In Search of the Self: Kazuo Ishiguro's When We Were Orphans as an Anti-Detective Narrative
Eric K.W. Yu
|關鍵字:||自我;敘事身分;保羅．理柯;反偵探敘事;石黑一雄;selfhood;narrative identity;Paul Ricoeur;the anti-detective narrative;Kazuo Ishiguro|
|摘要:||本文旨在探討石黑一雄（Kazuo Ishiguro）如何運用反偵探敘事（the anti-detective narrative），聚焦於克里斯多夫．班克斯（Christopher Banks）在《我輩孤雛》（When We Were Orphans 2000）小說裡自我追尋的過程。作為一名偵探，班克斯在偵辦他父母親的案子的同時找尋他的人生意義。班克斯試圖透過重述他過去的經驗，讓讀者們對於他的過去感同身受，並且了解其「自我」的變化。本文強調唯有透過敘述及解釋過去發生的故事，班克斯和讀者才得以塑造、再塑造新的自我，並且獲得新的敘事身分，使得他們的生命更豐富、更有意義。
□ 第二章以保羅．理柯（Paul Ricoeur）自我和敘事身分理論以及攸關偵探敘事的討論作為文本分析的基礎。本文將《我輩孤雛》視為反偵探小說敘事，因為原先猜想的班克斯父母親的綁架案最後證明僅是想像的情節。
This thesis attempts to analyze how Kazuo Ishiguro utilizes the anti-detective narrative structure to focalize the process of self-searching for Christopher Banks. As a detective himself, Christopher Banks in When We Were Orphans sets out on a quest for the truth of his parents’ case as well as for the meaning of life. Through narrating his past experience, Christopher Banks tries to let readers identify with his past condition and understand his evolution of the self. It is stressed that only by means of narrating and interpreting stories of the past experience are Banks and readers able to fashion and refashion their new selves, thereby acquiring their narrative identity and making their lives more meaningful and colorful. Chapter One briefly introduces Kazuo Ishiguro’s biography and the themes of his works. Christopher Banks in When We Were Orphans is displaced and homeless. This thesis intends to contend that only through discovering the truth of his parents and narrating the self is Banks able to discover his own placement in the world. Chapter Two explores some key concepts mainly based on discussions of selfhood and narrative identity proposed by Paul Ricoeur as well as the detective narrative to lay the foundations for the interpretation of the text. It is argued that When We Were Orphans is an anti-detective narrative since the supposed Banks’s parents’ kidnapping turns out to be an imagined story. Chapter Three deals with how the theoretical scheme is applied to explain the novel, particularly in connection with the protagonist’s self. Combining the social context and Ishiguro’s intended theme with the narrative structure of the novel, this thesis shows how Banks’s unstable self is to evolve ultimately in his life. It is stated that by narrating what is on the move in his everyday life of the past to regain self-awareness, Banks is able to know more about his inner desire and then alter it to some extent. Without the practice and narration of life, a new self is not to be easily formed. Chapter Four concludes the thesis by summarizing the previous arguments and making final remarks on the textual analysis of this novel. The text shows how restrictions ultimately are lifted from the new self. It also shows that identities are unstable, and the ever-changing self is to be narrated and interpreted each time the character relates his story in communication with readers.
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