Critical Literary Studies

Critical Literary Studies

Critical Literary Studies, Vol 1, No 1, Autumn and Winter 2018-2019 (مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)



Two Tales of a City: London in Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist and Samuel Johnson’s London(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)


کلید واژه ها: London Urban Space Satire Moral Space Ben Jonson Samuel Johnson

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Adopting a descriptive-analytical method, this paper aims to examine the representations of London in Ben Jonson’s early seventeenth-century play The Alchemist and Samuel Johnson’s mid-eighteenth-century poem London. The texts’ treatment of London is marked by the authors’ critical view of the city. Jonson’s drama depicts life in his native London mainly to satirize it. Likewise, Samuel Johnson’s poem denounces London life for what he thinks to be its immorality, anarchy and corruption. However, both authors seem to have been fascinated with London at the same time: while Jonson’s interest is evident from his detailed listing of city sites, Samuel Johnson gradually reconciles himself to London to finally declare it to be the city that houses all that one may wish for.

Detrimental Impacts of Poppy Monoculture on Indigenous Subjects, Plants and Animals in Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Colonialism Ecocriticism Poppy nature Animals

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تعداد بازدید : 71 تعداد دانلود : 614
Critically reading Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, the present paper attempts to explore the impacts of colonization on indigenous subjects, plants and animals. To trace the detrimental effects of colonialism on both environment and people in Sea of Poppies, this study foregrounds the reflection of the obligatory cultivation of poppy under the rule of British colonizers in India. Sea of Poppies is indeed a portrayal of the catastrophic policies enforced in India by British colonizers in the nineteenth century. In his seminal novel Ghosh deals with the changes brought about by the lucrative cultivation of poppy in the exacerbation of the financial status of indigenous subjects. Environmental devastation and the changes in the normal behavior of animals are also dealt with. Focusing on the theoretical frameworks proposed by Graham Huggan and Helen Tiffin, this paper explores the convergence of postcolonialism and ecocriticism in Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies to indicate that not only were native people impoverished during colonialism in India, but also the ecosystem was severely damaged.

Semiotic and Cultural Analysis of English and Persian Advertising Slogans(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: culture semiotics Advertising Slogans Peirce’s Model Advertising Elements

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The scopes of this research were to analyze the semiotic and cultural aspects of 30 English and Persian advertising slogans of various brands and also to reveal the functions of advertising elements used in the advertising teasers. The slogans were sampled for the analysis on the random basis from the internet sources. The writer used descriptive qualitative method to describe and analyze the semiotic elements; objects; verbal and nonverbal dimensions of advertisements. The semiotic model used in this analysis was Charles Sanders Peirce’s semiotic framework. The researcher identified the frequency of cultural and advertising elements used in the advertising slogans in order to illustrate the techniques used by the companies. The findings of the present research indicated that among the advertising elements, shots, color, and music were used more in the 15 English advertising teasers, but in 15 Persian advertising teasers, shots and color were used more than the other advertising elements. In addition, the functions of semiotic and cultural elements in advertising are as follows: they convey the messages more vividly and comprehensively, facilitate the communication between the advertisers and audiences, indicate the truths and facts in a different way, evoke the awareness and conscience of people in order to help others, convey a piece of information about the advertisement, make reference to a concrete or imaginary reality associated with the values of the advertised product or service, and build a bridge for social groups and various communities.

Automaton and Tyche in Postmodern British Novel: A Critical Treatment of Chance in Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Automaton Chance The Real The Symbolic Trauma Tyche (Tuche)

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تعداد بازدید : 422 تعداد دانلود : 719
The present paper aims address the Lacanian concepts of the tyche (tuche) and the automaton in Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion (1987), and to explore the way the whole novel is based on moments of chance, peril, and jeopardy which are traceable in the transformation of automaton into tyche. Illuminating the track of automaton into tyche, the study endeavors to compare reading women’s writing style to experiencing tyche while going through other styles could be comparable to an automaton. A historiographic metafiction, The Passion is divided into four seemingly unrelated sections connected by the elements of chance and calamity. Via experiencing traumatic happenings, the characters face the incursion of the Real into the Symbolic Order (Tyche), considered beyond the determinations of the Symbolic. Observing the mass slaughter and deplorable death of his comrades, Henri is unable to return to the Symbolic and is obliged to remain in the asylum as a mentally disordered person. On the contrary, Villanelle manages to free herself from the post-traumatic stress and commences a new life.

