Comparison of the Experience of Catherine Traill and Susana Moody

102 views 7 pages ~ 1705 words Print

Chapter 10 of the book, A Few Acres of Snow titled Our Robinson Cruise Sort of life, two sisters, Susana Moody, and Catherine Traill, give an account of their settlement into Canada in two very diverse ways. Despite their different reports, both hold similar thoughts on some aspects concerning the environment surrounding them in Canada. For instance, both chronicle on the poor state of roads that causes inconveniences towards access to food and other social amenities. The harsh weather conditions around the area lead to inadequate or lack of supplies. Both live in an area where the main meal that grows there is potatoes, they both stay in areas where neighbors stay far away. They also live in neighborhoods with annoying Yankees, and both have husbands who later on suffer from depressions. In giving their accounts, both writers approach their experiences in two different dimensions. In presenting their minds, Catherine Trail’s approach provides a more convincing worth to be considered offering better credibility.

            One of the sisters, Catherine Traill[1], offers a detailed account of her experience in Canada. From the moment she starts penning down her expertise, she expounds of every aspect even to the reason why she stopped writing for some time due to the sickness that struck the people within her household. For instance, when she explains on the scarcity of food that she even writes down which food is missing which one is available at that given time[2].  She provides similar details when writing on how people needed to grow their crops, tame animals and work towards raising their living standards. Her detail-oriented account offers the reader with a clear picture of the environment creating in mind the bigger picture of the message she tries to send across. The reader gets the comprehensive information he or she needs in one place with no gaps left or questions asked after the reading.

On the other hand, Moody[3]

generalizes her accounts. She does not go into details concerning her experience but gives surface information. She talks of the area having great commercial advantages, great water privileges but does not provide details on what such opportunities are. A ready find it hard to formulate a picture of the surrounding in his or her head from the general information. She even shallowly gives her description of the people constituting the majority of the higher class. She states that they are individuals whose past made them unfit for them to occupy such ranks.

Additionally she states of the insincerity of the education and rank system in the area, however, she gives no further explanation of how insincere these two entities are or what makes her say so. However, Moody does not tell the reader what these people did in order not to deserve that, apart from stating that most of them were in the army and navy. Her chronicle leaves the reader with a pool of questions wondering of the other details about a scene she describes.

Another aspect of comparing the two writers is on how they bring forth their opinions. Traill focuses on giving her advice on the various issues she goes through. For instance, when describing the harsh weather conditions, she provides her perspective and personal experience of the surrounding[4]. Her firsthand account of what people were doing and how the experience made them feel. Moody uses an intimate and informal but informative approach in her writing. Through her opinioned account, readers find it easy to connect to the incidences or the happenings around them.

On the other hand, Moody gives her account but in an exaggerated way. For instance, on her statement on the harshness of the weather and the poor road conditions, she gives strict and sensational views. All through her experiences, she provides a negative approach. Despite the environment being conducive, she presents a more overrated account bringing out her negative emotions.

Consistency is another significant aspect that distinguishes the credibility of sources. The way Traill pens down her account; she attains consistency all through to the end. She begins from the time she set foot in Canada, to the last time she writes her experience. First, she divides her experience into subtitles of dates. The chronology of the years helps the reader know the timeline of the happenings in her writing. Catherine also achieves consistency with seasons. Starting with summer where they burn logs of wood and create a massive bushfire. She also jumps to winter with the description of snow falling, the floor of her house filled with water due to frozen water[5]. Another way she achieves consistency, she clearly describes a scene to the end. For instance, the moment she describes how sickness struck her family, she starts with her female servant being sick because she was more exposed then followed by the rest of the family members[6]. She even details how they also recovered with her husband recovering last. Moody, on the other hand, focuses  on the overall incidences she goes through. She does not follow the chronology of time from the beginning to the end. She jumps from one incident to another. She presents no timeline of the events but gives a general view of the place throughout her stay in Canada. When introducing forth her opinion, she jumps back and forth on details. Though she starts by stating that the incidences take place in 1830 during the wave of emigration to Canada, Moody presents the rest of the happenings in a wholesome manner.[7] She, later on, jumps back to the time when individuals decide they want to move to Canada, and how their hopes and respect vanish at the border. The way she presents her ideas makes it hard for the reader to follow through towards the conclusion. Most of her writings lack enough reasons to support the main argument or reason for writing the piece.

