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文化创伤理论视角下石黑一雄小说研究

发布时间:2019-05-15
  摘要
  
  石黑一雄(1954-),日裔英国小说家,是诺贝尔文学奖获得者。移民经历使他拥有了跨越东西方的文化背景和独特记忆。作为移民小说家,异国文化中的成长经历使他在文学创作中更关注身份问题,并且从复杂身份中抽离出来,思考个人的社会责任。在多年的创作生涯中,他多以事实背景为依据创作小说,然而 2005年小说《别让我离开》属于科幻题材,这部小说让人们感受到石黑一雄对于后人类世界“克隆技术”的关注。
  
  《别让我离开》获得了布克奖和美国国家图书评论协会提名奖。小说中石黑一雄描述了一群生活在世界某个角落的克隆人,被赋予为生病的人类捐献器官的使命。他们有着和常人一样的喜怒哀乐和情爱纷争,却不曾拥有真正的人权。尽管他们对生存怀有渴望,却不得不完成自己的使命直到生命的最后一刻。创伤是石黑一雄小说中的常见主题。目前许多学者从不同角度研究《别让我离开》中的创伤主题,但从文化创伤理论的角度进行研究的并不多见。本论文以杰弗瑞·亚历山大的文化创伤理论为依托,探究文化创伤在小说中的体现和愈合方式。通过运用文化创伤理论对小说进行分析,让读者从另一个角度去审视克隆人的苦难,也为研究石黑一雄的作品提供一个新的视角。

文化创伤理论视角下石黑一雄小说研究
  
  论文由三部分组成:引言、正文和结论。
  
  引言部分首先对作家、作品进行概括性介绍;接着对《别让我离开》进行文献综述,通过总结、对比分析国内外批评家、学者的观点,提出文化创伤角度解析这部小说的可行性;最后介绍全文结构。
  
  第二部分为正文,由三章组成。
  
  第一章介绍创伤以及文化创伤的理论概念,为后文分析提供理论依据。
  
  第二章分析小说中文化创伤,第一节中,论文从个人创伤着手,分析三位主人公承受的创伤和不同的创伤表症,并在第二节引出克隆人的集体创伤并分析原因。而文化创伤又是集体创伤的文化体现。因此,第三节中,运用杰弗瑞·亚历山大关于文化创伤的三个要素和四种体现的概念,对小说中的文化创伤进行分析。
  
  第三章从两个方面探讨克隆人文化创伤的愈合之路:自我救赎和社会责任归属。自我救赎将从建立安全感、回顾与悼念以及重建联系三个方面进行探讨;社会责任归属将从合理利用科技、进行抗争以及道德和法律约束三个方面探讨。
  
  最后一部分为结论部分。该部分对论文的观点进行总结,指出克隆人文化创伤的根源,并对人类在其文化创伤中应当肩负的责任进行呼吁。从文化创伤的角度解读这部小说,可以使读者更深层次地理解作者的创作意图和小说的社会意义。克隆技术是把双刃剑,石黑一雄借助这部作品引发人们对科学技术发展的思考以及对弱势群体的关注。同时,作家通过对克隆人的刻画,让人们反思生命的意义。
  
  关键词:   石黑一雄; 《别让我离开》;克隆人;文化创伤;愈合。
  
  Abstract
  
  Kazuo Ishiguro (1954-), a Japanese-British novelist, is the winner of Nobel Prize for literature. The experience of immigration gave him a unique cross-cultural background and special memory. As a cross-cultural novelist, his exotic growing experience helps him fouse on identity, get rid of the interference of complex identity and think seriously about his social responsibility. In his writing career, he wrote novels more based on real events. Nevertheless, the novel Never Let Me Go in 2005 was a science fiction which makes people feel his concern about “cloning technology”in the post-human world.
  
  Never Let Me Go was nominated for the Booker Prize and American National Book Critics Association Award. In the novel, Ishiguro describes a group of cloneswho live somewhere in the world. They are given the task of donating organs to humans who are sick. They have the same emotions as human beings but without real human rights. Although they have a desire for survival, they have to complete their mission until the last moment of life.
  
  Trauma is a common theme in Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels. At present, many scholars study the trauma theme of the novel from different perspectives, but there are few studies done from the cultural trauma theory. Based on the cultural trauma theory of Jeffrey Alexander, this paper explores how cultural trauma is represented in the novel and how cultural trauma is healed. The present author analyzes this novel by the theory of cultural trauma, so that readers can understand the suffering of human clones through another perspective which will expand research scopes on Kazuo Ishiguro’s works.
  
  This paper is divided into three parts: introduction, the main body and conclusion.
  
