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Title: On the Subjectivity of African-American Heroines: Seeking a Theoretical Contrast between Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1982) and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970)
論美國非裔女性的主體意識: 比較《最藍的眼睛》與《紫色姐妹花》
Authors: Lu, Tsu-Ching
Contributors: 彰化師範大學文學院
Keywords: Feminism;Subjectivity;Metzinger;Alice Walker;Toni Morrison
Date: 2014-03
Issue Date: 2015-07-23T10:01:31Z
Publisher: 彰化師範大學文學院
Abstract: Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1982) won her both the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for Fiction. The heroine Celie and her development of female subjectivity are reminiscent of, and in sharp contrast to, that of Pecola, the heroine in The Bluest Eye (1970) written by Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize laureate in 1993. Walker allows her heroine to use a first-person perspective to speak from her own voice in order to reclaim back her female agency in resistance to the male holders of power who oppress and exploit colored women as a whole. Morrison is however concerned about the white norms of beauty and cultural citizenship as well as the psychological hegemony inherent in them. This paper uses Thomas Metzinger’s Self-model Theory of Subjectivity (SMT) as the conceptual framework to compare how one heroine differs from the other in terms of their respective development of subjectivity. The reason why The Color Purple and The Bluest Eye are chosen for literary comparison is that both heroines are highly traumatized and allegedly believe they look ugly. In addition, both authors use color imagery of either purple or blue to evoke the (non-)assertiveness of one’s ethnicity, with the backgrounds all set in the rural community under the caste system of the Jim Crow laws in the first half of the twentieth century. It is concluded that Celie can consciously experience the phenomenal property of her selfhood and go through the liberating and self-defining stages of development that are both transgressive and transformative enough to qualify her as a transient woman. In contrast, Pecola is permanently mired in a state of phenomenal transparency where she is so overwhelmed by out-of-body experience as to become an intrinsically disembodied spirit. This paper pioneers to use SMT as a conceptual tool not only to explain the divergent courses of development in each heroine’s phenomenal self, but also to investigate the theoretical issues regarding the experiential perspectivity of one’s epistemic subjectivity and how that subjectivity is being disintegrated
愛麗絲華克得過普立茲小說獎,在她的《紫的顏色》(另譯《紫色姊妹花》)中,女主角Celie是一位因貌醜而對自己缺乏自信的黑人女性,剛開始她也面臨了女主角Pecola在湯尼莫里森《最藍的眼睛》中所遭遇的困境,而活在自我否定中自暴自棄。可是因緣際會,她透過好友以及失散多年的妹妹的啟蒙,使得女性意識逐漸抬頭,也學會了以批判觀點看待美國社會的族群與父權問題,以及運用後殖民觀點批判跨國的奴隸制度。反之,於1993年得到諾貝爾文學獎的湯尼莫里森,將她的女主角設計得全無超越性,完全符合了波娃在她的《第二性》中定義女性為immanence的所有特點。Pecola的女性自主意識極低,她完全依賴男人的肯定,並且極度崇拜白人優越論中的美學觀點。她渴望被同化進白人的世界,欣然模仿白人的生活模式與價值觀,不時以自己族群的外貌特徵與文化標誌為恥,且盲目追求大眾文化所灌輸的時尚形象。本研究透過Thomas Metzinger的主體意識自我模型理論 (Self-model Theory of Subjectivity),去解析美國非裔女性的主體意識。結論發現《紫的顏色》的女主角Celie能夠有意識地經驗其自我的phenomenal property,並且在此過程中達到自我提昇的轉型。而《最藍的眼睛》的女主角Pecola深陷在現象透明的沼澤中,使其內在萎縮成脫離實體的靈魂、而逐漸沉淪。本篇論文首創以SMT,去分析小說中的女主角,並以現象自我(phenomenal self)以及主體與客體之間的辯證關係(intentionality relation)為觀念工具,去檢視自我的觀點性(perspectivity)與觀點角度(perspectivalness)。之所以選中以上兩部作品作為理論的對比,是因為作品皆大量運用顏色意象,去突顯族群圖騰的美學差異;此外兩位作者的當代性強,又是美國非裔文學界顯赫的女性主義代表人物,因此極有學術上對照的價值。
Relation: 彰化師範大學文學院學報, 9: 37-60
Appears in Collections:[文學院學報] 第九期

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