Sunshine sketches of a little town

Silence speaks the loudest in Stephen Leacock's representation of identity in the traditional Canadian town


  • Ella Greenwood


The focus of this article centres around the novel by Stephen Leacock, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Despite receiving global recognition for being a Canadian literary classic, analysis of Leacock’s text uncovers the limitations of cultural appropriation and representation within the novel, masked by the silence of the narrator and ignorance of its characters. This perceived triumph of literature excludes individual and Indigenous voices, suppressing and masking the flaws that lurk beneath Mariposa’s perfection. The article analyses three main concepts: cultural representation, the motif of silence and the lack of Indigenous voice within the novel, addressing Leacock’s failure to represent all aspects and individuals that collectively define Canada and its complex identity. Ignorance held against Indigenous heritage, when analysed, uncovers a rather harrowing disregard for native Canadian identity, Indigenous history, and individual voice. Therefore, this article argues against praising Leacock’s novel and suggests that he be criticised for neglecting Indigenous and native influence on traditional Canadian culture.