When chronicling personal experiences of an incident or for this case, the experience in another country, authors ought to focus more on the logical appeal and less on the emotional appeal. The two sisters, Moody and Traill, use two different requests in penning down their points. Traill uses a logical application while Moody approaches the reader with an emotional request. Catherine Traill drives her points in a way that her readers will exercise logic and critical thinking in making their formed opinions about Canada. She advocates for independence from the readers and presents the rationale[8] of working towards making life better. She shows the disadvantageous or challenging aspects in their new area of residence but then presents alternatives to survival. She speaks of the harsh weather conditions and on the other hand, provides a way to look at the severe weather as beautiful and natural bringing about the aspect of the adventure. She loves nature; she appreciates the snowflakes falling, the bushfire created by presenting them as natural beauty[9]. Contrary, Moody uses emotions to appeal to the minds of the readers. She shows similar happening as her sister Traill but in a negative way. She taints the prosperity of her area of residence with the toils and suffering of those who ensured the place thrived. All Moody sees is suffering and regret leaving her country to a foreign and non-survivable land. Through her emotional appeal, people tend to look at Canada in the negative light, as a place full of awful people and places that cannot be natured to be a better place. She manipulates the reader’s reactions to her writing without providing an alternative option.  She uses a persuasive language to lure her writers to identify with her opinion about her experience.

Traill utilizes objectivity in her writing. She starts with giving the two sides of the coin to the reader. She then leaves it upon her readers to decide which picture to create on their minds without influence. Additionally, Traill avoids biases. Despite the area being harsh and unfit for settlement, she presents it in a two-way aspect, both negative and positive sides. In her writing, she embraces a neutral emotion and language. She respects the view of others especially the people they found there after migrating. Her book brings out her consideration of the natives of Canada’s way of life and what her family had to do to adjust to the surrounding without complaints. Trail presents reason and logic to her chronicle and even the material things that help the reader conclude. She minimally dwells on her emotions but tends to present the situation as it is. Moody on the other side, becomes narrow-minded in her writing. She fails to recognize the crucially of the opinion of the native residents of Canada. Her prejudiced writing focuses solely on her ideas, based on what she believes in right, on her preference of a situation and her personal inclination. She says that people migrating to Canada are thrown into the uneducated; the leaders are unfit to lead since they force people to obey them. She also believes one cannot make life happen if poor. She even calls her area of residence in a prison house. Through how she writes, one can conclude that she presents biasedness.


Thorner, Thomas, and Thor Frohn-Nielsen, eds. A Few Acres of Snow: Documents in Pre-Confederation Canadian History. University of Toronto Press, 2009.


Catherine Trail is one of the Narrators in Chapter 10 who gives her account on the settlement in Canada 

[2] Thorner, Thomas, and Thor Frohn-Nielsen, eds. A Few Acres of Snow: Documents in Pre-Confederation Canadian History. University of Toronto Press, 2009.


Moody is Catherine’s sister whose Account seems general compared to the highlights given by her sister. 


Ibid., 184


There is a consistency in the chronology of events as recorded by Catherine Traill as opposed to the exagration of events by her sister

[6] Thorner, Thomas, and Thor Frohn-Nielsen, eds. A Few Acres of Snow: Documents in Pre-Confederation Canadian History. University of Toronto Press, 2009. (pg. 186)

[7] Thorner, Thomas, and Thor Frohn-Nielsen, eds. A Few Acres of Snow: Documents in Pre-Confederation Canadian History. University of Toronto Press, 2009.


There is rationale from Traill’s account due to collaboration of her sources and the coherence of her story

[9] Thorner, Thomas, and Thor Frohn-Nielsen, eds. A Few Acres of Snow: Documents in Pre-Confederation Canadian History. University of Toronto Press, 2009.

November 24, 2023

Life Literature



Subject area:

Literature Review

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Literature Review
Verified writer

Tony is a caring and amazing writer who will help you with anything related to English literature. As a foreign exchange student, I received the best kind of help. Thank you so much for being there for me!

Hire Writer

Use this essay example as a template for assignments, a source of information, and to borrow arguments and ideas for your paper. Remember, it is publicly available to other students and search engines, so direct copying may result in plagiarism.

Eliminate the stress of research and writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro