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《蓝登传》中苏格兰人的双重身份探析

发布时间:2019-05-15
  摘 要
  
  托比亚斯·斯末莱特的小说处女作《蓝登传》(1748)被认为是一部带有自传体性质的流浪汉小说。斯末莱特在《蓝登传》中用十分写实的文笔从一个苏格兰人的角度将 18 世纪英国最浓墨重彩的两个主战场(伦敦和海外)描绘得淋漓精致。本文拟以社会身份认同理论为基点,研究苏格兰和英格兰合并初期以蓝登为代表的苏格兰人的身份双重性。
  
  本文通过分析得出蓝登具有双重身份:作为苏格兰人的民族身份以及作为英国人的政治身份。一方面,根据泰弗尔和特纳所提出的社会身份认同理论,斯特茨和伯克认为一个社会身份的认同会经历三个阶段,即社会归类,社会比较以及积极区分。这三个过程在蓝登身上得到了体现。蓝登受到来自英格兰人文化心理上的固有偏见,被英格兰人归为苏格兰人这个群体,而后蓝登主体意识增强,将苏格兰人与英格兰人和爱尔兰人做比较,最后产生对苏格兰人这个群体的积极区分和群体偏好心理,最终形成了对苏格兰民族身份的认同。另一方面,蓝登从进入伦敦开始就对加入英国政府,并成为其中一员抱有极大热情;而后又积极投身海外战争以及海外殖民之中,成为了帝国事业的主力军中的一员;蓝登甚至公开辩论抨击法国人对法国国王愚忠思想,为自己身为一名自由的英国人而骄傲,通过各类政治实践展现其作为一名英国人的身份。笔者将蓝登身份双重性产生的原因归结为两点,一是当时英国内部英格兰对苏格兰的边缘化,产生某种意义上的内部殖民关系使得苏格兰无法融入英格兰;二是苏格兰和英格兰合并后的帝国野心又把两者紧紧结合在一起成为一个整体,体现了主人公的不列颠身份。

《蓝登传》中苏格兰人的双重身份探析
  
  《蓝登传》一种幽默的口吻再现了 18 世纪时苏格兰的身份焦虑感,以及那种既想融合又有竞争,爱恨交织的两难境地。最终斯末莱特用隐喻的方式,通过蓝登和英格兰女士水仙姑娘的婚姻来暗示蓝登苏格兰和英国这两个身份的协商和内化,并以此表达斯末莱特欲在英国内部建立苏格兰与英格兰的平等关系的决心。
  
  关键字:  《蓝登传》;身份; 双重性。
  
  Abstract
  
  The debut novel of Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random, is commonly acknowledged as a picaresque work with semi-biography characteristics.Smollett showed the two main and representative scenes related with Britain (London and the overseas battlefield) realistically from the perspective of a Scottish person. This thesis intends to reveal the duality of Random’s identities based on the Social Identity Theory, in consideration of the special social changes which took place between Scotland and England.
  
  The thesis analyzes the ethnic identity as a Scottish and the political identity as a British of Random. On one hand, Stets and Burke, according to the Social Identity Theory of Tajfel and Turner, deems that three stages will be undergone when identifying with a certain identity, and they are respectively social categorization, social comparison and positive distinctiveness. The three stages embodied on Random in this novel. Random is first categorized as one of the Scottish people by English people for the different culture and stereotyped ideas placed on Scottish men, and later he develops his subject consciousness as a Scottish man. The social comparison between English people and Scottish people, Irish people and Scottish people is made by Random. Finally in this way,positive distinctiveness and favoritism on Scottish people is formed, and ultimately Random develops his ethnic identity as a Scottish man. On the other hand, Random reveals his desire of getting an official post in British government almost throughout the whole story. Afterwards, he devotes himself into the overseas wars and colonization successively.What’s more, Random even stands up against the absurd ideas of French people toward their king and strongly advocates the British liberty on politics. The political identity of Random is demonstrated through all the political practices mentioned above. I attribute two reasons to the duality of Random’s identities. The first is that Scotland is peripheral in culture while England is central in Britain and in this way internal colonization to some extent takes its shape. Scottish people cannot fit into English people and their ethnic identity as a Scottish is manifested; the other is that the ambition of the whole Britain ties two peoples tightly together, embodying the British identity of Random.
  
