Learning Pod – Aurore: A Discussion about Personal Responsibility and Social Norms in History
ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS. More than 100 words would be fine. Does not need to be detailed but make sure questions are answered.
You should focus on the following sections from the website: “Context” Tab (Introduction and Historical Contexts are your focus but tabs like “Biography”, “Timeline” and “Glossary” can be used for reference as you navigate throughout the rest of the site); “Suspicious Death” Tab (all side tabs and content within); “Trials” Tab (all side tabs and content within); ‘Aftermath” Tab (all side tabs with sampling of 3-4 primary documents from each category); “Echoes” Tab (all side tabs but no primary documents).
The focus of this discussion will be the responsibility of the community to regulate or prohibit intolerant behavior and their inability to do so because of their commitment to societal norms (as prescribed by religion, culture, tradition, etc.). Who was responsible for Aurore’s death?
Q1: Describe the context within which Aurore lived? What was the community like?
– What constituted a “family”? How was this foundational to Quebec Nationalism?
– What role did religion play in the lives of Quebecois? Who had “moral authority” in 1920s Quebec?
– What expectations were placed upon mothers (nurturing), fathers (breadwinner) and children (obedience)?
– How did gender influence family and community relationships? What were the religious, political, economic and social conditions that expressed itself as “traditional” in Quebec? How did this influence the treatment of male and female children?
– What were the divisions between the private and public sphere? How did the sanctity of the “private sphere” (ie: what happened at home, stayed in the home) limit social responsibility of neighbours?
– What role did discipline play in the life of family, church, community, province? How did it work itself out in a hierarchy of relationships (ie: from ‘father’, to family to society)? How did authority in the church and the family mirror each other?
Q2: How did an idylic rural family setting become such a dangerous milieu for Aurore? What role did “tradition” and “cultural norms” play in her abuse and death? Consider religious, cultural, and societal norms.
Q3: Who was responsible for Aurore’s mistreatment, death and memory? Is Houde or Gagnon primarily to blame? Or, does the community (enforced/entrenchment of norms … tradition, religion, gender, etc.) bear some of the guilt for her mistreatment and death (and the appropriation of her memory)?
Q4: Why did she become Aurore, l’enfant martyre, an icon of Quebec popular culture in the years following her death?
Q5: What compromises to you make to uphold your ‘traditions’? What social norms (consumerism, individual rights, market capitalism, etc) blind you to the vulnerability of “others”?