"On the Opposite Edges of the World": Class, Nation, and Romantic Musings in Willa Cather`s My Antonia
분야
어문학 > 영문학
저자
( Min Jung Kim )
발행기관
미국소설학회(구 한국호손학회)
간행물정보
미국소설 2012년, 제19권 제3호, 195~221쪽(총27쪽)
파일형식
99400448.pdf [무료 PDF 뷰어 다운로드]
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    영문초록
    Followed by the initial spate of generous commentaries on the novel, a significant portion of critical insights on Willa Cather`s My Antonia since the mid 1980s has revolved around discussions of narrative voice and authority, storytelling, and gender, and thus the dynamic interplay of different social voices in the text. As Cather`s work is conveniently divided into five books, there is also the sense that it is about the narrator Jim Burden`s various stages in his life childhood in Nebraska, adolescence in the town of Black Hawk, life in college, adulthood, and temporary return to childhood community. Such book divisions encourage readers to perceive the first book of the novel, "The Shimerdas," as Jim`s shared past with the immigrant daughter Antonia, encouraging the understanding of the themes of the pull of memory and sentimental attachment to the vanished American prairie as central to Cather`s work. In this paper, rather than reading Jim`s romantic tendencies of contemplation and reflection as conditioned by his gender privilege as signaled by the proprietary title of the novel "My Antonia," I focus on the importance of Jim`s own perceptions of his classed and national identity as determining of his relationships to the immigrants. My goal here is not to make the inane argument that class, nation, and gender are somehow conveniently separable, but to illustrate how the novel charts Jim`s romantic inclinations as nurtured by his own recognition of his social and ethnic difference, thus the book being a powerful statement on the construction of identities as dependent on selective, at times violent appropriation of the trying experiences and differentiated individual realities.
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