Critical Literary Studies

Critical Literary Studies

Critical Literary Studies, Vol 3, No 2, Spring and Summer 2021

مقالات

۱.

Becoming Legend in Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend: The Semiotic Last Resort for Survival

نویسنده:
تعداد بازدید : ۱۸ تعداد دانلود : ۱۶
In Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (1954), vampires and the protagonist are regarded as the incumbents of legend-based subject positions respectively. This full circle and chiasmastic changeability in the incumbency of legend-based subject positions have been read through several postcolonial and racial critical paradigms. The present study, while acknowledging the merit of these readings, puts the changeable incumbencies of legend-based subject positions of this novel within Julia Kristeva’s critical conceptualization of chora. Such a reading acknowledges the repressive features of becoming a legend in symbolic order of signification, and at the same time, bespeaks the eruptive and threatening inklings of the semiotic and irrepresentable aspects of becoming a legend for such orders. The reading also manages to distance itself from those studies and analyses which see in legends some transcendental or holy teleology. This study argues that it is the very irrepresentable but materialistic and heterogeneous developments in the process of legend formation which make the incumbencies of legends motile, semiotically enabling and eruptive, and overall choric. In the novel’s post-apocalyptic, always-changing and chaotic world, becoming a legend can ensure one’s symbolically irrepresentable but semiotically perpetual survival. 
۲.

The Watermark of a Self in Narrating the Past: A Study of Autobiographical Memory in Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory

تعداد بازدید : ۱۲ تعداد دانلود : ۱۶
Autobiographies are not merely literary productions but mental functions, stories continuously narrated, owned and believed by the self. By broadening the locus of autobiography from literary productions to mental functions, the connection between its Greek constituent parts: autos (self), bios (life), and graphé (writing), can be clarified and new vantage points become possible for studying the self and its narrative framing. In the genre of autobiography Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory stands out in unraveling the ways in which memory speaks the self. The free indirect style voice of narration and bridging the epistemic gap between the past and the present, both innate to the act of remembering, are masterly used by Nabokov.  This article, following Mark Rowlands’ approach to memory, studies Speak, Memory in order to explore the narrative structure of autobiographical memory and the constitution of the autobiographical sense of self. Thisstudy argues that in Speak, Memory, the self emerges as a narrative thematic pattern across time by being purported in, and at the same time transcending clusters of first-personal narratives that reconstruct the past.
۳.

The Representation of the Twenty-first Century Children in Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth 2015

تعداد بازدید : ۱۴ تعداد دانلود : ۱۸
Children in Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth 2015, represent many symbolic concepts, such as the dominant ideology of the Elizabethan era. This research study explains why the source text has undergone many changes regarding the representation of child characters. Kurzel has added new child characters to the original story to signify his concern for the young generation of our contemporary time. Contextualization and the socio-historical events will explain the reason behind the abundance of children in the film adaptation. Robert Stam’s model of intertextual dialogism helps to understand how Macbeth 2015 relates to real physical and psychological damage to contemporary children by war. The adaptation is in constant dialogue with the reality of violence and war in the turn of the century. Child soldiers, grieving and revengeful parents and children, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are serious contemporary dilemmas. These traumatic events are a consequence of the pursuit of power by people who encourage war and violence.
۴.

The Commodification of Women in a Comparative Study of Pinter's Betrayal and Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia

تعداد بازدید : ۱۳ تعداد دانلود : ۱۵
The purpose of the present study is to discuss Girard’s imitative desire in Pinter’s Betrayal, and Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia. René Noël Théophile Girard (1923-2015), a French literary critic and philosopher, has elaborated on the idea of imitative desire. He discusses that our desires are not autonomous, but we borrow our desires from others. Since human beings think their drives do belong to them, the object of desire or the desired love becomes an issue of rivalry among the rivals. If such a dissention is not resolved, chaos will result. To solve it, an object, namely a human being is to be sacrificed to restore the unity of a nation. Since women characters are marginalized in patriarchal societies, they are mostly sacrificed in the selected plays. Sometimes, double mediation occurs for those who imitate others’ desires. That is, their desires are copied by others at the same time. In other words, man sacrifices out of his imitative desire to engender power and attraction. Therefore, the male characters in the selected plays covet objects/other human beings belonging to others. This act might cost other people’s lives and metamorphosing female characters to mere objects prone to sacrifice and commodification.
۵.

