Emily Carr: Reading/Vocabulary Exercise

Emily Carr: Reading/Vocabulary Exercise

Welcome! When you read the text about Emily Carr, look at the bold words, and try to work out their meanings from the context. Then answer the multiple-choice questions. There is no time limit for this exercise.

Choose the best meaning for each word or phrase.

Wild Children 4: Emily Carr

Not all children who grow up inside a culture are completely influenced by that culture. Some young people find that they are more interested in nature or the culture of other people at a very young age.

The most famous painter in Victoria's history is Emily Carr. She was born in 1871 and, as a child, she discovered that walking in the woods appealed more to her than playing with other children. She discovered that she was more interested in roaming the streets of old Victoria than playing at home with dolls and spending her time brushing her hair and putting pretty ribbons in it.

Emily was a chubby little girl who spent much of her childhood in Beacon Hill Park, which was very close to her family home. Drawing fascinated her, and she also liked to play with the animals she kept as pets. She had ducks and chickens, and even domesticated a crow. In later life she had several dogs and a pet monkey too! She often wandered around the streets of Victoria and was particularly interested in the First Nations people and the Chinese people she saw in Victoria's Chinatown. Their culture and way of dressing seemed so distinct from her own.

At the age of sixteen she began to study drawing seriously. She eventually travelled to San Francisco and Paris to study art, but always returned to her beloved forests of the Pacific Northwest in the Victoria area.

As she became a young, strong and independent woman Emily began to go on longer and longer trips into the uncharted forests to paint and draw what she saw. She loved the free and simple lifestyle she saw the First Nations people living. In the summer of 1895 she went on an expedition with two other women to explore the wilderness along the Cowichan River that runs through Duncan, just north of Victoria.

Some time later she travelled up the coast by boat to visit and draw the native villages along the way. This required great daring and strength. This wilderness was truly wild; there were no police or Coast Guard if she got into trouble - and no radio to call for help.

The First Nations people called her "Klee Wyck", which means "Laughing One", and she knew more about their lifestyle and the forests of B.C. than any other European woman. When you look at her paintings, you can sense the atmosphere of these dark, mysterious forests. Her paintings are now very famous and, although the dark colours may not be attractive to some people, they evoke the beauty and mystery of the deep woods and the skill of a great artist. Emily was a very brave and independent woman. She walked for kilometer after kilometer through the woods alone, even though she knew that bears, cougars and wolves might be her only companions.