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Laura Patterson

This novel definately shows how life was during the beginning of Finnish culture. The main characters all speak Finnish and dislike the baron who's native language is Swedish. They use passages from writers like Canth and novels such as The Tales of Ensign Stal to show the characters intelligence. On page 136 one of the boys recites a poem from Ensign Stal and on page 28 two men are discussing woman's rights while reciting Canth's poems. You can see how the characters are progressing adn learning through the use of these passages.

Jim Lee

Linna's "Under the North Star" is the story of the Koskela family. Jessi the father starts a farm out of “swamp was desolate, its center an almost treeless marsh.” Descriptions of Finland like this are seen in the "Kalevala". Jessi works to drain the swamp and build his log house at the river bend. Jessi builds his farm with the constant worry that all he has worked for will be taken from him at anytime. Jessi’s worries are realized when Mr. Pastor dies and a new vicar comes. The vicar gets to renegotiate the terms that Jessi must live by. The terms are set forth by the vicar but he doesn’t change much of the terms except the added a provision that Jessi must maintain his good name. Which actually makes Jessi worry for his future and his two sons Akseli and Aleksi.

Janet McLouth Curry

This trilogy has to be my favorite of all time. I read it in 1979 before it came out in translation as a student at Helsinki University and the University of Minnesota. No more comments for now, since I'm not part of your course.

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