著者
北村 紗衣
出版者
一般財団法人日本英文学会
雑誌
英文学研究. 支部統合号 (ISSN:18837115)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.3, pp.149-167, 2011-01-20

In J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians, the barbarian girl, one of the main characters, suddenly begins to menstruate during the journey to the territory of her people, the barbarians. This scene of menstruation might seem irrelevant to the rest of the novel, which deals with the conflict between the Empire and the barbarians. Few critics have mentioned the menstruation in this novel, although Waiting for the Barbarians has been the subject of considerable commentary. However, if it is irrelevant to the novel's plot, why does Coetzee go out of his way to describe menstruation, even though literature seldom mentions it? In fact, some haunting images in Waiting for the Barbarians, such as children and blood, are closely linked to menstruation. This paper discusses how menstruation, a phenomenon that has many layers of meaning, works in this novel, focusing mainly on its physiological and symbolic meanings. On the physiological level of meaning, menstruation in Waiting for the Barbarians means that the barbarian girl is not pregnant; and it serves as a kind of foreshadowing of her clear break with the Magistrate, an officer of the Empire and the novel's narrator. After the Magistrate has sex with the barbarian girl, for a quick moment he dreams of making a family with her; but her menstruation shows that it is impossible for them to have children together. She leaves him and returns to her people just after menstruating. On the symbolic level of meaning, the barbarian girl's menstruation means that the "flow," which the Empire's control blocked, returns at the "margin," or the boundary, where the Empire's power intertwines with that of the barbarians. Under the Empire's control, blood is described as stagnant and clotted, and natural phenomena's flow is also disrupted. The flow, however, is visualized as menstruation when the barbarian girl reaches the boundary between the Empire and the barbarians' territory. Menstruation, the physiological phenomenon of blood leaking from a woman's body at its margin, symbolises boundary-crossing and overlaps with the act of geographic boundary-crossing, the barbarian girl's and the Magistrate's transition from the Empire to the barbarians' territory. Although both the Magistrate and the barbarian girl become boundary-crossers by being involved in geographic boundary-crossing and menstruation, the barbarian girl achieves greater fluidity than the Magistrate. This is because fluidity, a dangerous attribute, is traditionally ascribed to women in literature. In Waiting for the Barbarians, menstruation is used to symbolise the contrast between the Empire as a patriarchal, solid order and the margin where the Empire and the barbarians encounter each other, creating fluidity. It also symbolises the contrast between the woman who can achieve great fluidity, and the man who cannot escape from the Empire's solid order. Menstruation, which is fluid and cyclic, also symbolises the cycle of nature, especially reproduction, which the Empire hinders. In Waiting for the Barbarians, the Magistrate thinks that the Empire does not respect nature's cycle and that it deprives its people and its land of fertility. As Julia Kristeva points out in "Women's Time," the time of history is linear and often is ascribed to men, but the time of nature is cyclic and often is ascribed to women. The Magistrate feels antipathy toward the time of history of the Empire, and he hopes that the barbarian girl, who achieves great fluidity through menstruation, will have children and regain nature's cycle.
著者
松本 舞
出版者
一般財団法人日本英文学会
雑誌
英文学研究. 支部統合号 (ISSN:18837115)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.4, pp.393-400, 2012-01-20

The aim of this paper is to examine Henry Vaughan's use of alchemical expressions through a close reading of Silex Scintillans (1650, 1655). Considering that a Rosicrucian manifesto, The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of R: C: of Rosie Cross, was translated by Thomas Vaughan, Henry's twin brother, in 1652, the emblem attached to the first edition of Silex Scintillans should be read in the context of the movement of the alchemical renaissance. From the viewpoint of alchemy, the flashing flint of the title-page suggests the situation of a heart of stone waiting to be softened and cleansed by the power of fire, which represents God's sword. In this paper, I will reconsider Vaughan's emblem more in detail, by examining the meaning of God's light, the silex [Philosopher's stone], tears and blood in the context of alchemical writings. First of all, this paper argues that Vaughan's expression of light can be read as a strong condemnation of the 'New Light', of which Puritan boasted. Moreover, it shows that the theory of alchemy became so widely recognized that the Philosopher's stone was described as a form of medicine. In addition, tears and blood could symbolize the 'Quintessence'. As Paracelsus had argued, 'the reason why [the] Quintessence cures all disease' is because of its 'great cleannesse and purity'. Furthermore, Paracelsus also compares Christ to the Philosopher's stone. Vaughan, too, recognizes that not only is Christ the Good Physician, he is the Good Alchemist, as well. Moreover, the poet redefines the Passion of Christ as God's Alchemy and he attempts to gain some medical benefit from it. The paper concludes that, for Vaughan, the praise of God's Alchemy is a paradoxical criticism of the actions arising from the Puritans' religious corruption.
著者
瀧川 元男
出版者
一般財団法人日本英文学会
雑誌
英文學研究 (ISSN:00393649)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.41, no.2, pp.183-194, 1965-03-30

