The therapeutic nature of Gabrielle Roy's works enables an Aristotelian catharsis to take place for her audience. As her readers plunge into their individual past, they can have an awakening. Upon realizing that the characters in Roy's literary creation hold to a specific definition of elusive happiness and after discovering that they also are plagued by a fixation to some type of Freudian trauma, the readers can recognize similar behavior in themselves. Though likely they were unconscious of their ongoing distress before, now it becomes clear that their tendency to displace themselves in pursuit of a utopian existence is perpetual and necessitates a cure. Given that humanity in general, whether consciously or unconsciously, is nostalgic for the past, how could a universal panacea be found? Gabrielle Roy also suffered from an unending proclivity to displace herself in search of ethereal bliss. Perhaps in writing her life story through the guise of her characters, she brought about her own catharsis. Not so. Any temporary relief ended with the ensuing agony of facing an ever-frightening world. Nevertheless, the key to discovering a remedy lies within the framework of her texts. Through the application of literary theory as well as anthropology and psychology, this thesis unveils the unique modus operandi needed to overcome fixation to a particular phase in the past. Gabrielle Roy's clarion call to the world to promote human tenderness can be answered through choosing to put into practice the principles implicit in her works. When we comprehend the relationship between the story and displacement, we as individuals can initiate our own healing and thereafter stimulate healing in others.



College and Department

Humanities; French and Italian



Date Submitted


Document Type





guérison, récit, Gabrielle Roy, déplacement, souvenir, bonheur