Category: Literature/Literary Studies

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Disease Selects its Victims: Inequality in Falling Ill to Infectious Disease in Bleak House

Though unnamed, the infectious disease in Dickens’s Bleak House (1852–53) is definitely smallpox. The fever, delirium, blindness, and scars that Esther suffers from are the main symptoms of smallpox, and she easily identifies her disease. The process of Esther’s contraction of smallpox reflects both facts and falsehoods about the medical environment at the time Dickens

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Filipino American Identity Development in Something in Between

Identity development is essential in all human lives. Adolescents who are members of ethnic minority groups are seemingly more confused about their identity. This paper was to explore Filipino American identity development of the main character, Jasmine de Santos, in Melissa de la Cruz’s Something in Between. It is analyzed within the theoretical framework of

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“Fraternal and Sisterly Love”: Observing Disintegration and Resilience in the Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Shirley

The Brontës in 1845 were a tight-knit community in Haworth of three grown-up sisters and a brother – Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell. In chapter 33, “And you”, Jane Eyre passionately claims to St. John, “cannot at all imagine the craving I have for fraternal and sisterly love”. The fictional Jane Eyre, the orphan, is

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“There Is Always the Other Side, Always”: Women’s Voice and Identity in Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea and Kanafani’s Umm Saad

Published in the 1960s, Ghassan Kanafani’s Umm Saad and Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea portray a gendered image of women under the shadow of patriarchy and post-colonialism. With this in mind, this paper calls into question the differences in the representations of women’s voice and identity from the perspective of a female author and a

‘Climate Fiction Narratives’: A Study of Maja Lunde’s Novels – The History of Bees and The End of the Ocean

Climate fiction (Cli-fi) is a genre that is gaining momentum over the last decade due to the proclivity in the environmental imagination towards issues concerning climate change. As such, this interdisciplinary area calls upon new voices in the literary scape to address pressing environmental concerns that plague us today. In a growing dystopian world where

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A Tale of Difference and Resilience in Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island

Human society, locally or globally, is characterized not only by its diversity but also by interdependence which accords harmony among people even within a varied global context. For instance, in the time of COVID-19, we saw people dealing with the pandemic by extending physical, mental, and logistic support, transcending the demarcated lines of religion, nation,

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Flooding of Lust – A Review of “Norweigian Wood”

In the story, the young people may love two different persons at the same time. This can be seen as their feeling of lost in growing. The lust that belongs to puberty had caused the young men and young women to be addicted to sensuality. On one hand, physiological reactions compelled them to love a

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From Jungles and Rivers: Animals in Malaysian Indigenous Literature in English

Recent developments in the local literary arts scene have seen the emergence of publications on folktales and fables of Malaysian indigenous people in English. Central to these publications is the presence of animals, whether as symbols, voices, or characters. Nonetheless, critical reaction to this presence has been sparse at best. As animals are paradoxically recognised

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A Comparative Analysis of Metaphors Constructing Danger and Force Dynamics in Buddhism Discourse

This study aims to compare the metaphors used to conceptualize danger and their force dynamic patterns in the dharma books of two prominent monks, the Venerable P.A. Payutto and Buddhadas Bhikkhu, who represent Normative Buddhism and Intellectual Buddhism, respectively. Three dharma books of each monk were selected for analysis and they were read to determine

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A Cross-cultural Analysis of Self-examination in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Chinese Philosophy and Tragedy

Western culture and Chinese culture are two completely different cultural systems in the world, while both of them can be analyzed together at a microscopic level. Although the protagonists in Chinese drama are not as complex as in Shakespearean drama where the characters are shaped by more than two aspects, the struggle of personality can

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Who is Oliver? Unexecuted Wills and Threatened Legal Rights in Oliver Twist

In this paper, I examine the unexecuted wills and the difficulty in exercising legal rights in Oliver Twist. In Dickens’s novels, the making and exercising of wills is very important because these actions are required for inheritance. The decision of to whom a person will bequeath their fortune exposes a character’s desire for money, affects

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“Visual Colonization”: A Discussion on “Visual Expression” in Geling Yan’s Novels

Visual culture has increasingly shifted into a dominant culture in contemporary society. More and more visual factors appear in non-visual arts and affect their creation methods, which results in “visual colonization” (Wei, 2009). As a non-visual art, literature is also influenced. This paper illustrates the film adaptation of literary works as a way of “visual

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The Republic of Heaven: A Return to Mother Earth and Ancient Pagan Religions in ‘His Dark Materials’

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is primarily regarded as an attack on religion and is thought to specifically discredit Christianity. However, the novels show no signs of the cynicism expected from an apparent atheistic venture to free humanity from its faith. Instead, the series brims with uplifting themes that are traditionally religious, such as