  Roderick Random exposes the identity anxiety of Scottish people in the 18 th century in a light and humorous tone, showing their dilemma of cooperation and competition, love mixed with hatred. At the end of the story, Smollett uses a metaphor of Random’s marriage with the English lady to negotiate and internalize the two identities, as well as his attempt of establishing an equalitarian relationship between England and Scotland in Britain.
  
  Key Words: The Adventures of Roderick Random; identity; duality。
  
  Chapter One Introduction
 
  
  1.1 Introduction to the Writer and His The Adventures of Roderick Random。

  
  Tobias George Smollett (1721-1771) was born in a family of gentry in Scotland. As Smollett’s father was not the firstborn, Smollett lived a quite displaced life and was often trapped in a needy situation. Smollett graduated from Glasgow University during which he also worked as a medical apprentice. At his age of eighteen, Smollett took his literary work of poetic tragedy to London with the hope that it could be shown in some theatre but in vain. When he was twenty, he took the charge of a navy medical assistant in a war between Britain and France for the colonies in the western India. When the war ended, Smollett settled down in Jamaica. In 1744, he returned his homeland with his wife and spent his rest life in London by performing medical practices and writing.
  
  Smollett wrote six long novels, two dramas and compiled non-fiction books more than seventy volumes. Smollett also translated many literary works among which there are the Voltaires of 35 volumes. The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751), Hunphry Clinker (1771) are the representative works of Smollett,among which The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748) hereinafter referred as Roderick Random is his debut, which was an out-of-stock seller at that time.
  
  Nevertheless, Smollett didn’t receive as much attention as other writers such as Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Henry Fielding (1707-1754) as well as Samuel Richardson (1689-1761). However we cannot deny his contribution made to the development of the British literature. Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) in the History of Russian Literature (1979) says that Smollett is another master after Fielding. Smollett spares no effort to delineate the defects of the British society of the 18 th century, and he is also the first one trying to apply political tendencies in novels. Herbert Read discovers that“Smollett is the most neglected writer among all the authors of eighteenth century in Britain”(qtd. in Lewis, 2004, p. 290). Smollett makes a unique contribution to the development of British literature, especially to the 18 th century British realist novels.
  
  Novels of Smollett depict a political panorama in Britain of the 18 th century, and expose the cruelty of the colonial wars, ruthlessly revealing the darkness of the society. At that era,the parliament corrupted, and the government officials were so incompetent. Compared with Fielding, there are some differences on their artistic styles. Fielding narrates a story in a much steady and slow pace like an epic, while Smollett’s story is composed of plotclosely followed by another plot, which is told in a much faster pace. The devils of the bourgeoisies and nobilities were shown in this way through the rough depiction of Smollett.
  
  Roderick Random tells a story about a person called Roderick Random who is born in a rich Scottish family. After being deprived of the right of inheritance, he departs for London for prospects. On the way to London as well as inside London city, Random along with his comrades who are also Scottish suffer a lot of humiliation, fraud. For various reasons, later Random fails to get himself a job in London and is forced to serve on a warship. But the rooted hostility toward Scottish makes the navy life of Random end up with failure; therefore Random turns for another way, getting married with an English lady and returns home with fortune out of colonies, to express his attitude toward England and Scotland.
  
  Roderick Random aroused great repercussions in the 18 th century of Britain; the use ofspicy irony, humorous language mercilessly exposed the defects of “industrial revolution”in Britain. The novel covers a wide range of social genre and it narrates a devious life experience in a humorous and light tone, and the story is compact. All these features together produce a greater impact on the postmodernist novels.
  
