Interpretations of Love in >Through the Arc of the Rain Forest< [《穿越雨林之弧》中的爱之主题解读], Master thesis, English Language and Literature, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, Hunan, China 2020 [application of Fromm's theories to art]

  • 山下凯伦是当代亚裔美国文学界的先锋作家。作为日裔美国作家,其主要关注全球化背景下的少数族裔群体跨越国界建立家园的现象,体现其对人们当下生存状况的密切关注。《穿越雨林之弧》的悲剧背后是人类生存状况的反映,是主人公失去爱他人和爱自然的能力而导致的>家园失落<:失去了作为地理家园的>马塔考<和作为精神家园的>球<。基于此,本文主要运用弗洛姆的爱的理论解读该小说中爱的重要意义。论文第一章解读有关破碎的爱的现象,聚焦其表现形式和原因。该章首先分析小说中以人际间不成熟的爱为表现的>个人纯真<的丧失,包括病态的夫妻之爱,不完整的父母之爱以及冷漠的同胞之爱。论文接着分析了以人类对自然占有性的爱为表现的>集体纯真<的丧失,主要体现在为消费和科技所异化的鸽子、羽毛和马塔考。在景观化和表象化的资本主义世界中,主人公们逐渐失去了爱的能力。第二章聚焦破碎的爱所带来的后果,分析了破碎的爱给主人公所带来的>家园失落<。主人公们在追寻家园途中,不能正确地与他人和外部世界建立联系,也就是不能在爱中实现与他人和环境的统一,导致了马塔考的恶变,失去了地理上的家园。作为该小说的非自然叙述者,小丸一正额前转动的小球,以地球的视角讲述着发生在马塔考的悲剧。从一定意义上说,球的消失象征着亲密友爱的人际关系的消失以及对上帝神圣的信仰的丧失,表征着精神家园的失去,同时也在警醒人类要爱护共同的大家园——地球。论文的第三章分析了爱的建构路径,既分析了人际间的爱的实践,也分析了人对自然的爱的实践。给予、关爱、尊重是人际间的爱的重要要素,而人与自然之间的爱的关键在于人对自然的专注度与责任。小丸一正重获家园的结局展现了爱的重要性,而与之形成鲜明对比的特卫普却在马塔考丧失了自己的生命。接着,该章对人与人之间的爱和人与自然之间的爱进行总结并加以升华,认为两者综合起来就是对大地的爱。每个人都应像小丸一正一样,热爱土地,尊重和关爱土地上的一切,承担起土地伦理义务,与>土地共同体<中的其他成员和谐共生。该论文为解读山下凯伦的作品提供了一个新的视角,引发人们关于爱的思考,为生活在物质资源极其丰富的景观化社会中的人们该如何去爱身边的人或物提供指导。该论文通过细读小说《穿越雨林之弧》,分析了爱破碎的原因和结果以及爱的建构路径,挖掘出爱对于全球化背景下离散的人该如何在故乡之外建立家园的重要性,突显山下凯伦的人文关怀。在山下凯伦看来,解答人类生存问题的关键,在于在爱中实现人与自己、人与他人以及人与自然的统一。
  • Karen Tei Yamashita is one of the representative writers of Asian American avant-garde. As a Japanese American writer, she has mainly focused on ethnic minority immigrants who cross borders of nations to establish homeland and shown her deep concerns over human situation in her literary creation. What behind the tragedy of >Through the Arc of the Rain Forest< is the reflection of the human situation, referring to the >loss of homeland< caused by people’s inability to love others and nature. Based on that, this thesis applies Fromm’s theory of love to the interpretation of the significance of love in this novel. Chapter One interprets the phenomena of the disintegration of love, including immature interpersonal love manifested by the loss of >personal innocence<, referring to the morbid love of couples, incomplete love of parents, and apathetic brotherly love. And then, this thesis interprets possessive love for nature manifested by the loss of >communal innocence<, represented by the alienated pigeons, feathers, and Matacao plastic caused by alienation of consumption and technology. In the capitalist world of spectacles and presentations, characters gradually lose their ability to love.– Chapter Two probes into the aftermath of disintegrated love, referring to the >loss of homeland<. During the process of pursuing homeland, characters cannot reach union with others and the surroundings in love, resulting in the mutation in Matacao, which represents the loss of geographic homeland. The whirling ball before Kazumasa’s forehead, as the unnatural narrator, narrates the tragic stories in Matacao from the point of view of the Earth. The disappearance of the ball symbolizes the loss of caring and intimate relationship as well as the loss of faith in God, which is the symbol of the loss of spiritual homeland. At the same time, it might be author’s intention to alert people to love their shared homeland---the Earth.– Chapter Three analyzes the construction of love, including interpersonal love and human’s love for nature. Giving, care and respect are the essential elements of interpersonal love while the keys to human’s love for nature lie in attentiveness to nature and responsibility for it. Unlike Tweep who loses his life in Matacao, Kazumasa’s regaining of homeland shows the significance of love. The sublimation of interpersonal love and love for nature is represented by people’s love for the land. Everyone should love the land as Kazumasa, and respect and care about everything on the land. At the same time, people should also take an obligation to the land. Only in this way can people get along well with other members in the >land-community< lastingly. This thesis provides a new point of view for the interpretation of Yamashita’s works, which initiates people’s thinking about >love<. It provides a guidance as to how to love others and surroundings for people who live in such a world fraught with material wants and desires. Through a close reading of the novel Through the Arc of Rain Forest, this thesis analyzes the cause and aftermath of disintegrated love as well as the construction of love, foregrounding the importance of love in establishing homeland outside birthplaces for the diasporic population in the context of globalization and highlighting Yamashita’s humanistic concern. According to Yamashita, the answer to the problem of human existence lies in the fact that people should reach union with self, others, and nature in love. [Author's translation]

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Author:Yiyuan He
Document Type:Dissertations
Year of first Publication:2020
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:no download and copy possible
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Dissertations / Dissertationen
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Dissertations / Dissertationen
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