.

"The Germans gave the world their music. The Romans their architecture. The Greeks their tragedies. We recognize the soul of a people in their art (108)". [Damon Ira] Chance feels the great art; the spirit of America which could create a national identity lies in art of motion pictures. Chance believes that as along as Europeans dominated the industry, there would never be a specific identity, a specific soul of the people. Germany had its great composers; the Romans had their architects; the Greeks had their playwrights. American could not claim to have given the world great directors; all the movies in Hollywood are made by Europeans, from the writers to the actors. D.W. Griffith is an example of a director Chance feels is helping to create an American identity, but D.W. Griffith is only part of Chance's view for the formation of a separate national identity. Americans go to...