Ólafur Arnar Sveinsson: Abstract and keywords

Ritið 1/14 - 2014

Ólafur Arnar Sveinsson: “The Rifle is the Soldier’s Best Friend” An Icelandic Immigrant’s Struggle for Identity

This article examines the letters of an Icelandic immigrant in the US and Canada in the early 20th century who later became a soldier in the Canadian army in World War I. The objective was to analyze private letters written to Iceland, in order to shed light on the identities which appear in the sources. The letters reveal a constant struggle as doubts arise about his belonging as an immigrant and as a foreign soldier in the Canadian Army. Lastly, the importance of the relationship between the letter writer and the recipient is emphasized, focusing on the shared connection between the past and future of the sender and recipient, ultimately affecting the identity of the immigrant.

Keywords: Identity, Private Letters, Immigrants, World War I

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