마거릿 애트웃의 『부상(浮上)』에 나타난 여성의 정신 질환의 정치적 함의(含意)

저작시기 1995.12 |등록일 2015.03.18 파일확장자어도비 PDF (pdf) | 28페이지 | 가격 6,700원
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발행기관 : 대한영어영문학회 수록지정보 : 영어영문학연구 / 19권 / 2호 / 185 ~ 212 페이지
저자명 : 孫英美

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Many of Atwood's novels and short stories feature female protagonists who are very much aware of the "conventional" nature of reality and hence of its capacity for change: they often compare reality to language and try to modify its construction, as it were, for a more fulfilling and sane life for themselves and for the rest of humanity. This "linguistic" approach to life and their attempts to defy its rigid "grammar" are bound to meet considerable resistance and these female characters are often perceived as crazy or at least weird. The anonymous heroine of Surfacing is one of such characters and her actions in the climax of the novel are, for all practical purposes, those of lunacy: she destroys "everything from history," both personal and public, including books, and refuses to speak human language because she believes language "divides is into fragments." She eats, sleeps, acts, feels like an animal for a period of time and dreams of raising her baby in a state of nature with no intervention of language, and hence that of culture. In other words, she wishes to achieve a new kind of life in which language and everything it implies and entails would be irrelevant. After a while, however, she comes to realize that these desperate efforts to break out of the unbearable constellation of personal and social causes that have been turning her into a sort of a machine would get her nowhere because they would only expose her to a greater hazard, i. e. that of mental asylum where she would be only a victim with no chance to improve the status quo in both personal and cultural level. She therefore decides to return to the city and the present tense where she would have someone to speak to and the language to make herself understood, which she realizes is the society's definition of sanity. This violent experiment of defying language and coming back into it is reminiscent of Lacna's conception of child development in which the most conspicuous feature is a child's entrance into language via a painful realization that the sign (image) and referent (being) are not coterminous and its desire and fantasy may not be entirely fulfilled. Like Lacan's child, the heroine of Suqacing comes to the tragic awareness that language whose essence is separation and absence is the ineluctable condition human beings are born into and any attempt to escape it would only lead to insanity and isolation.

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