prairie visionary

University of Manitoba, B.A. (Hons) 1933, M.A. 1934

McLuhan spent his formative years at 507 Gertrude Avenue, in the Fort Rouge district of Winnipeg. In later life, McLuhan credited the western prairie horizons of his childhood with encouraging a comprehensive approach to the environment.

"I think of the prairie skies as one of the most beautiful things about Western Canada ...The Westerner doesn't have a point of view," he stated. "He has a vast panorama, a total field of vision. "

In the fall of 1928, McLuhan enters the University of Manitoba
School of Engineering with strong interests in 'structure and design'
but after one semester and Summer work as a member of a surveyor crew
in the mosquito infested Manitoba bush, he switches to
English and Philosophy.

At the University of Manitoba, McLuhan discovered and nurtured his lifelong passion for literature. He later termed one of his professors in the History Department, H. N. Fieldhouse, "the most inspiring teacher I ever had." Here he immersed himself in the works of Shakespeare and Milton, and came to the conclusion, which he never abandoned, that great writers of imaginative literature are the prime shapers of human perception.

After receiving his B.A. in 1933, McLuhan wrote a thesis on the Victorian poet and novelist George Meredith for his M.A. in English Literature, which he obtained the following year. While as an undergraduate and a graduate student, McLuhan also wrote frequently for The Manitoban, honing his characteristic style of bold and incisive commentary on a wide range of political, social and cultural issues...