A comparison between The Black Queen by Barry Callaghan and The Lamp at Noon by Sinclair Ross can reveal why Canada is a good place to live. On the one hand, there is Callaghan (1993) who tells the story of a gay couple who struggle to confront the reality of the passing nature of time. `McRae and Hughes have become increasingly dissatisfied with each other as they yearn for the tenderness of their youth. On the other hand, there is Ross (1988) who tells the story of another couple whose marriage took a turn for the worst when a combination of economic as well as environmental factors affected their land which was their main source of employment. The windstorm caused Paul to become detached from his family until he finally lost his child, and his wife, Ellen, who became mentally unstable. The two authors chose Canada as the setting for their stories. A comparison of the two books reveals that Canada is a good place to live because of the progressive laws, the high rate of development and the various opportunities available to the inhabitants.
Canada is a good place to live because of their progressive laws. McRae and Hughes are a gay couple who live in Toronto and freely interact with other people. They are open about their gay marriage. The society around them doesn't seem to have any problem with their union; an indication of the progressive nature of Canadian society. McRae and Paul even have other friends who are also gay which means that their union is not an isolated case. The liberal laws along with the progressive society make Canada a good place to live.
Callaghan (1993) reveals that Toronto is changing as indicated by the tall buildings and other structures that surround McRae and Hughes. Toronto is changing for the better, but the couple doesn't see it as such. They want to continue living in the Victorian era, and they think that the place has lost its charm and vibrance. They don't consider tall structures and buildings as a sign of development and refuse to move out of their colonial era house. Furthermore, the author describes Toronto's neighbourhoods as crawling with multicultural populations. That shows that Canada has a diverse culture made up of people from all over the world.
The development and change happening to McRae and Hughes are different from the one happening to Paul and Hellen in Ross (1988). Paul and Hellen are experiencing environmental degradation since crops would not grow on their farm due to strong winds. However, the author says the farmers had abandoned their land and found something else to do. That shows that even though the environment was failing them, there were other avenues that Paul could utilise to provide for his family. For example, Paul had been offered a job by Hellen's father, but his pride would not allow him to go and work for his wife's father. Hellen's father was the owner of a store in town, and that shows that despite the hard economic times, there are still some businesses that manage to continue operations. Hellen's father situation is comparable to that Hughes. Both characters have benefitted from the opportunities available to Canadian residents, and while Hellen's father runs a successful shop, Hughes is a successful costume designer. Their success stories highlight the income earning opportunities that are available to people who live in Canada.
Callaghan, B. (1993). Black Queen Stories. Toronto: Mcarthur & Company.
Ross, S. (1988). The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
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