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標題: From Obsession to Amnesia: Survival in Diaspora in Julia Alvarez's "How the García Girls Lost Their Accents" and Katherine Min's "Secondhand World"
作者: Hsieh, Yau-Ling
關鍵字: identity;fragmented self;displacement;assimilation;dis-ease;dis-order
出版社: 臺中市:國立中興大學外國語文學系
Project: Intergrams, Volume 12, Issue 2- Volume 13, Issue 1, Page(s) 1-20.
Both "How the García Girls Lost Their Accents" and "Secondhand World" deal with issues of displacement and assimilation that come with immigration. They also address the issues of the fragmented self in the process of assimilation and the search for identity. Published in 1991, "How the García Girls Lost Their Accents" is a novel told in reverse chronological order and narrated from shifting perspectives in the course of fifteen chapters; there is no linear, unifying storyline. The amnesia produced by the diasporic cultures of Latinas gets negotiated within the text through polyphony. The fragmentation of one's personal identity is a serious issue suffered by all four García girls. Their immigration has transformed them into multiple beings, torn between their Dominican and American identities. In their obsessive eagerness to fit in and conform to social expectations in their new society, the girls lose their Spanish accents and acquire some psychological disorders."Secondhand World", published in 2006, is Katherine Min's first novel. Setting her evocative and sensual story in the turbulent 1970s, the author writes an unusual coming-of-age story featuring adolescent rebelliousness and the inevitable problems of cultural disorientation as a young Korean American searches for her identity in upstate New York. Eighteen-year-old Isa seems trapped between two worlds – one characterized by the anguish of her immigrant parents, encapsulated in their émigré isolation, and the other by her strange new feelings, both emotional and sexual. In her eagerness to fit in, to attain "an American recognition," and her obsessive disgust with her Oriental look, she chooses to break away which inevitably comes at a price.This article will discuss the themes of displacement and the fragmented self in the obsessive search for identity during the process of assimilation in the above two novels. Dealing with the split self of the immigrant, the essay will probe into the resulting dis-ease and madness when one confronts multiple cultures and languages in a confused manner. Theories on postcolonial identity, such as Homi Bhaba's concept of "homely" and Gayatri Spivak's the subaltern, as well as Caruth's theory on trauma and Peterson's interpretation of amnesia will be applied to support the analysis of these two novels.
Appears in Collections:第12卷 第2期,第13卷 第1期

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