  1.2 Literature Review。
  
  1.2.1 Previous Studies Abroad。
  

  In China, Tan Jing is the first one who makes a systematical summary of the studies abroad on Roderick Random. Here I take hers as a reference and do a little supplement to hers.
  
  Roderick Random was studied by some critics about its literary form. Firstly on the issue of whether it’s a piece of work of biography or not, there are different opinions.
  
  There are two representative scholars opposite to each other. The idea of considering the novel as autobiography is put forward by Keough based the fact that the similarity between the grandfather of Random in novel and that of Smollett himself. As for Smollett himself,Keough also claims that the poor playwright Melopoyn is “a reflection of Smollett’s early life in London” (2011, p.16). While Brack holds a different view that he denies taking Roderick Random as a biography, evidence of which is that Smollett has ever written to Alexander Carlyle and Richard Smith trying to eliminate the misunderstandings of regarding it as a biography (2010, p.23). Besides that Brack didn’t make further comments on this issue.
  
  Secondly, on the issue of whether it’s a picaresque novel or not, there are also two parties separated. William Gibson does a review on the relationship between the works of Smollett and the Spanish picaresque novels and the puns implemented in picaresque novels as well. He believes that “Tobias George Smollett is the eighteenth-century British novelist who is most associated with the picaresque tradition” (Gibson, 2007, p26), and confirms his point from especially the picaresque jokes applied in Smollett’s novels. J. C.Beasley(1979, pp.211-220) in “Roderick Random: The Picaresque Transformed” definesRoderick Random as picaresque as it has the common features that all the Spanish picaresque novels shares: story develops according to the steps of the protagonist, whose life gets entangled with the broad social background and whose experience reveals the foulness and degradation in societies. However, some people also do not agree to regard Roderick Random as a picaresque. Fredman claims that Roderick Random is no picaresque work or a work of picaresque in decline, and he believes that the motivation for writing Roderick Random is quite incompatible with picaresque vision (1971, p.205).
  
  Thirdly, some scholars discuss the structure of Roderick Random. Gassman pays attention the defects of Smollett’s novel in structure. He thinks that the novel is sometimes formless and narrated an inconsistent tone, what’s more the “disjointed plots and picaresque rambling makes this novel much less fluent” (1960, p.277). Ian Campbell Ross states the shortcomings of structural formlessness and its unity “from thematic not narrative structure” (1978, p.56). John Skinner interprets in his paper that Roderick Random is a wonderful display of transition between individual incentive and superb skillsin dealing with satire, romance and picaresque elements (1996, p.31). Damian Grant does an analysis to the style of Smollett’s writing. He deems that Smollett creatively overturns the traditional writing and attempts to show a much higher degree of skills in dealing with the styles. Beasley reviews the personal experience of Smollett, as well as the social background in the eighteenth-century and takes Smollett as an innovator of a “new species of writing” which Richardson calls so (1998, p.5). He points out that the novelty of Smollett lies in his breakthrough of the traditional principles of a narrative fable.
  
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  1.2.2 Previous Studies at Home
  1.3 Theoretical Basis
  1.4 Thesis Structure
  
  Chapter Two The Origin of the Union Between England and Scotland
  
  2.1 The Royal Marriage of Scotland and England
  2.2 The Signature of Act of Union.
  
  Chapter Three Duality of Random’s Identities
  
  3.1 The Ethnic Identity of Random as a Scottish Man
  3.1.1 Passively Categorized as a Scottish Man
  3.1.2 Comparison Between Scottish People and English, Irish People
  3.1.3 Positive Distinctiveness Formed on Scottish Men
  3.2 The Political Identity of Random as a British Man
  3.2.1 Desire for Being a Member in British Government
  3.2.2 Participation in Overseas Wars
  3.2.3 Engagement in Overseas Colonization
  3.2.4 Pride in Being Politically Liberal in Britain
  
  Chapter Four Causes of the Duality of Random’s Identities
  
  4.1 Internal Colonization
  4.2 Expansion of the Empire

  Chapter Five Conclusion

  George Laren holds that the social status, identity and role of an individual are fixed,or even innate (qtd. in Yang, 2017, p.39). The social order runs according to the ancient inertia. People have little chance to cross their stratum and cultural environment. Identity anxiety or crisis won’t emerge if the living condition is stagnated but in established order.

