辛格《来自美国的儿子》中儿子的身份探究On the Identity of the Son in The Son from America by Singer毕业论文_英语毕业论文

辛格《来自美国的儿子》中儿子的身份探究On the Identity of the Son in The Son from America by Singer毕业论文

2021-04-02更新

摘 要

《来自美国的儿子》是艾萨克•巴什维斯•辛格有名的短篇小说之一,发表于1973年。它主要讲述了来自美国的儿子到波兰看望父母的故事。他衣锦还乡,回到传统的犹太村,想改变村子落后的面貌,但通过和父母、村民的接触,以及所看到的一切,发现他带来的钱无处可用。在这个过程中,儿子经历了信仰迷茫、重塑,以及对自己民族身份再认定的过程。本文从儿子可能的两个身份——美国人和犹太人——展开讨论。第一部分主要介绍辛格的基本情况、写作主题及国内外研究现状。第二部分从儿子的衣着面貌、金钱价值观、旅美经历三方面阐述儿子的美国身份。第三部分从儿子的意第绪语、安息日习俗的遵守、村民对儿子回乡的反映探究儿子的犹太人身份。第四部分是总结,回答儿子的身份问题,回答辛格与他笔下的小说人物的关系。在全球多元化的文化背景下,本文期望引起人们对民族信仰的思考。

关键词:《来自美国的儿子》;儿子;身份;民族;信仰

Abstract

The Son from America, published in 1973, is one of the most distinguished short stories of Issac Bashevis Singer. It mainly tells that the son from America with a great deal of money and ambition returns to his traditional village Lentshin, imagining he can change the backward and traditional village, but he finds his money is useless and meaningless there. Through communicating with his parents Berl and Berl’s wife Berlcha, talking with the villagers living there over years and seeing everything about the village and the villagers’ lives, the son goes through the confusion of his belief in the reestablishment and reaffirmation of his national identity. This paper makes an elaborate discussion on the son’s identity from the two perspectives of American and Jewish identities. The first part introduces Singer’s life experiences and the current study on Singer and his works at home and abroad. The second part expounds the son’s American identity from three aspects of his dressings and appearance, his value of money and his experiences in America. The third part analyzes his Jewish identity in terms of his Yiddish language, his observation of Sabbath and the villagers’ response to his return from America. The last part is the conclusion that answers the son’s identity and analyzes the relationship between Singer and his characters. This paper expects to give rise to people’s thinking about their national belief in the multicultural global context.

Key Words: The Son from America; the son; identity; nation; belief

Contents

1 Introduction 1

1.1 The author and his works 1

1.2 Literature review 2

2 The Son’s American Identity 4

2.1 The son’s appearance 4

2.2 The son’s views on money 5

2.3 The son’s experiences in America 7

3 The Son’s Jewish Identity 10

3.1 The son’s Yiddish language 10

3.2 The son’s observation of Sabbath practice 11

3.3 The villagers’ response to the son’s return 12

4 Conclusion 15

References 16

Acknowledgements 17

On the Identity of the Son

In The Son from America by Singer

1 Introduction

1.1 The author and his works

Issac Bashevis Singer is an American Jewish writer, considered as “the contemporary storyteller” (Ding, 2012:6), and also a productive novelist whose representatives include Satan in Goray (1935), The Family Moskat (1950), The Magician of Lublin (1960), The Slave (1962), The Estate (1969), Enemies: A Love Story (1972), Shosha (1978), The Certificate (1992), Shadow on the Hudson (1997). He is twice awarded the United States National Book Awards for his memoir A Day of Pleasure: Stories of a Boy Growing up in Warsaw, which is written in the children-literature-style, and for his collection A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories, which is written in the fiction-style. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. Singer sticks to make his creation by using Yiddish because he tries his best to save the endangered language. And he is frankly willing to accept the fact that he is Jewish (Howe, 1973). As Edward Alexander says, Singer is always being as a Jewish, facing the Jewish people and making descriptions for the Jewish nation, just due to which all of the people in the world hear his voice. There is no doubt that Singer is the only veritable Jewish writer in American literature (Ding, 2012).

Singer’s life experiences have a profound and important influence on his writings (Woolf, 1986). He was born in a typically traditional Jewish family and was educated with the orthodox Jewish culture, so that he is deeply affected by the Jewish religion (Noiville, 2006). Because of historical elements such as racial discrimination and persecution to Jewish people, he has had an unsettled life since he was young. The early immigration and the unsettlement make him experience different cultural environments, especially the movement to America in 1935 after which he was trapped into the dilemma of cultural choices. The obstruction of the link between him and Jewish culture makes him feel hopeless, anxious and depressed. Later, he finds his way out that he tries his best to use the Yiddish language to write the Jewish people’s lives and feelings and to be a narrator of the Jewish people and their culture. Those experiences are simply the sources of his inspiration when writing. Therefore, his works’ themes can be classified into two kinds, one about the stories of traditional Jewish people and the other about the exploration for the identity of American Jewish people jammed on the way to the cultural loyalty. The two themes convey the message that Singer wants to rebuild the traditional Jewish home, tries to explore the Jewish spiritual world and pays much attention to the Jewish national fate. He is regarded as a real Jewish writer and a national hero. His writings are filled with national feelings and anxiety about the Jewish people’s survival and future development.

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