The Intertextual and the Theatrical in Postmodern Drama: A Case Study of Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)


کلید واژه ها: Theatricality postmodern drama intertextuality pastiche Thomas Stoppard’s Drama

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The present study addresses one of the most recently debated areas in postmodern literature and art, the revival of interest in theatricality. The researcher aims to introduce a few strategies which are used to turn the intertextual elements and the pastiche into working tools for creating theatricality. In order to do so, Thomas Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) which was later made into a movie version as well, directed by Stoppard himself, is examined. The study tries to show how theatricality can affect the performance as well as the contribution of the spectators to the dramatic text and performance. The shared experience of the pastiche made based on Hamlet by William Shakespeare, can contribute to the understanding of how theatricality can work when intertextuality is a powerful and positive force. The sample scenes chosen here are concluded to be the examples of how the illusion of having a stable identity is what not only the characters, the players or the author just assume to exist, but also what the text deliberately and constantly recreates. The playful nature of theatricality highlights the way each of these contributors willingly dupe themselves for the show to go on.

Hannah Arendt’s Human Condition in Neil Simon’s Theater(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Action Work Labor Power violence Totalitarianism

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Neil Simon’s plays, through their comic exterior, target serious social critique at the contemporary media-ridden culture of America. This research is a study of Simon’s theater from the perspective of Hannah Arendt’s speculations on human condition, totalitarianism, and violence. The selected plays, Fools, Lost in Yonkers, and Laughter on the 23rd Floor are scrutinized according to the three main concepts in Arendt’s thought, which are “action”, “work”, and “labor”. Action is a set of goal-oriented human activities carried out in plurality and imbued with the hope for new possibilities. Plural action is the most effective means of resisting totalitarianism that only wishes to downgrade action to work and then labor through violence. However, despite impositions and enforcements of violence, action always remains in the history for future generations to draw inspiration from. In Simon’s theater, despite its nonpolitical and humorous façade, action is inevitably thwarted, but its positive outcomes cannot be plagued. Simon puts on a vivid display the sparkles of pluralism and action regardless of immanent violence and its democratic disguise.

Globalization, Risk, and Transformation of Intimacy: Investigating Mark Ravenhill’s Some Explicit Polaroids and Faust Is Dead(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Globalization risk Self-Identity In-Yer-Face Theater Ravenhill

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تعداد بازدید : 75 تعداد دانلود : 744
Exploring how literature represents social context, the present study aims to critically examine Mark Ravenhill’s plays, Some Explicit Polaroids and Faust is Dead, in terms of Giddens’ concepts of Globalization, Risk, and Transformation of Intimacy. The central argument of this analysis is thus to demonstrate how Ravenhill’s plays represent the social changes of the contemporary era in which the plays have been produced. The study addresses the concepts of Globalization and Risk in the plays in order to illustrate how transformations brought by it affect individual’s day-to-day life in contemporary society. Accordingly, the researcher thus focuses on the impacts of such transformations on the process of self-identity construction as well as the transformation of intimacy in that, as Giddens has contended, the characteristics of the globalized world deeply intrude into the heart of self-identity and reshape the way individuals build up their self-identities. 

The Traces of Hermeticism in John Donne’s An Anatomy of the World(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Donne Hermeticism An Anatomy of the World Spiritual journey Unification

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تعداد بازدید : 312
The highlighted purpose of the present study lies on the traces of Hermeticism in John Donne’s celebrated poem, An Anatomy of the World. Since Donne was one of the seventeenth-century poets and a highly significant poet in the metaphysical school of poetry, his poems explore the realms of philosophy, theology, popular science, and also the idea of Platonic love in his love poetry. Hermeticism is an ancient idea which focuses on spiritual, philosophical, and magical tradition. This school of thought concentrates on the path of spiritual growth. It believes that human beings return to a state of unity by the spiritual journey. With reference to this idea, this study explores the elements of Hermeticism in the lines of An Anatomy of the World in order to grasp the idea of spiritual journey and unification in that Donne in this poem centers on a profound quest and spiritual journey of the soul that goes to heaven.