Social Ecofeminism Versus Cultural Ecofeminism: Marsha Norman’s Getting Out and ’night, Mother

تعداد بازدید : ۱۴ تعداد دانلود : ۱۶
The present article analyzes two of Marsha Norman’s groundbreaking plays, Getting Out (1977) and ’night, Mother (1983), in the light of ecofeminism. From the viewpoint of ecological feminism, Western patriarchal culture, which is structured in a hierarchical and dualistic manner, is responsible for the domination of women as well as the destruction of the natural environment. Broadly speaking, ecofeminist studies fall into two main categories: social ecofeminism and cultural ecofeminism. Considering the theories and positions of both groups, the researchers analyze how ‘nature’ and ‘women’ have been historically, socially, and culturally oppressed by hierarchical and dualistic structures of patriarchal capitalism; and discuss how Norman in her selected plays challenges and destabilizes such structures. Accordingly, it is concluded that Norman’s conception of woman-nature connection corresponds more closely to the theories and positions held by social ecofeminists than those of cultural ecofeminists, and that she considers woman-nature affinity as more of a sociocultural product than a biological fact.
۶.

Symbolic Consumption and Media in Bret Easton Ellis’s Less than Zero

تعداد بازدید : ۱۳ تعداد دانلود : ۱۴
The present paper seeks to argue that consumption and media wield an unparalleled influence over contemporary American society, in a way that these drives constitute the primary means through which identity is constituted. Closely referring to Jean Baudrillard’s critical concepts, the present research contends that the fictional characters of Bret Easton Ellis, particularly in Less Than Zero, are prone to this postmodern world, where all experience via consumption has become fathomless, and traditional notions of identity have been changed. Ellis’s characters oscillate between the extreme poles of violence and ennui as they do their best to prevent their psyches from collapse amidst the surrounding turmoil caused by excessive consumption. Neither one of these alternatives results in any relief. In this type of literature, the protagonists are immersed in the contemporary world of consumption and the mass media. The primary interest here is on the effects of this immersion in the world of commodities on the major characters (Clay and Blair), and their reactions in the selected novel. Accordingly, dependence on possessions by the characters of the novel in order to isolate themselves from the threatening disorder of the post-modern world is the major concern of present study of the novel.
۷.

Fear of Freedom: Erich Fromm and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

تعداد بازدید : ۲۱ تعداد دانلود : ۱۷
The pursuit of freedom has constantly been debilitated due to external shackles embodying themselves mainly with the presence of an authority that anesthetizes individuals into voluntary submission. Erich Fromm (1900-80) is the German psychologist who underscores the significance of individual freedom in his book Escape from Freedom (1941) and maintains that on the path towards freedom, individuals attempt at unshackling themselves from restrictive forces; however, as they release themselves from the restrictions of an authority and refuse to yield to its demands, individuals are left with feelings of insecurity and powerlessness. As a result, they try to compensate for the feeling of insecurity by either submitting themselves to another authority figure or becoming authority figures themselves. Within the paper, Fromm’s concept of freedom is elaborated upon and applied to Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962). The paper discusses the two major concepts of “freedom from” and “freedom to” known as “negative freedom” and “positive freedom” and demonstrates the possibility of finding a getaway from a negative sense of freedom by investing mankind with the power of love and communication. Real freedom is not a release from external constraints but mainly a release from internal forces.
۸.

Dialogue Between Nature and Human in Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace

تعداد بازدید : ۱۴ تعداد دانلود : ۱۸
This article will portray Atwood’s Alias Grace (1996) from an Eco-critical viewpoint. The real concern of eco-criticism is to create an eco-literary discourse to produce an interactive approach between the language of nature and the literary language. Likewise, Gregory Garrard explored a different way between humans and environment in the area of cultural spheres in his article in 2016. Garrard wrote a well-known book, Eco-criticism, in 2004 and explored concepts of this approach like: pollution, wilderness, dwelling, animals, and the earth. This type of awareness in literature is significant because of both the current environmental crisis and possible disasters in the future. As such, nature signifies a metaphor for life in the environment. Apart from that, a rural landscape has a profound impact not only on characters, but also on humans the world over. Meanwhile, Atwood followed a creative path which identifies environmental crisis as a modern problem with eccentric human nature as a key element in global ecological concerns. Hence, the main purpose of the current article is looking for a close relationship between humans and nature in the literature which has been ignored in many criticisms.  Finding enough harmony with nature will be a plausible result of it.
۹.

