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英语硕士论文:托妮·莫里森三部曲中的历史观照

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本文是一篇英语硕士论文,英语专业是培养具有扎实的英语语言基础和比较广泛的科学文化知识,能在外事、经贸、文化、新闻出版、教育、科研、旅游等部门从事翻译、研究、教学、管理工作的英语高级专门人才的学科。(以上内容来自百度百科)今天为大家推荐一篇英语硕士论文,供大家参考。

 
Introduction
 
0.1 Toni Morrison and Her Trilogy
Toni Morrison(1937—) as the first black women writer who gained the Nobel Prize forLiterature owing to her literary works which are “usually finely wrought and cohesive, yet atthe same time rich in variation.” (Nobel Lecture 2) Toni Morrison was born Chloe AnthonyWofford. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970) received mixed reviews, didn't sell well, andwas out of print by 1974. Critical essays increase year by year with the publication of her eachnovel. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award for her third novel Song ofSolomon (1977) and the Pulitzer prize for Beloved (1987). She received the Nobel Prize forLiterature in 1993 for, in the words of the Swedish Academy, her visionary force and poeticimport give life to an essential aspect of American reality.Morrison’s career as a writer is far from a smooth one. Morrison’s first novel, The BluestEye, which recounts a black girl who dreamed of having a pair of blue eyes but finally wentinsane was turned down by many publishers. As a black female writer, the identity of being amember of minority has hindered her works from being accepted. That’s why her works failedto draw the attention of the scholastic circle after publishing. Therefore, the criticism aboutMorrison’s creation has undergone a gradual process. But now, the commentary and researchhave been so much. It is safe to say that Morrison’s texts have provided the readers and theresearchers with an endless topic, for her texts involve multiple meanings.
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0.2 Literature Review
Perhaps for Morrison’s identity, even after the publication of her first two novels, littleattention was showered on her until 1975. Five years after the publication of The Bluest Eye andalmost two years after the publication of Sula, there is the first scholarly essay on Morrisonpublished by Joan Bischoff, entitled “The Novels of Toni Morrison: Studies in ThwartedSensitivity”. Taking this article as a start, so far, research on Toni Morrison’s works has gonethrough a course of 37 years. Up to now, many approaches have been used to interpretMorrison’s works such as postmodernism, Linguistic and Cultural, existentialism,hermeneutics, feminism, narrativity, ecocriticism, deconstruction, symbolism, postcolonialism,pragmatism, psychoanalysis, aesthetics and so on.In the western criticism, psychoanalytic theory, anthropology, sociology, myth-archetypalcriticism, feminism, post colonial theory, cultural criticism and narratology have beenconstantly taken in the unrestrained interpretation of her works.To begin with, as for the Linguistic and Cultural Research, it mainly concentrates on theskills of Morrison in representing language in her novels. Researchers explore the relationbetween Morrison’s linguistic techniques and the language tradition of black culture and the relation between Morrison and white culture. It is generally acknowledged that Morrison isexpert in language techniques, which are diversified and ever-changing. Yvonne Atkinson fromMount San Jacinto College believes Morrison’s novels are based on the oral tradition of AfricanEnglish deep rooted in African-American culture. John N. Duvall discusses, in The Identifyingfictions of Toni Morrison: Modernist Authenticity and Postmodern Blackness (2000), howmeta-fictional element affects the personality of American black women created in Morrison’sBeloved, Jazz, and Paradise. Dr. Michael Nowlin’s “Toni Morrison’s Jazz and the RacialDreams of the American Writer in American Literature” (1999) indicates that Morrison feelsreluctant to be compared with the white masters, especially William Faulkner. James Phelandiscusses Morrison’s Beloved in Postclassical Rhetorical Narrative Theory. Susan SniaderLanser’s Fictions of Authority: Women Writers and Narrative Voice (1992) deeps into allMorrison’s novels from The Bluest Eye to Beloved on the topic of “Unspeakable Voice:ToniMorrison’s Postmodern Authority”, which refers to the change in the Narrative voice.Narrative Conventions and Race in the Novels of Toni Morrison(2009) dissects the relationshipbetween race and genre in four of Toni Morrison’s novels, The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby, Jazz, andBeloved and Morrison’s rewriting of the narrative patterns in bildungsroman and Gothic noveland the meaningfulness in doing so.
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Chapter One Black History and Black Identity
 
