小说《中午酒》的标题涵义解读 A reading of the title’s implications in the novel Noon Wine毕业论文
Katharine Anne Porter, a renowned South American realist, mainly focuses on social issues such as the good and evil of human nature, betrayal and women’s rights. Her short novel “Noon Wine” is a tragic story setting in a South farm in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It is a story about a Swedish murderer Helton who works on Mr. Thompson’s farm and gets appreciation. However, nine years later Thompson commits homicide in defense of Helton when a bounty hunter, Hatch, is to arrest Helton. Unfortunately, Thompson eventually commits suicide. The title of the short novel is rich in implied meanings. Literally, “Noon Wine” is a song name that Helton repeatedly plays in the story. In addition, It turns out that “Noon Wine” implies impulsivity, confusion, hedonism, and violence. This paper aims to analyze the implication of “Noon Wine” from the perspectives of plot development, character psychological struggle and thematic analysis, with associating analysis of historical background and social background as well as the author’s personal experience. The analysis is thought to be advantageous for further exploration of Katherine Anne Porter’s creative intentions and the historical and practical significance of the novel.
Key Words: Tittle; plot development; psychological struggle; thematic analysis
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Katherine Anne Porter and Her Works 1
1.2 Literature Review 2
1.3 Structure of Paper 3
2 Implusivity: Driven Force of Plot Development 4
2.1 Tragedy of Olaf Eric Helton 4
2.2 Tragedy of Royal Earle Thompson 5
3 Confusion: Psychological struggle of Characters 7
3.1 Olaf Eric Helton 7
3.2 Royal Earle Thompson 8
3.3 Homer T. Hatch 8
3.4 Ellie Thompson 8
4 Contradictory Society Embodied in Themes 11
4.1 Hedonism Nourished by the Society 11
4.2 Violence 13
5 Conclusion 13
A Reading of the Title’s Implications in the Short Novel “Noon Wine”
- Katherine Anne Porter and Her Works
American realist Katherine Anne Porter, the winner of Pulitzer Prize, is known for her delicate observations and precise descriptions. Her only novel, Ship of Fools was once the best-seller, though it was her short stories that made her enjoyed a prominent reputation. As a master stylist, her short stories are characterized by a richness of texture and intricacy of character description that usually achieved only in the novel. Her unfortunate early life in Texas and experience in Mexico, Frances and German offer her abundant materials to write truth-telling fictions. For example, “Flowering Judas”, Porter’s famous work, is set in Mexico in 1920 during the Mexican Revolution, dealing with the betrayal of faith. She often addresses her unhappiness with the social injustice and lack of rights for women in in her writings. Porter’s carefully crafted, ironic writing style is perfectly suited to the allegorical exploration of the collusion of good and evil, which is her theme. Besides, the penetrating psychological insight always marks her works. The strong-minded Porter leaves behind a slim but insightful body of writings. Her flawless pen and harsh criticism of not only her age, but of human society, make Porter a major voice in twentieth century American literature.
“Noon Wine” first came out in 1937 and finally collected in 1939 as part of Pale Horse, Pale Rider, a collection of three short novels by the author, including the title story and “Old Mortality”. While “Noon Wine” is described as a novella, Porter refers to it as a short novel. “Noon Wine” is set on a small dairy farm in southern Texas during the 1890s. One day a stranger, Mr. Helton, came to this farm and asked for a job. Surprisingly, he himself turned the unproductive farm into a profitable one, which helped him win the farm owner, Mr. Thompson’s appreciation. Years went by, and there came another stranger, Mr. Hatch, who was to arrest Mr. Helton for the latter once madly killed his brother. To protect Mr. Helton, the kind-hearted farm owner involuntarily committed manslaughter and eventually took his own life for everyone’s overwhelming mistrust, even though he was innocent.
1.2 Literature Review