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Rewriting/Remapping the Land in Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres
|關鍵字:||Jane Smiley;珍．史曼麗;trope;symbolic money;ecology;譬喻;象徵金錢;生態學||出版社:||外國語文學系||摘要:||
What does the land represent and how does it relate to characters in Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres? In this novel, people's farming consciousness is always constituted by a certain ideology, which enters and helps form their beliefs, values, and ways of acting and feeling, and through which they perceive, explain, and interact with the world. With ideas or metaphors of all kinds, people are on their lands, having a land, or with their lands, thus making it difficult to exactly define what the land is. Herself being situated in tempo-spatial condition of the Iowa farm, the narrator (Virginia Cook Smith) reveals a story about her family (the Cooks) history and the Zebulon community environment. The imagination of the land is parallel to a certain concept of axis upon which many problems of the American family are projected. To identify the land is to make it take part in the signifying process. Signing or marking the land signifies its passage into writing, and through a series of changing process, the land is remapped symbolically. In this thesis, the issue of land is examined and the phenomenon of rewriting/remapping the land is studied.
This thesis includes an introduction, a main body of three chapters, and an afterword. In the introduction, the main ideas of the following three chapters are briefly introduced, and the story of A Thousand Acres is summarized. An interview of Jane Smiley is excerpted to illustrate how the author interprets her novel and the female characters in Shakespeare's King Lear. In addition, there are discussions of Scott C. Holstad's notion of the paternal language being the dominant language of the Iowa farm and Mary Paniccia Carden's analysis of “the unsaid” told by Ginny to undermine the foundation of the father's authority.
Chapter One proposes a synthetical reading of defining the metaphor of land as located in the cultural space of human beings. The land is considered as a sign (or, examined as a sign) or an allegory. Even the seemingly insignificant tile system or the wells on the farm help define the signified land. And through a series of changing process, how these characters define their common position and what it means for them become comprehensible. As long as the land becomes a subject/object that enters the process of writing, the configuration of the land can be drawn and the following issues will be addressed, for the land has become a commodity creating its use value, exchange system, fetishism, and power discourse.
In Chapter Two, economically, the problem of exploring the land is scrutinized. Based upon the concepts in Karl Marl's Capital and Jean-Joseph Goux's Symbolic Economics, the idea concerning the use value and exchange value of the land is examined. The land becomes both symbolic money and father whose economic power is operated in commodity exchange. With the land being the value form of money, the image of the golden father is created. Under the operation of this capitalistic system, the land ultimately means money and the urge for more industrial development is always there in this exchange system.
In Chapter Three, there is a survey of how rewritten lands influence lives of the characters in this novel. The living space on the land is the subject of the environmental concern. From an eco-centric point of view, the significant soil, the Iowa farm, is treated as a green language revealing a farm history with ecological developments. There are discussions of the concern of disease and polluted water, chemicals and polluted land, and organic food and the Foucaultian idea of regimen.
土地的概念充滿指涉的意涵，該如何充份的被定義？在珍．史曼麗 (Jane Smiley) 的小說《一千英畝》(A Thousand Acres) 虛構的世界中，那些人物他們終生以為的命運規則、生活步調都與土地產生緊密的互動，對於土地的聯想又以各種形式呈現；在一個愛荷華 (Iowa) 的農場上，述說著庫克家族 (the Cooks)的歷史和那塊土地的演變，敘述者吉妮 (Virginia Cook Smith) 從描寫她成長的環境到形容她父親那片廣闊的農地，娓娓道出她與家人、鄰人及自然的關係，對待那塊世代相處的土地，有時不假思索處於一種似乎安定又平靜的農業生活氛圍中，有時又強烈因周遭事物狀態的改變而受衝擊；那些以土地為軸一再指涉的意義都因其所附加的價值觀而產生各種意識形態的掌控及跟隨。本論文即嘗試去檢視關於土地的暗喻及明喻在資本主義社會的經濟活動中或自然生態的循環下各自表述的意義：是一種商品、權力、主體，抑或是慾望投射的客體？土地生態本質的變化與文本中的人物生活有何關係？而土地不斷的被交換、被改寫也象徵其原本意義的再定義。
本論文包含緒論、三個章節與結論。在緒論的部份，簡述三個章節所欲討論主題的靈感來源及面向、摘要《一千英畝》中的情節及故事內容，並將作者史曼麗接受媒體訪談時所論及有關此文本的話外話作一節錄。另有如候司塔德 (Scott C. Holstad) 分析《一千英畝》中傳統父權社會的意識形態左右女性角色對自我的定位與認同；而卡黛恩 (Mary Paniccia Carden) 則指出，透過吉妮的敘述，使曾被沈默的聲音 (the unsaid) 逐漸掙脫而浮現檯面。
第一章嘗試以譬喻土地為一「語言」 (language)，陳述以愛荷華農場為文本 (text/writing) 的觀察，及賦予的意義 (significant meanings) 被重新改寫後是否也意涵某種權力 (power) 的轉移。而主旨在認為土地不僅僅是象徵一個被指涉的客體或影響《一千英畝》中人物生活的因素 (factor)，更是一個可被視為角色之一的主體，不但有其意識形態及論述，更在小說中主宰各個人物的悲歡及參與故事的進行；不管是井 (wells) 或瓦 (tiles) 都是土地外圍的意義共同輔助指涉並加入定義「土地」的一部份。
擁有土地等同象徵擁有經濟能力及掌控論說的權威地位，賴利庫克 (Larry Cook) 即是典型的例子。本文的第二章援用馬克思 (Karl Marx) 的資本論 (Capital) 中商品交換 (commodity exchange) 的理論，討論土地的物體形式為資本主義社會的一種流動商品，有其價值 (use value/value)，可以不斷的被交易，且因商品本身代表了一種象徵形式的金錢 (symbolic money)，人們投射在土地的慾望使其附加意義一一體現在經濟活動中。
在自然生物的循環系統中，土地經常與所謂的「綠語言」(green language)產生聯想，本文的第三章則借用生態環保為基點，意欲探討《一千英畝》中以人為中心思考所衍生人類與環境互相關連的問題；同時簡略以生態女性主義檢視《一千英畝》女性敘述者及作者的書寫。傅柯 (Michel Foucault) 所言的養生法 (regimen) 與文本中有機食物 (organic food) 的運用也將作一連結，期進一步解釋農地因施用化學藥劑而對人體健康之影響。
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系所|
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