In our turn, we can examine how the idea of the power of traditional ways in healing the earth and giving hope to people may be voiced through literature by comparing aspects of two short stories, one by Jeanette C. Armstrong named "This is a Story" and another by Maurice Kenny named "Rain".
The story with a straightforward title "This is a Story" written by Jeanette Armstrong contains a narrative that for many modern readers might seem unusual. In fact, this literary work as if consists of two separate realities recreated by the author. The first reality is only present for a brief time in the beginning and the very end of the story and depicts the familiar to us world of the narrator who, apparently, is a person from our modern society typically attracted to nature. The second reality, which forces its way through the narrator and constitutes the main part of the story, is of a mythic tone as it resembles what might be a legend. So, this juxtaposition of various dimensions of reality may be viewed as a tool used by the author to illustrate the contradictoriness of a modern man who cannot help but feel the attraction of the old traditional way of life, which for the narrator is ". . . a powerful one. I tell it now because its true." (Armstrong, p.135) and therefore holds a promise of returning the lost sense of life, and still must confront our modern setting, like ". . . when I see rainbow colours in the oil slicks along the river, during salmon-run time. . . " (Armstrong, p.135). All in all, in the end of the story the author manages to bring closer points of view of characters from the both realities as readers can begin to wonder whether the story that "came . . . one morning early" (Armstrong, p.129) to the narrator is the silent work of mythic Kyoti, who is beginning to wake 'Swallow'-like people from their self-destructive activities.
The short story by Maurice Kenny "Rain" is thematically similar in many aspects to the topic of the previously discussed literary work, and it also contains allusions to several realities within one narrative. But in contrast to Armstrong, Kenny chose more realistic approach to the setting, plot composition, and the process of developing and portrayal of characters so that in her story what can be seen as mythic elements is always limited by the frame of the symbolic scorching heat of the real life. In these difficult circumstances, the protagonist of the story is constantly reminding herself that she is ". . . a stranger in this rainless country . . ." (Kenny, p.140), and is periodically relapsing into the dreamy state of memories about her childhood amidst meadows. Still, this is hardly a proper defense for her from the heat, and she, along with other people, is desperately waiting for the miracle of the rain that is about to be called for by dancers to occur. And even though the rain finally arrives, we are left with a sad impression that this magic skill of calling for rain may not remain preserved for long, but may be obliterated by the onslaught of stupid civilization metaphorically represented by the ". . . din of the carnival outside the plaza with the music of the merry-go-round . . ." (Kenny, p.144). Moreover, even those people who have gathered to witness the dance are seemingly infected with the virus of civilization, which leads to their distantiation from the nature and from one another, as some of