  The introduction gives a general introduction to the writer and his works. Then,the thesis makes a literature review of Never Let Me Go. By summarizing andcomparing the views of domestic and foreign critics and scholars, it puts forward the feasibility of analyzing Never Let Me Go from the perspective of cultural trauma.
  
  Finally, the research structure is introduced.
  
  The second part is the main body which includes three chapters.
  
  The first chapter introduces the theoretical concept of trauma and cultural trauma,which provides theoretical basis for the analysis.
  
  The second chapter analyzes the representation of the cultural trauma in the novel. In the first section, it starts with personal traumas of the three protagonists and their different trauma symptoms. In the second section, it points out the collective trauma of the clones and analyzes the causes. As cultural trauma is the cultural embodiment of collective trauma, in the third section, it analyzes the cultural trauma in the novel by using Alexander’s cultural trauma thesis of the three elements and the four key representations.
  
  The third chapter discusses the ways of cultural trauma healing from two aspects: self-redemption and social responsibility attribution. Self-redemption will be discussed from three parts: safety establishment, review and mourning, and relevancy reconstruction. Social responsibility attribution will be analyzed from three aspects:rational use of technology, learning to resist as well as moral and law constraints.
  
  The last part is conclusion. It summarizes the points, revealing the roots of the cultural trauma and calls on the human beings to take responsibility in the cultural trauma. An interpretation of the novel from the angle of cultural trauma is helpful for us to understand the author’s intention and its social significance. Clone technology is a double-edged sword. Through his novel Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro shows his contemplation of human nature loss in the course of technology development and calls for people to protect and respect the vulnerable groups. At the same time,through the depiction of human cloning, the author makes us reflect on the meaning of life.
  
  Key Words:   Kazuo Ishiguro; Never Let Me Go; clones; cultural trauma; healing。
  
  Introduction
 
  
  0.1 Introduction to Kazuo Ishiguro。

  
  Kazuo Ishiguro (1954-), a Japanese-born British novelist, was famous as a contemporary fiction writer and was rated by The Times as one of “the fifty greatest British writers since 1945” in 2008. He won Nobel Prize on October the 15th, 2017 and has received more attention ever since. Born in Nagasaki, Japan on November the 8th, 1954, Ishiguro immigrated to England with his parents when he was five years old and lived there ever since. He was born in Japan and lived in the UK. His experience makes people interested in him and his works. He was named as one of the “Three Immigrant Giants” together with Salman Rushdie and V. S. Naipaul. His novels are frequent visitors to almost every award or nomination of literary awards. A Pale View of Hills (1982) was honored by the Royal Society. An Artist of the Floating World (1986) was honored Whitbread Book of the Year Award for the best novel from British and Irish Book Association. The Remains of the Day (1989) was awarded the highest prize in Britain—Booker Prize which helped to win its high place in British literary. The Unconsoled (1995) was the winner of the Cheltenham Prize. When We Were Orphans (2000) was awarded Booker Prize again. Never Let Me Go (2005) was nominated for the Booker Prize and American National Book Critics Association Award. The Buried Giant (2015) was nominated for the 2016 World Fantasy Award for best novel, and the 2016 Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature.
  
  Based on his immigration experience, Ishiguro received dual influence of British culture and Japanese culture. On one hand, he accepted the orthodox Englisheducation with the boys at school and learnt to be a British boy. He got his bachelor’s degree of English literature when he studied in the University of East Anglia and Kent University. His works are written in English without exception for his high English proficiency and his language is unadorned and elegant in the calm and reserved writing style. On the other hand, he is also influenced by the traditional Japanese culture at home. At first his parents planned to stay only before the completion of the work and then return to Japan, so they never let Ishiguro give up Japanese culture education. In addition, after he moved to the UK with his parents, his grandfather mailed parcels to him every month with Japanese cartoons for kids in order to help him better understand Japanese culture. In 1960s, the relaxed immigration policy opened Ishiguro’s eyes to see the beauty and multiplicity of the world. From Japan tothe United Kingdom, and from Britain to the rest of the world, Ishiguro crossed multiple geographic and cultural space. As a typical crossover, he was influenced by different geographic environment, political environment, cultural space and cultural traditions, etc.
  
  He returned to his birth land 30 years later, and he began to realize that he had very little knowledge of modern Japan. However, he is still writing these stories which happened in Japan or with Japanese background. He even called himself the homeless writer, because he doesn’t think he owned an identified social image. He points out that he is neither a typical British man nor a typical Japanese man. He has no exact social role and no duty to write for any nation. For these reasons, he has formed his international writing style. His international writing style is mainly because his wandering in the two culture systems and each culture affects him in strong or weak power. The antagonism between the two powers fights for his identity and shapes his identity. However, he is difficult to fit in any power completely, and cannot completely get rid of any power.
  