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“The Human Condition” in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot

In his essay about two brother-painters, the van Velde brothers, Samuel Beckett presents a view that both of them share a profound interest in “the human condition” which precedes their interest in painting. This view is related to Beckett’s own conception of art. He himself was interested in “the human condition” in his creation of

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Representation of Spirituality in Elizabeth Gilbert’s (2006) Eat Pray Love and its Reception in a Chinese Context

Elizabeth Gilbert’s (2006) memoir Eat, Pray, Love depicts her journey of self-discovery following a difficult divorce. Her travels consist of three phrases – (1) pleasure-seeking in Italy, (2) finding spirituality in India, and (3) maintaining a balance between the two in Bali. The author’s truth-seeking journey has resonated with a huge readership worldwide. The research

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Panethnic Moments: Mestizaje and the Philippines in Discourses of Hygiene and Disease

Gloria Anzaldúa’s mestiza consciousness refers to a new consciousness defined by ambiguity and an attentiveness to difference; mestiza consciousness’s refusal to let go of difference is what sets it apart from earlier theories such as Jose Vasconcelos’s La Raza Cosmica. My essay explores the linkages between Asian identity and the Latin American concept of mestizaje

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Energy’s Proleptic Promises: Locating Infrastructure and the Future Anterior in Yamashita and Lerner

This paper draws on recent developments in the energy humanities to argue for a more multifaceted account of the temporality of infrastructure (beyond the dyad of continuity and apocalypse) and for the vital role of literature in making an anti-apocalyptic temporality apprehensible. The argument consists of two steps. First, by interrogating our physical/emotional reliance on (energy’s) infrastructure, this paper intends to excavate a

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Double Consciousness in British Asian Writing

My father’s work took us all over the world, then to a British boarding school. The result was a duality that ran through me; this was a sensibility that was very British but at the same time very Indian. This sensibility impacted the way I wrote my novel Begums of Peshawar (Hachette, 2018). Focusing on

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Evolution of Narcissistic Narration

The study is done to show how the fictional world is influenced by the character’s “Narcissism” and whether it keeps the inner narcissist in check or if it can turn an otherwise a good and positive character into a narcissist independent of the kind of civilization the character is a part of. For the study

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Space as a Sign System’: Exploring Lexical Semantics in Relation to Cultural Geography – A Case Study of Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘Buffalo Gals, Won’t You Come Out Tonight’

The research paper attempts to examine as to how the idea of ‘space’ when regarded as a literary construct, may be ideally mapped in a given text: first in terms of the literal and obvious elemental descriptions of ‘cartographic geography’ available to a casual reader-aka-somnambulist at a cursory glance; and second, in terms of its

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Moral Choice and Compliance: Exploration of Justice in “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock”

Set in an urban locale of early 20th century Progressive America, T.S.Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock” accounts the psychophysical inertia of a man namely Prufrock through his confessional dramatic monologues reverberating within his subjective mental space. Considering monologues as a reflection of an individual’s past or current experiences with others, the paper

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Writing the Feminine: John Fowles’s Modern Myth

John Fowles writes courageous and other-worldly women characters. John Fowles explores relationships between men and women and has built his major themes around the contrast between masculine and feminine mentality. Fowles has always constructed his fictions upon the principle that women are intrinsically better, more authentic, and freer than men. Throughout his fiction, women tend

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Regaining the Decay of Human Values

The myriad of ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in Indonesia causes similarly numerous creations, communication, and performance of folklore. Today, however, tales which are classified in verbal lore and believed as people’s fictional works are decaying since almost all tales still use local-regional languages, which generally have become unpopular. Furthermore, modern life-style strongly relies on technology-based

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Regionalism and Issues: Understanding Indian Unity in Diversity Through Literature

To understand regionalism,we need to know various dimensions of the region.Region as a social system,reflects the relation between different human beings and groups whereas a geographical unit,is delimited form each other.Regionalism is an ideology and political movement to advance the causes of regions.At the international level,regionalism refers to transnational cooperation to meet a common goal.Regionalism

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Hope and Destruction: A Comparative Analysis of the Consciousness of Death Between Patriotism and Sinking

Sinking (沉淪, 1921), the renowned Chinese novel by Yu Dafu was often compared with a Japanese novel, Melancholy in the Country (田園の憂鬱, 1919), given that both of them are categorized as I-novel. Nevertheless, another Japanese novel, Patriotism(憂国, 1961) by Mishima Yukio actually shares more similarities with Sinking in the aspects of content and the core