存在主义视角下《八月之光》女性人物形象解读Women Characters in Light in August from the Perspective of Existentialism毕业论文
As one of the most representative philosophical thoughts in 20th century, Existentialism has been employed widely in literary analyses nowadays. Centred on the value of human’s life, Existentialism explores the way to realize self-value and gain the motivation of life. Its exploration of the value of human’s life provides a totally new perspective for literary analyses. Besides, Faulkner is regarded as one of the most influential writers in the American literary history, and his works reveal the social problems of South America from different angles. As one of the most representative novels of Faulkner, Light in August has gained extensive attention from worldwide and nationwide scholars in recent years, and its characters and themes have gained a variety of analyses. This paper aims to analyze the women characters in Light in August from a relatively new perspective of Existentialism. Through the analyses of Light in August, the readers can not only have a clearer understanding of the themes and the practical meanings of this novel, but also have profounder ideas about the value of humans’ lives, thus have a strong mind to select a more significant life.
Key Words: Existentialism; Light in August; Value of Life; Women Characters; Self-motivation
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Existentialism 1
1.2 Faulkner and Light in August 2
2 The significance and Layout of this paper 4
2.1 Significance of this study 4
2.2 Layout of this paper 4
3 Main Analyses from the perspective of Existentialism 5
3.1 The theme of Light in August 5
3.2 Women characters from the Perspective of Existentialism 6
3.2.1 Lena Grove: A beam of light in life 6
3.2.2 Joanna Burden: The darkness hiding in the other side of life 8
3.3 Comparisons of other Women characters in Faulkner’s Work 9
3.3.1 Emily in A Rose For Emily 9
3.3.2 Addie Bundren in As I Lay Dying 11
4 Conclusions 13
4.1 Summary 13
4.2 Further Study 13
Women Characters in Light in August from the Perspective of Existentialism
As one of the most representative philosophical thoughts in the first half of 20th century, Existentialism is one school of philosophy which centers on humans’ freedom and individuality. This ideological trend firstly comes up to give a proper explanation of humans’ alienation, then it turns to have more specific differentiation as time goes by. From Wikipedia, it can be found that Existential Analysis can be defined as a phenomenological and person-oriented psychotherapy, with the aim of leading the person to free experiences both mentally and emotionally, to facilitate authentic decisions and to bring about a truly responsible way of dealing with life and the world.
Jean-Paul Sartre, who is regarded as the pioneer of Existentialism, considers that Existentialism is also the humanitarianism(Sartre, 2012). Sartre thinks the existence of human being has no meaning, as well as human’s life itself. He indicates that everyone has the right to change himself and achieve his self-realization, so that he can live a wonderful life on the base of his existence. Everyone has an original choice, which gives direction and unitarity to human’s life. He also stresses that literature and philosophy are unity (Flynn, 2013), the artists and authors are supposed to pay attention to society. Moreover, Sartre voices that the relationship between the writers and the readers shouldn’t just be the relationship between goals and tools, the writers should take the responsibility to regard the readers as free subjects with the moral value(Flynn, 2013). In Sartre’s opinion, Existentialism has amply explained a kind of social conscience and belief. His view on the relationship between the writers and the readers is also practically. This viewpoint of Sartre is often used by neoteric writers to show their special concerns about survival problems of whole human-beings in many modern novels.