On Black Humor in The Ballad of the Sad Café毕业论文_英语毕业论文

On Black Humor in The Ballad of the Sad Café毕业论文

2021-04-02更新

摘 要

卡森·麦卡勒斯是20世纪美国历史上最重要的且饱受争议的作家之一,其成就得到了全世界的认可。《伤心咖啡馆之歌》是卡森·麦卡勒斯的代表作之一,讲述了在一个美国南方小镇上,艾米莉亚小姐,雷蒙表哥以及马文·梅西三人之间错综复杂的三角恋情。他们三人都是孤独的施爱者,总是毫不保留地给予和付出,却得不到被爱者的回报,从而以爱情的荒谬论证了现代社会的混乱和无序。黑色幽默家们把悲剧的内容以喜剧的形式进行加工,打破了传统的悲剧和喜剧的界限,表达了对无意义的、荒谬的社会的嘲讽。通过分析小说中所体现的黑色幽默的三个艺术特征:对荒诞世界的描绘,对反英雄人物的刻画,以及修辞手法的运用,本文试图探究该小说的实用意义和美学价值——人类永恒的荒诞、孤独、隔绝的主题。

关键词:卡森·麦卡勒斯;《伤心咖啡馆之歌》;黑色幽默

Contents

1. Introduction 1

2. Demonstration 3

2.1 Black humor reflected by the absurd world 3

2.1.1 Grotesque settings 3

2.1.2 Inexplicable love triangle 4

2.1.3 Leaping time and space 5

2.2 Black humor represented by the anti-heroes 6

2.2.1 Miss Amelia: a masculine woman 6

2.2.2 Cousin Lymon: a foolish clown 7

2.2.3 Marvin Macy: an evil rogue 8

2.3 Black humor manifested by the rhetorical devices 9

2.3.1 Symbolism 9

2.3.2 Parody 10

2.3.3 Repetition 12

3. Conclusion 13

Works Cited 15

Bibliography 16

On Black Humor in The Ballad of the Sad Café

1. Introduction

Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917—September 29, 1967) was an American novelist, playwright, essayist, and poet. Named Lula Carson Smith after her grandmother, McCullers was a daughter of a jeweler in Columbus, Georgia. Although her life was short and she suffered a lot from serious illness, McCullers created a number of quite impressive works. In 1940, McCullers accomplished her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, which brought her into the New York literary world. Gore Vidal, an American writer and playwright, highly praised her work as “one of the few satisfying achievements of our second-rate culture.” (Carr, 124) After that great success, Carson McCullers created other representatives like Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Member of the Wedding, and The Ballad of the Sad Café, etc.

Love and loneliness, as well as spiritual isolation, are the common themes of Carson McCullers’ works. In The Ballad of the Sad Café, the heroine, Miss Amelia Evans, is a woman with little femininity. She runs a town store and always lives alone except for a ten-day marriage. A hunchback named Lymon who claims to be her cousin steals Miss Amelia’s heart. Miss Amelia and Cousin Lymon transform the store into a café which attracts a lot of attention from the locals. However, when Miss Amelia’s ex-husband Marvin Macy returns from the prison, it turns out to be a love triangle full of violence, hatred, and betrayal. Astonishingly, Cousin Lymon is irresistibly attracted by Marvin Macy and destroys Amelia’s café with Marvin Macy. Unexpectedly, Marvin Macy feels disgusted with Cousin Lymon’s ridiculous behaviors to please him and sells Cousin Lymon to a side-show.

Researchers at the early stage pay much attention to the poetic features of McCullers’ works. As a result, the realistic significance of her works is weakened. The descriptions of the settings and characters are ignored; instead, more general and abstract connotations are imposed on plot and theme. From the perspective of Southern Gothic, American literary theorist Ihab Hassan points out that the morbid characters in her works stem from the South, and Southern people put emphasis on conventions and group value. “While the specifically southern setting of all McCullers’s novels only highlights the power of such discourses, transgression of them is thus even more forcefully enacted by the physical grotesques—the freaks, queers, and androgynes that populate her strange worlds.” (Gleeson-White, 2) Melissa Free analyzes McCullers’ works according to Queer Theory. She believes that the homosexual inclination of the characters as well as the author herself, which is unaccepted by the mainstream, makes them feel more lonely and isolated.

Since the Chinese translator Li Wenjun translated The Ballad of the Sad Café into Chinese in 1979, this novella has largely attracted Chinese people’s attention. Zhao Yiheng’s thesis on The Ballad of the Sad Café, considers that symbolism and irony express the common feeling of loneliness in modern capitalist society. Recently, Chinese researchers pay more attention to Queer Theory, and they consider that only if traditional standard of gender is deconstructed, everyone’s individuality can develop in a truly free way.

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