  It is because of the fight between these two powers, Ishiguro has more opportunities to focus on identity discussion. At the same time, this antagonism helpshim separate himself from the interference of various factors. He does not work for any authority. He begins to think seriously about his social responsibility. He is able to be fairer and more objective in dealing with the matters around him. He incorporates these thoughts into his literary creation which arouses greater resonation with the readers. During his early writing career, he wrote novels more based on the facts. Nevertheless, with the publication of Never Let Me Go in 2005, people could see his interest in the social focus “cloning technology”. Ishiguro describes that in a corner of the world, there is such a group of clones, who are born to donate their organs to sick human. They are deprived of human rights and they are even not humans but the products. In this work, readers can feel the warm-hearted concern for vulnerable groups on Ishiguro. As a writer, he advocates the communication andunderstanding between different cultures. It manifests the writer’s social responsibility and historical mission which are showed by the carrying of cultural memory of literature and the thinking of the current political situation on his creation.
  
  His social responsibility and historical mission also come from his experience as a volunteer. He took a year off from school and spent six months working as a community volunteer to help people in a residential area in Renfrew of Scotland. It was the decline of British manufacturing, widespread unemployment, and the grim social conditions that made him grow a lot spiritually. According to Ishiguro’s reminiscence, it was just then that he began to think seriously about life. In 1978 he received a bachelor of arts degree at the university of Kent, then he engaged in social work in a group called “Cyrenian” which is to help the homeless. These homeless people are largely the archetype of homeless clones in the novel Never Let Me Go.
  
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  0.2 Introduction to Never Let Me Go
  0.3 Previous Studies on Kazuo Ishiguro and His Works
  0.4 Overall Structure of the Thesis
  
  Chapter One Theoretical Foundation of Cultural Trauma
  
  1.1 Trauma and Trauma Theory
  1.2 Cultural Trauma
  
  Chapter Two Representation of Cultural Trauma in Never Let Me Go
  
  2.1 Individual Trauma of Clones
  2.2 Collective Trauma of Clones
  2.3 Conversion of Individual Trauma into Cultural Trauma
  
  Chapter Three Healing of the Cultural Trauma in Never Let Me Go
  
  3.1 Self-Redemption
  3.2 Social Responsibility

  Conclusion

  This is the only novel of Kazuo Ishiguro which is concerned with biotechnology. Never Let Me Go attracts many readers and critics with the clone theme. Critics can hardly consider it as a science fiction because there is no depiction of biotechnology in the work. With such a special group of clones as the protagonists, it reflects something more universal. The tragic fate of the clones is undoubtedly an unavoidable topic among the numerous studies and explanations.

  Cultural trauma is constructed through the recalls of the three protagonists gradually. In the novel, the clones, who are represented by Kathy, Ruth and Tommy,experience their own trauma and present their different symptoms. From hyperarousalof Tommy, constriction of Ruth and intrusion of Kathy, it is not hard to see the clones’suffering. This special group suffers from collective trauma in safety loss, identity anxiety and lack of love. In fact, Kazuo Ishiguro successfully constructs the cultural trauma of the clones in his novel which is based on the collective trauma. Through the comparative analysis of the three elements: speaker, audience and situation in cultural trauma, four key questions of the construction of cultural trauma were answered. It isconfirmed that the clone is enduring cultural trauma. The fundamental cause of trauma is the loss of identity. They have no social status, cannot be recognized by human beings. They are only products made by human beings and serve human beings. Kathy is speaking directly to the readers which arouses sympathy of the readers. So,they are willingly to endure pain and oppression together with the clones. In the novel, clones try hard in their own way of trauma healing, but it is far from enough. The effective way of cultural trauma healing is the cooperation between the victim and the public.

  Cloning technology brings people more hope of survival as well as deep thinking. This technology is a double-edged sword. It is both harming the clones’right to life and interrogating human morals. It is not only an injury to dignity but also a disregard for life that human beings arbitrarily taking away the organs of clones.The author of this thesis aims to reveal the nature of the trauma and make an alarm for human society in order to avoid the loss of human nature in the course of development and progress. The author tries to reflect the tragic fate of the most vulnerable groups in society by the narration of the clones and calls on protection and respect for the vulnerable groups.

  Furthermore, Ishiguro wants to reflect something more universal. Through this novel, he makes modern people ponder over the meaning of life. In the real world,everyone is trying to prove the value of his existence. Facing the life pressure,depressed emotions and disillusioned dreams, people should make their short life warm and meaningful by love and responsibility. They should face the coming days positively.

  Bibliography

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