Death and worldview in a ballad culture : the evidence of Newfoundland

Peere, Isabelle Marie,1956- (1992) Death and worldview in a ballad culture : the evidence of Newfoundland. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study investigates death as an expression of worldview in Newfoundland tradition, and with particular attention given to its classical ballads. From the correlation of their people's life style and moral orientations (the pragmatic context), the views and values carried across genres (the symbolic context) and those expressed within the ballads (their poetic context), one claims to find articulated a coherent worldview upholding positive behaviour--in the face of death as in life. While this attitude is found expressed in traditional societies as well as in classical balladry, it pervades past and modern local tradition, and seems particularly appropriate to Newfoundland's maritime culture. The striking prominence of revenant types in the classical ballad repertoire and the exceptional courage of the heroine of the most popular "Sweet William's Ghost" (Ch 77) confirm local concern with bereavement and its successful resolution. This evidence for Newfoundland yields the proposition that, while the meanings carried in a cultural ballad corpus are essentially generic, they are actualized in dynamic relation with specific cultural contexts and worldviews.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1415
Item ID: 1415
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 372-391
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1992
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Death--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Ballads, English--Newfoundland and Labrador; Bereavement--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador

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