Trilogy of Identity Transformation: Reading David Foster Wallace’s Novels

تعداد بازدید : ۱۴ تعداد دانلود : ۱۳
The progression of culture and literature in the three subsequent eras of Modernism, Postmodernism and Post Postmodernism since the late-20th-century can be considered as one of the vivid factors that has led to the chain of transformation of man. In Modernism, the superiority of authentic and governmental power over people was dominant and later in the era of Postmodernism or the late capitalism, the notion of fragmentation controlled the life of the people; but in the third one, Post Postmodernism, a freshgenus of humanism was introduced by innovative authors such as David Foster Wallace who, in his philosophy of writing, illustrates not only the pain and limitations of man but also the healing instruments. Philosophically speaking, through the critical gates of Wallace’s philosophy, the subjectivity of man is given a niche, and thanks to the opportunity he has gained in the social networks, he could have made it possible to create a type of sharing and mutual communication amongst the fragmented individuals. That is to say, all alienated and limited individuals can have the role of active agents, communicators, and producers instead of being passive watchers, readers, and one-way communicators organized by the structures of the past eras. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate David Foster Wallace’s (1962-2008) trilogy—The Broom of the System (1987), Infinite Jest (1996), and The Pale King (2011)—according to his philosophy of Post postmodernism.
۱۰.

Investigating Narratological view of Focalization in Amy Tan’s The Kitchen God’s Wife

تعداد بازدید : ۱۴ تعداد دانلود : ۱۳
Genette believes that ‘point of view’ is inadequate to expound the differences between the person who sees and the person who narrates. After years of controversy, he proposes the term ‘focalization’ to clarify this difference. Focalization focuses on the person who sees as a subjective moment of perception. Perceiving can take every character of a novel, to a higher level of subjectivity. Later, Meike Bal added new dimensions to his term. The present study, focuses on Amy Tan’s The Kitchen God’s Wife. Two main characters of the novel are focalizers inside of the story whose insights are revealed through the narrative processes of the events. The internal focalization changeably shifts from mother to daughter and vice versa. This study aims to investigate the concept of character focalizer and narrator focalizer in the light of Gerard Genette’s and Mieke Bal’s narratological theory of focalization. Further, it explores the moments of focalizations of the two characters, Winnie, the mother, and Pearl, the daughter. Focalizing the moment of understanding through the improvement of the complex story is discussed, which helps the two characters reach a higher level of subjectivity to overcome their gap.
۱۱.

The Impact of Linguistic and Socio-Cultural Indicators on Naming Commercial Centers in Ardabil and Tehran

تعداد بازدید : ۱۴ تعداد دانلود : ۱۶
Naming, like any other act, is performed in a certain social and cultural context and is affected by these components. Therefore, naming can be regarded as a meaningful act, a cultural act, and thus a social factor. The present study is content-based analysis, and on the based on Saussure's theory (1986), its purpose is to investigate the effect of linguistic, cultural, and social factors in naming commercial centers of Ardabil and Tehran. For this purpose, from 8000 shopping centers in District 10 of Tehran and Ardebil, 368 commercial centers were randomly selected as probabilistic errors based on Morgan's table. The instrument of measurement in this research is a researcher-made questionnaire which consists of three sections: linguistic, cultural and social factors. To test the Null- hypotheses, independent t-test and the Friedman test were used. All statistical analysis were analyzed using SPSS20 and at a significant level less than 0.05. The results showed that there is a significant difference between the role of linguistic, cultural and social indicators in naming commercial centers in Ardebil and Tehran cities (p = 0.001). Finally, it has been shown that the social index has the greatest impact, and the language index has the least impact on the naming of business centers.
۱۲.

The Efficacy of Two Teaching Methods on Minimizing the Grammatical Errors in Translating Persian Sentences into English

تعداد بازدید : ۱۵ تعداد دانلود : ۱۴
This study deals with spotting the grammatical errors committed by the Iranian students majoring in English translation while translating the Persian sentences into English and investigating the effect of two teaching methods, including Grammar-Translation Method (GTM) and Communicative Language Teaching Method (CLT), on minimizing these errors. For this purpose, the grammatical errors in the translation of thirty students were identified. These errors were analyzed and classified according to Keshavarz’s model of error analysis.  The students were divided into two groups; the first group received the learning materials based on GTM, and in the second group CLT was applied. Afterward, a test which included English sentences extracted from Modern English 1 and 2 was designed based on the errors taken from the corpus compiled by the students’ translations. Then the frequency of the errors in both groups were analyzed by SPSS software to determine the significance of using these methods on minimizing the grammatical errors made by the students in their translations into English. To determine the level of significance, the probability value was calculated for raw errors, GTM and CLT errors. The analysis of Pearson correlation showed that both methods had their significance; however, the communicative method proved to be slightly more effective than the other. Undoubtedly, this does not mean to underestimate the efficacy of grammar translation method since it seems that it plays a complementary role in teaching environment, and achieving better pedagogical results cannot be prescribed on a single method.