The development of Hemingway's view of death can be traced through his trials to find out how to live in our life that is 'nada' in itself. In the trials there are three aspects; the first is the way of living that is found in the series of 'men of endurance' from Henry to Cayetano. They are to live in absolute lonliness rejecting the imminent death by means of their strong physical power. The essence of their way of living is revealed in Cayetano's tenacious attitude toward life when he says, "Continue, slowly, and wait for luck to change," which is nothing other than the claim for the existence of human beings in the painful, cruel and aimless violence of life. The second is in the images ranging from Macomber to Santiago. They are willing to challenge death, feeling "religious ecstasy" from their standpoint as 'men-out-of-himself.' This mental attitude of theirs is manifested in Hemingway's study of "the complete faena (of the bullfighter) that takes a man out of himself and makes him feel immortal while it is proceeding, that gives him an ecstasy that is, while momentary, as profound as any religious esctasy." The third and final one is Harry's attitude toward life. He exemplifies 'the dignity of human beings' beyond death in spite of the fact that he is completely deprived of physical power and good luck (the two fundamental elements of the above two aspects) by the limitation of time. This theme of the limitation of time is, for the most part, the principal element of Green Hills of Africa, and Harry's spiritual calmness is symbolized in the shining white snows of Kilimanjaro. The literary world of Hemingway begins with the real things which are pursued to the utmost, but it ends in the abstract sphere of thought in which the spiritual victory of man over death is groped for. Such an abstract conception of his world arises from his longing for the dignity of human beings who are destined to live in this life that has no end but death.
著者
木村 正子
出版者
一般財団法人日本英文学会
雑誌
英文学研究. 支部統合号 (ISSN:18837115)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.4, pp.313-319, 2012-01-20

This paper examines the issue of a fallen woman in Elizabeth Gaskell's Ruth, exploring the reasons why the heroine Ruth Hilton should die even after repenting. In Victorian literary convention, fallen women were treated as objects of moral scorn and their story of transgression and plight was offered as a warning to unmarried women readers who were themselves expected to be "angels in the house." Gaskell did not consider all fallen women as depraved. She poses the question: Is a woman's "fall" a problem of individual morals or a social issue intertwined with the Victorian double standard? While Gaskell's Ruth casts a light on the socially ill treatment of fallen women, the novel ends with Ruth's abrupt death, leading critics to argue that Gaskell could not go beyond the bounds of the Victorian norms. This may be partly true, but in Gaskell's mind as long as Ruth's repentance is complete, she does not die a sinner. As a character, Ruth is an anomaly in. the Victorian world because she feels both repression and passion, the latter of which should not belong to an "angelic" woman. This deviancy has a productive side for Ruth to have a chance of speaking out and to liberate herself from the manacles of patriarchy. Instead she is forbidden to have her place in the Victorian society. Her death is both punishment and reward. This is Gaskell's argument against the idealistic woman model, the "angel in the house" which denies woman's individuality and a personal history.
著者
菊池 亘
出版者
一般財団法人日本英文学会
雑誌
英文學研究 (ISSN:00393649)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.27, no.3, pp.337-353, 1951-07-30

In this century, Keats's humanism has been gradually (understood by the critics. But there are singularly few criticisms which are of assistance to the appreciation of beauty in Keats. My object in writing this essay is an attempt to make clear beauty as he conceived. Coming face to face with this difficult question, almost every one is perhaps perplexed, because Keats did not give any systematic explanation about beauty. Keats did not show a very deep interest in fine arts and music. His sense of beauty was cultivated exclusively by his study of the classics of the English, Latin and Greek poets. Especially, he respected Shakespeare till his death. He said in one of his letters, " ... thank God I can read, and perhaps understand Shakespeare to his depths." (to J. Taylor, 27 Feb. 1818). As we can know by these words, his attitude of Negative Capability was learned from Shakespeare. What is more important, we must understand his humanism, which is clearly shown by his words, "All I hope is, that I may not lose all interest in human affairs." (to R. Woodhouse, 27 Oct. 1818) In this essay, the question of beauty in Keats is treated with reference to his humanism and attitude as poet. Beauty as he conceived can be explained from many sides, but, after all, the sublime humanity, represented in many forms, can be said beauty, which has quality of truth. Perhaps we may say that the supreme beauty seized by the young poet is symbolic of the sublimity of human sufferings. He lived both aesthetic and humanistic life. He devoted himself to poetry to the end of his life, and the dearest wish of his heart, O for ten years, that I may overwhelm Myself in poesy. (Sleep and Poetry, II. 96-7) was not carried out at last on account of his sickness.
著者
山口 和彦
出版者
一般財団法人日本英文学会
雑誌
英文学研究. 支部統合号 (ISSN:18837115)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.8, pp.67-76, 2016-01-20

Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West has been highly evaluated as a counter-history of the borderland, or as an epic novel. A number of critics, however, have pointed out its lack of ethical substance due to its abundant descriptions of violence, blood, and death. This essay examines the thematics of violence, and reinterprets BM as a work of fiction that explores the whereabouts and possibility of ethics in the postmodern and in the posthuman. The kid's characterization as a mother-killer is associated with the violence of American historiography, reflecting the rhetoric of America's expansion as biological development. It, in turn, defies the conventions of the Western-Bildungsroman genre: the building of American character through frontier experiences. Thus, BM foregrounds ontological problems of human existence and free will in the apocalyptic borderland. The desert in BM functions as a topos in which the judge practices his hyper-rational, hyper-nihilistic violence, which relativizes every system of values to the single purpose of life: "war," that is, "the truest form of divination." The kid, the judge's biggest rival, rejects being a subject of the "war," and, as a result, is cannibalized by the judge himself (not as a sacrifice for the common good or belief). His death, however, is presented as the unrepresentable, which demonstrates that this death itself is not usurped by the judge, who attempts to be the suzerain of the earth. The biggest dilemma the story presents is the kid's rejection of opportunities to kill the judge by exercising his own violent nature. This, paradoxically, leads to the possibility of a counter-ethics that continues to reject the judge's philosophy of violence. The counter-ethics (in the posthuman), in this sense, might be represented as one always already in a germinal stage, as shown in the epilogue.
著者
塚田 雄一
出版者
一般財団法人日本英文学会
雑誌
英文学研究. 支部統合号 (ISSN:18837115)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.3, pp.185-202, 2011-01-20

This paper examines how the notion of homosexuality was formed in late nineteenth-century England, and how Oscar Wilde contributed to its formation, through an analysis of the discourse of Victorian sexology, the trials of Oscar Wilde, and Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, while focusing particularly on the social and ideological background of the late Victorian period. In fin de siecle England, a growing fear of infectious diseases such as cholera and syphilis generated the idea that these diseases (and the people who carried them) needed to be purged in order to invigorate the British Empire, which was showing some indications of decline. Homosexuality, also known as "perverted sex," was listed among such diseases. The Victorian middle class believed that effeminate homosexuals were spreading corruption among "healthy" citizens and thereby debasing the masculine strength of the British Empire. The newly found science, Victorian sexology, provided a means to identify homosexuals in society by inventing new terms and theories to describe their sexuality, about which little was acutually known at that time. In this environment, Oscar Wilde was regarded as a poignant symbol of homosexuality, as he was significantly brought to trial and found guilty of gross indecency. The trials revealed how Wilde's sexuality threatened Victorian society. Wilde, with his homosexual activities, nullified two important boundaries that secured patriarchal society; not only did he threaten social distinctions by communicating with young men from the lower classes, but he also destroyed the barrier that safeguarded the Victorian household by committing a gross indecency while being the father of two sons. As such, the purge of Wilde the homosexual was significantly staged so as to maintain a "healthy" empire. Wilde's own writings echo the themes of his life. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, demonstrates the infectious nature of homosexuality. Through the representation of Dorian as a musical instrument that the wise elder Lord Henry plays, the homosexual state of being "infected by the elder" and ultimately "infecting the younger" (for Dorian himself also corrupts the youth in the second part of the novel) is examined throughout the novel. Moreover, the fact that this novel was citied in the trials as evidence of Wilde's crime (corrupting the "healthy" youth) and that it later served as a handbook for homosexuals suggests that The Picture of Dorian Gray itself was indeed an infectious, replicating presence in the same way as homosexuals were considered to be in Victorian society. Wilde thought a great deal of his aesthetic sense, and believed that he was leading the life of a decadent artist, free from the affairs of the middle-class society that he so despised. However, ironically enough, Wilde was in fact contributing to the British social purity movement by providing and reinforcing the representation of Victorian homosexuality in his trials and his novel in a way that mirrored how Victorian sexology attempted to theoretically characterise homosexuals in order to cure the disease of the empire.