“礁湖”中阿尔萨特选择的伦理分析 Ethical Interpretation of Arsat’s Choice in The Lagoon毕业论文
Joseph Conrad was famous as a Polish-born English novelist. As a precursor of modernist literature, his writing style had the features of realism and romanticism, tragedy and impressionism. The Lagoon was one of his early short story. In this story, the Malaya, Arsat made series of extremely important choices, which happened when Europeans colonized southern Asia. At the same time, the story used many surrounding descriptions to build the atmosphere of depress and straightly exposed the darkness in human nature. It forced people to consider the ethic behind the choice that Arsat had made. This paper attempts to expound on the choice Arsat made and consequences of the choice based on ethical literary criticism, in order to digest more about the novel and provide advice for those who are faced with extremely significant choices in real lives. In the meanwhile, the truth that making choices by following real hearts might not bring about good outcome is learned through exploring reasons behind Arsat’s choice.
Key words: Conrad; ethical literary criticism; The Lagoon; choice
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Joseph Conrad and The Lagoon 1
1.2 Ethical Literary Criticism 3
2 Arsat’s Choice between His Brother and Lover 5
2.1 Arsat’s Choice 5
2.2 Relationships between the Main Characters 5
3 Reasons for Arsat’s Choice 7
3.1 External Reasons 7
3.2 Personal Reasons 7
4 Ethical Analysis of Consequences of Arsat’s Choice 9
5 Conclusion 11
Ethical Interpretation of Arsat’s Choice in The Lagoon
1.1 Joseph Conrad and The Lagoon
Joseph Conrad, known as modern writers in the history of English literature, is extremely remarkable and prestigious in nautical novels. And actually he is regarded as the master of nautical novels. However, it was surprising that Conrad was a Polish-born English novelist. And it was not until he was in his twenties, did he speak English, let alone write in English. The reason why Conrad could be regarded as one of the greatest novelist in English was tightly associated with his life experience. Conrad was born on December 3rd, 1857 in Berdychiv. At that time, Berdychiv was part of Ukraine which had belonged to the Kingdom of Poland. And in the period when Conrad was born, Berdychiv was ruled by Russian. Furthermore, Conrad was the only child of his father Apollo Korzeniowski and his mother Ewelina Bobrowska. Conrad’s father had studied law and languages at St Petersburg University and he was also a writer, translator, political activist, and would-be revolutionary. Apollo was fiercely patriotic and attended the “Red” political faction which aimed at reestablish the pre-partition boundaries of Poland. Moreover, his father and mother were both political activists. And the family moved repeatedly due to Conrad’s father’s attempts at farming and political activism. Even though Apollo brought about a few troubles to the family, he still effectively influenced in Conrad’s early reading. Apollo did his best to home-school Conrad. And the boy’s early reading later dominated Conrad’s writing and composing life. Due to the political activities, the family was eventually deported to Vologda. Because of Ewelina’s poor health, in 1865 Apollo was allowed to move to Chernigov, where within a few weeks Ewelina died of tuberculosis. And Apollo died four years later, leaving Conrad orphaned at the age of 11.
Then Conrad was raised by his uncle Tadeusz Bobrowski. With the help of his uncle, Conrad attended the school, but he was really disobedient. He was only good at geography. Bobrowski allowed Conrad to travel at the age of 16 to Marseille and to begin a career as a seaman. Conrad eventually became a British merchant sailor and he joined the British merchant marine in 1878, and was finally granted British nationality in 1886. Though at that time he only knew six words, he tried his best to learn English and write stories and novels. Influenced by his long nautical life experiences, he composed many works with a nautical setting which depicted trials of the human spirit of an impassive and inscrutable universe. He traveled widely in the east. He took on a stint as a steamer captain in 1890 in the Congo, but became ill within three months and had to leave. In 1896, he married Jessie George a typist from Peckham. Conrad retired from sailing and took up writing full time.