1.1 Past Matters in the Present
To “develop an understanding of the way in which racial/sexual differences areconstructed in contemporary societies,” as Plasa and Ring suggests, “the histories of suchideologies need constantly to be examined” (xiv). That’s because no one can clearly escapefrom present. Race is not only a cultural concept, instead, it has been expressed in everyblack’s inner mind. As Morrison maintains in her historiographical Beloved, Jazz, andParadise, the patriarchal institution of slavery in the U.S. history is one of the most skin-deepbut obvious enactments of the coercive Eurocentric, white-supremacist and patriarchalideology. According to Morrison, slavery is a national amnesia in the United States. In theinterview with Bonnie Angelo, Morrison remarks that, to most American people, slavery issomething the characters don’t want to remember. “I don’t want to remember, black peopledon’t want to remember, white people don’t want to remember” (Angelo 68). The history ofslavery is silenced because the grand narrative of American history is written as a kind ofaccomplishments. In the contemporary American white mainstream discourse, slavery isregarded as a remote historical fact to be ignored, repressed or forgotten. The whitemainstream wants to forget it. What the black people want to remember, who cares?Ironically, this deliberate forgetting and silencing bring no conclusive peace to the Americanpopulation as individuals and the society as a whole. Instead, this deliberate indifference notonly menaces the peace that the American people and society desire, but also incurs moreseriously crisis of race. As Morrison alerts in her historiographical trilogy, this deliberatesilencing of racial injustice only wraps American people up in the salad bowl model ofpoetical justice, and makes them insensitive to the fact that the so-called democratic Americais still haunted by the racial differences. To many black Americans, as Morrison argues in her historiographical trilogy, slavery is their horrendous nightmare to be recalled. During slavery,it was common to witness the cruel activity that exhibited by the white master.
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1.2 Black Americans’ Dual Identity
Historically, in the United States, slavery is “one of the most brutal and systematic”institution defending and enacting the ideologies of racial difference(Plasa and Ring xiv). Andthe institution of slavery was officially outlawed by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863and the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865. However, inMorrison’s historiographical trilogy whose history are mainly laid from the 1870s to the1970s, she accuses that racism never fade away with the end of the institution of slavery.According to Morrison, “declarations that racism is irrelevant, over or confined to the past arepremature fantasies” (“Official Story”xx). So far the route to the politically correct salad bowlmodel or to what Morrison hopes “a world in which race does not matter” still remainsbackbreaking (“Home”3). According to Morrison, “[race] talk,” an “explicit insertion intoeveryday life of signs and symbols that have no meaning other than pressing AfricanAmerican to the lowest level of the racial hierarchy,” still pervades explicitly and implicitly inthe so-called democratic American society and culture(“On the Backs of Blacks” 97). Womenwearing dreadlock today, for instance, still need to fight for respect in their workplace. That’sbecause those who wear hair straight in the mainstream values are considered to be moreintelligent, attractive and competent.
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Chapter Three Telling the History in Jazz ......... 47
3.1 Story of the Legendary City ....... 48
3.2 Story of Love and Death ............ 52
3.3 Delayed Story of Golden Gray............ 61
3.4 Telling Their Stories in the Analogy of Jazz......... 63
Chapter Four Creating Ideal History in Paradise...... 67
4.1 History of the New All-Black Haven........... 68
4.2 History and Memories of the Old Haven ..... 72
4.3 History of Convent ............ 78
4.4 Re-Making Her Body and Re-Mapping the Paradise..... 80
 
Chapter Four Creating Ideal History in Paradise
 
4.1 History of the New All-Black Haven
Morrison writes the past because she insists that present is tied to the past. She comments,“When you kill the ancestor, you kill yourself”(Morrison 1984:344). In Paradise, Ruby isestablished by the Morgan twins. In 1949, the ideal “paradise” of Heaven has broken down:when the blacks move to the western city and live together with whites, the one who stillremember their sorrowful and miserable history feel very sad and the Morgan twins, Deaconand Steward seek to find a new development chance to change the declining of Heaven liketheir grandfather Zacharias. The two brothers lead 15 families to leave. They try to establishtheir own paradise that can offer them a free and happy life. It is the Ruby, in which one canenjoy himself as a black people. At the same time, the Covent community appears. Only women can live in the Covent. In the two different communities, people have differentinterpretations of the “past”. Even in Ruby, men and the women together with the younggeneration share different opinions, which constitute the internal contradictions, butold-generation men, who are represented by the Morgan twins are still the dominant leaders inthe Ruby. This point can be illustrated by two symbolic activities: the Christmas Play and theOven. The old generation tries to preserve the “past” without any difference; while the younggeneration and women think that everything is changing, so it is necessary to change their life.It is because of the old-generation men defending tenaciously their “past” that Ruby hasalways been confining itself into its little space without daring to contact the “outside” and isbecoming more and more conservative and bigotry and the contradictions within Rubybecome sharper and sharper as the age passes with changing situations.
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Conclusion
 
As an African American female writer, Morrison mainly focuses her attention on the lifeof the Black. In her writing, Morrison attaches importance to African American’s history. As ablack female writer with strong black consciousness, Morrison has always devoted herself toexploit the true history of blacks and find the feasible liberation for their plight.Since the earliest works, Morrison has been paying attention to African Americanpeople’s “anxiety of belonging” (Home 10). The Bluest Eye focuses on the split in subjectivitycaused by internalization of racist discourse; Sula reveals the difficulty of black women whenthey try to search for their wholeness; Tar Baby depicts the young blacks’ problematic choicebetween nationalist black identity and the unreserved embracing of white hegemonicdiscourse; Song of Solomon explores the significance of finding the ancient black culture andhistory in order to get to know black people’s lost identity. Compared with these novels, herlater works, especially her historical trilogy, Beloved, Jazz and Paradise, are more directlyengaged in finding the history of black and helping them to build their identities, thereby findthe feasible liberation for their plight. In Beloved, Morrison emphasizes the significance ofrevisiting history as the necessary first step in freeing black self, as the past is impossible todisappear if we force to erase it rather than respect and face it. In Jazz, Morrison narrates thehistory of black people and builds identity for the culturally displaced black migrants. InParadise, Morrison shows her great concerns about how black people try to build their ownparadise to get a new life. Set in different periods of American history from Emancipation andReconstruction Time, to the Harlem Renaissance, and to Vietnam and Civil Rights era,Morrison’s trilogy shows an epic of black’s self-building.
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References (abbreviated)

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