  Roderick Random was published in 1948. The novel tells a story in an era when considerable changes are taking place. England got united with Scotland in 1707, marking a completely end to the warring period in military between two countries. While in the 18 th century, the newly formed Britain was undergoing changes in every aspect of life. The union of Scotland and England didn’t threat much for English people to adjust themselves because England was in the superior position of economic and political power. In addition Englishmen had always considered them as noble-blood and a single national state. Whilewhat comes along with major social changes causes anxiety to Scottish people as they lost their parliament and needed to develop their economy relying on England, which cause more or less more complex adjustments to their identity.

  The duality of Random’s identities is adequately manifested in this novel. Overall, the Scottish identity is more of a national culture problem while British identity Random is more of political problem. Random’s identity as British is also reinforced by his efforts by sharing the prosperity of Britain rather than that of England in London. On one hand,Random grows up in an environment lack of care without parents’ company, later he comes to London for challenges, and he views himself as a respectable man of noble-blood,which is far from that he is only a avaricious, dirty, poor, unprincipled, and thieving Scottish man in the eyes of English people. The question of “Who am I?” comes into his mind. He is categorized as Scottish people, which is embodied in language, clothing,and stereotyped ideas of English people placed on Scottish men. However, later he depicts so many images of rivalries and immoral characters of English and Irish people to highlight the goodness of Scottish people as to distinct Scottish people from others, forming Scottish favoritism to define himself as a Scottish man. On the other hand, changes of situation generate the salience of the British identity. We can learn from the pursuit for the official career throughout the novel that Random is itching for power. In the meantime, the whole Britain was engaged in the expansion of the empire, and Random was no exception, to which he is a conspirator of its construction. For the causes of the Scottish identity, I explain it by briefly summarizing the opinions of Said, Raymond and Hechter that a kind of internal colonialism is formed for the economic exploitation of England over the less developed regions like Scotland and made it incompatible for Scottish people be with English people.

  For the causes of the British identity of Random, it is the outcome of the social trend in Britain in territorial expansion and wealth accumulation overseas which contributes to the rise of the British Empire. The recognition with the two identities demonstrates Smollett’s determination on the independence of Scotland in Britain.

  At last, an event that requires noting is that Random marries his beloved Narcissa,which shows the attitude of Smollett toward the duality of Random’s identities. Random gets married with Narcissa, instead of the patriarchal marriages of interests between Scotland and England, out of pure admiration and affection. So a reasonable assumption can be made that the union is a companionate marriage out of mutual affection just as Random and Narcissa. Marital relationship in Smollett’s opinion turns to be happy and romantic story. Despite all the frustration and hardship, marriage between two true mindseventually succeeds. In analogy, the early martial relationship is also transformed into a national romance as well. I cannot help thinking about the conventions made before getting married in the west. Both the bride and the bridegroom are requested to give their vows to each other, proving their courage and determination of being harmoniously with each other for the rest of their lives.

  That Random refers Scotland as “The northern part of this united kingdom” suggests that, based on the economic and moral independence, a sense of unity within Britain and relationship of cooperation is to be developed. Random, as a virtuous Scottish as well as a rich British merchant, is embracing a relationship of equity and amicability(Shields, 2005)between England and Scotland by acquiring the independence on morality and economy.

  Random ceases to get wealth from getting married with rich ladies of England, however,he choose to marry with the lady of mutual affection without any considering other economic interests. This is definitely a sign of getting a victorious independence of Random for Scottish people.

  References

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