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dc.contributor.authorWake, Issei
dc.date.accessioned2016-03-31T14:22:00Z
dc.date.available2016-03-31T14:22:00Z
dc.date.issued2011
dc.identifier.isbn9781124476087
dc.identifier.other854331359
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10477/47235
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines how resistance against universality is enacted in F. S. Fitzgerald's major works such as This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, and The Great Gatsby drawing on the discussion of Judith Butler's notion of "cultural translation" and Whiteness studies. Whiteness studies has been a criticism to the fixed notion of whiteness, revealing how whiteness has been reshaped in the context of imperialism and colonialism and has been used as an indication of how diverse groups in the United States came to identify themselves, and be identified by others as white, through the process of inclusion and exclusion as an internalized exteriority. Whiteness can be reconstructed only through the process of repudiating necessary outsides and outsiders. In this study, I would like to tackle this theme based on the recent controversial discussion of "universality," "contingency," and "hegemony" by Slavoj Žižek, Ernesto Laclau, and Judith Butler, exploring the possibility of resistance against universalism and fundamentalism. Especially focusing on the topic of "racial passing," this study aims to reveal how the notion of whiteness is fluid, dynamic, and hegemonic, rather than natural, fixed and static. In the second chapter, this paper attempts to tackle the protagonist Amory's issues of male anxiety and male hysteria in This Side of Paradise around the time of World War I. It draws on Butler's interpretation of Freudian theory, especially of the discussion of mourning/melancholy. Then, it problematizes the latent problem of homosexuality in the formation of male heterosexual identity, which is another form of universalizing ideology. Interpreted this way, Amory's anxiety over his masculinity and homosexual desire can be revealed through his neurasthenia, male hysteria, making his encounters with women the source of his nervousness. Amory's "natural" incessant quests for and ambivalence toward women can be regarded as a sign of the oscillation of his masculinity and repression of his homosexual desire. The "faults" of this novel such as inconsistency and lack of culmination are indispensable in contributing to representing Amory's unstable mentality. In the third chapter, this study explores the ideological function of Nordicism and eugenics in The Beautiful and Damned (1922). Nordicism was a widespread, exclusive and discriminatory idea advocated by such eugenicists as Madison Grant and Lorthrop Stoddard. They considered those who migrated from Southern Europe and Asia as racially inferior and demanded for stricter limitations of their immigration into America. They attributed the corruption of their superior racial bloodline and the social chaos of traditional values and gender codes to racial mixture with these racially inferiors, especially after World War I. Among the dismantling of traditional codes, what these nativists were mostly concerned about was racial mixture between white females and black males, which they asserted would destroy the Nordic family and the nation itself. In the representation of the Nordic family of the protagonists Anthony and Gloria, we shall see the negotiations of power in terms of race ("intrusion" by with Bloeckman), gender (the problem of Gloria's reproduction), and class (Anthony's relationship with Dorothy). In the final chapter, this study discusses the equivocal figuration of Gatsby in The Great Gatsby : he lies about his past, while others around him gossip about him, making Gatsby's identity blurred in terms of class, ethnicity and especially race. I would like to define Gatsby's identity as "vanishing mediator" in order to better clarify and address the ideological function of his vague signification. There are two narratives developing in this work: One is Gatsby's romantic quest for Daisy, and the other is Nick's idealization of Gatsby as a national icon set in an epic/historical context. The process of Gatsby's idealization, however, is never complete but rather is failed and ambiguous: he can be narrativized and demythologized as a national threat, especially in terms of eugenics of the era. More concretely, Gatsby's elusive identity is constructed through two narratives: the immigration (Americanization) narrative and the passing narrative. By relocating Gatsby's idealization in the context of current critical theory of anti-essentialist view, I would like to politicize this neglected ambiguity of Gatsby and consider the possibility of resistance against the universalizing ideology of the national icon. Gatsby, who is "murdered" between these two narratives functions as "vanishing mediator" and contributes to providing us with the next three issues: the first reveals the constructedness of the national icon and exposes its ideological process of exclusion. The second joins the "war of history" of the 1920s, in which diverse ethnic groups provoked by the vagueness of Gatsby's identity attempt to have their ancestors involved in the very origin of American founding fathers. The third uses Gatsby's identity as the battlefield at which racial and ethnic others can construct their identities. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
dc.languageEnglish
dc.sourceDissertations & Theses @ SUNY Buffalo,ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global
dc.subjectLanguage, literature and linguistics
dc.subjectF. Scott. Fitzgerald
dc.subjectNational identity
dc.subjectWhiteness
dc.titleResistance against Universality: Representations of Hegemonic Struggle over White American National Identity in the Works of F. S. Fitzgerald
dc.typeDissertation/Thesis


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