Gender and Performativity in Contemporary American Novel: A Butlerian Reading of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Gender Performativity Performance Heterosexuality norm

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One of the most challenging approaches toward literary works is the feminist approach. After three waves of feminism through the history of literary criticism, Judith Butler has introduced a new vision that is gender-based rather than sex-based. She has strongly influenced the domain of feminism and queer theories. In her preeminent book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), Butler sharply criticizes the former feminists for their division of men and women into two distinct groups, the latter being the underdog and the former being the superior. Butler argues that gender is a cultural and social construct. One’s gender is performative for one’s actions, which determine and construct his/her gender identity. The present paper aims at investigating Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (2012) in terms of Butlerian concepts of gender and performativity. The novel takes advantage of certain characters to depict the idea of gender, as performative. The current study explores the concept of gendered identity focusing on the characters of Amy Elliott Dunne, Margo Dunne, and Maureen Dunne. Further investigations of the characters, particularly Detective Rhonda Boney and Amy Elliott Dunne, illustrate the link between the concept of performativity and the novel.

Guests in Albert Camus's "The Guest": Essence in Tartarus(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)


کلید واژه ها: Existentialism Essence Choice Alienation and Sisyphus

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The present article aims to explore the notion of Existentialist essence in the major and minor characters of Albert Camus’s short story “The Guest.” It also takes it upon itself to investigate the different implications of the setting of the story. The central questions of this survey, therefore, are: which of the characters of the short story can be said to have developed a sort of personality we associate with Existentialism? What can be inferred from Camus’s choice of the setting? To answer the questions, this moral/philosophical study first reviews the basic tenets of Existentialism in a nutshell and then probes them as well as their functions in the characters and the setting of the narrative. The present research argues that the only person who fits into Camus’s conception of an Existentialist hero is Daru, even though The Arab, too, develops certain traits which are attuned with the Existentialist mindset. It is also revealed that in “The Guest,” there are significant allusions toThe Myth of Sisyphus, Inferno, Hell, Notes from Underground, “The Waste Land,” and Psalm 23, which create a gloomy setting and represent Daru as a modern Sisyphus. A possible implication is that Camus is effectively comparing the plateau/Algeria/the world to Hades/inferno/Hell and that he is identifying himself with Daru and the people living in the mid-twentieth century with the residents of Tartarus.

Literature as a Medium to Foster Critical Thinking: A Case Study of an Iranian EFL Classroom(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Literature Critical thinking EFL language teaching Short Story Iranian

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As far as teaching English as a foreign language is concerned, the role of literature as a medium to enhance language learning or to promote other cognitive and affective variables has been quite contentious. Over the last three decades, however, some practitioners and second language scholars have resurrected literature as an effective vehicle to teach the second or foreign language. As an attempt to shed more light on the use of literature in English Language Teaching (ELT), the present study investigated the role of literature as a medium to foster critical thinking among English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students. In so doing, a sample of 39 intermediate Iranian EFL students who were the students of two intact classes were recruited. They were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group (n=18) were required to read unabridged, authentic short stories written by literary figures whereas control group students were provided with abridged and simplified texts and short stories. A validated scale of critical thinking was administered as the pre-test and the post-test before and after the treatment. The results of a one way ANCOVA revealed that the experimental group outperformed the control group on the post-test of critical thinking, suggesting that use of literary texts has been effective in enhancing the level of critical thinking among Iranian EFL students. The findings of the study have pedagogical implications for ELT theorizers and practitioners.

20th Century American Family Drama: An Exploration of Image of Loss(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Modern American drama Family Loss of Physical Space Loss of Psychological Space Loss of Moral Space

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تعداد بازدید : 476 تعداد دانلود : 912
The purpose of this study is to explore the image of loss in modern American drama in the theme of family. The image of loss prevails the post-war era of American drama in three levels of psychological, physical, and moral space. This image is clearly observable in two of the prominent works of the era, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Moreover, this image of loss is closely connected with the notion of time. The familial breakdown appears as a sustaining motif that plays a central role in the psychologically shattered personality of the major characters, as a result of the profound changes in the American post-war society and family. World War II was a milestone in the society as a whole, and in the family as a smaller society, and correspondingly among the people as entities which the image of loss seemed inseparable from. American post-War drama fully represents the tough conditions of that era particularly in the themes of familial breakdown and the image of loss.