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However, the story centres around the lives of the wood carver's grandchildren in the 1900s; thus exploring the devastation of World War I, the building of the Vimy Memorial in France, and what Urquart calls "the redemptive nature of making art." Beginning with the woodcarver Joseph Becker, the novel's timeline shifts back and forth between his life in 19th century Ontario, and the pre- and post-war lives of the grandchildren Klara and Tilman.Told in three parts, The Stone Carvers starts within Canada, moving to France as the characters negotiate their grief, and explore the human need to live, remember and memorialize.
However, the narrative then rewinds to when Klara and her brother Tilman were children.
Here we learn that they are the grandchildren of Becker who tries to pass on his carving skills to his grandson.
The background story of Father Gstir and the church construction is loosely based on the construction of the church in Formosa, Ontario.
A carver imposes a shape on stone, and must be able to do so reliably and in a manner that can be duplicated. One is a more “artistic” definition, written by a professional stonecarver.
Aged in his 40s, Tilman returns to Shoneval, and Klara is reunited with the brother who had been assumed dead years ago.
Catcher In The Rye Analysis Essay - The Stone Carvers Essay
Here it is learned that Tilman is a veteran of the Great War, and lost his leg in the battle of Vimy Ridge.The novel ends with the imposing memorial completed, Allward all but forgotten, and Klara and Tilman now leading emotionally fulfilling lives with their partners in Canada, having memorialized the people they knew who had been taken by the war.The concluding statements of the novel tie together all of the story lines, revealing the vast experiences of the creation of the nation of Canada.After he is reported as missing in action, Klara is devastated and attempts to shut out her memory of him and her emotions, and the narrative returns to her life as the spinster.After leaving home, Tilman spends several years as a hobo on the roads and rails.Memory and history are the big players within The Stone Carvers.The building of the Vimy Memorial is mirrored in the construction of Father Gstir's church in Shoneval, and the castle of Bavarian King Ludwig II; thus "de-centring" the dominant history of the great victory of Vimy Ridge, and exhibiting the equivalence that these stories play in generating Canadian identity.This, along with the use of many character's various experiences with Vimy Ridge and World War I, Urquhart articulates the idea of memory and history being a "process" where "the meanings of past events continue to change as time progresses." explained as a relationship between generations where the later generation is "transmitted" memories from the previous generation by way of stories, etcetera; however, these memories resonate deeply within the subsequent generation so that they feel like they have experienced it themselves.Post-memory within The Stone Carvers is evident from the very beginning as Urquhart outlines "The nuns and the one spinster clung to the story, as if by telling the tale they became witnesses, perhaps even participants" in the creation of Shovenal.In the mid-19th century, Father Gstir is sent from Bavaria to Canada to minister to German-Catholic communities.He is drawn to Shoneval, a farming town situated in a valley in Ontario, and is determined to build a stone church with a bell. Shifting to the 1930s, Klara is introduced as a middle-aged spinster alone in Shovenal.