A culture is a trademark of great and renowned civilizations. From the Greeks to the Romans, from the Phoenicians to the Egyptians, all these great civilizations left their heritage through the culture and art they created. Papyrus or pictographs, poems or pyramids, stories and symbols represent the identity of the people and the soul of the nation. The book No great mischief written by Alistair MacLeod focuses on the families that have come from faraway land for the purpose of getting settled in north America and are caught in the act to maintain their native historical background.

One of the impressions of the Canadian culture which is evident from the book is that “how cultural and familial loyalty has affected generation of Scots who’ve made Canada their home” (Author profiles-2006). In this story Alexander Macdonald presents a recollection of the gallant stories of his ancestors whose loyalty toward each other remained intact even after they were exiled. However, there happened to be a “legendary patriarch who left the Scottish Highlands in 1779 and resettled in “the land of trees,” where his descendents became a separate Nova Scotia clan.”(No great mischief-2006). The author of the book is of the view that all groups share a certain kind of tribal identity. But once they drift away from the group they are termed as individual by other outsiders(Alistair McLeod in Helsinki-2005)  as it happened with the Nova Scotia clan whose identity as group became somewhat blurred

Moreover a strong idea that glues to the minds of the readers is the change in the attitudes of people as they move away from the rural fringes and move to the urban localities. This usually happens as people loose their distinctiveness as they as exposed to an industrial city that encompasses the factors of globalization and affluent lifestyles and a lot of opportunities for education. The hypothesis can be explained by the decisions taken by one of the characters Catherine, who had more opportunities than her brothers and thus chose to leave her home as she felt alienated from the place she lived in.

The author beautifully exposes the masses to the rude awakening that generations are likely to give upon traditions and loose their tribal ethnicity as the time passes. This ultimately affects the second and the third generations. This usually happens due to the change that constantly takes place thus creating a rift between the generations.

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One of the notions that is evident from the book is that the Canadian culture seems to give more importance to a persons identity rather than the place they are native of. Since it is a worldwide phenomenon that millions of people leave their communities due to economic reasons and are emotionally not comfortable in the place they end up at, therefore the society should try as much as possible to make it easier for the individuals to adjust within the community.

This theme is also highlighted in the novel no great mischief where the author provide the readers with the idea that the individuals that have migrated from other places live double lives who try to mold themselves into the society when they are at work however as soon as they reach home they try to retreat to their world of traditions and culture.


Canada is a country which is a home to million of immigrants who are usually dwelling there for satisfying the economic need of the family. The novel “No Great Mischief” tries to present a glimpse of the culture that has taken formation due to the vast ethnic diversity which exists there.

The novel presents the idea that people who migrate to this country loose the reputation of belonging to a tribe. Rather, they are termed as individuals.

Moreover, as people move to societies that are economically stabled, they take upon the culture of that country which causes a change in their attitudes and there way of thinking.

The author also presents the idea that with the passage of time minority communities stop following their traditions property which results in the deterioration of the traditional priorities in the later generations.

One of the positive impacts of the Canadian culture is that that it tries to treat an individual by his identity rather than reputation of his native country.


No great Mischief.(2005). Taken on 13th March from the website:

Author biography.(2005). Taken on 13th march from the website:

Alistair McLeod in Helsinki. (2005). Taken on 13th February from the website:

Author profiles-2006. Taken on 13th March from the website:

No Great Mischief.(2006). Taken on 12th March from the website:



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