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Out of Brick Lane: The Novel of Awakening and Monica Ali's Brick Lane

飛越磚窯巷:蒙妮卡˙阿麗《磚窯巷》中的性欲與政治覺醒

Abstracts


本論文以女性成長小說與移民書寫的角度閱讀蒙妮卡˙阿麗首部小說的《磚窯巷》(2003)中遲來的女性性欲與政治自覺。遲來的女性自覺為女性成長小說重要主題之一,在阿麗的小說中與穆斯林及南亞文化背景結合,呈現特殊的文化與歷史獨特性。來自孟加拉農村女主角娜思寧十八歲時因媒妁之言遠嫁帝國都會倫敦之後,長期謹守傳統宗教對於女性之要求而不敢越界,在倫敦東端的孟加拉區有如被磚牆禁閉了十六年,卻在年屆中年時發生婚外情,以女性身體慾望導引出自我意識的覺醒,走出被宗教與傳統制約產生的消極性。娜思寧命定論式的消極性與為愛私奔卻遭到家暴而淪為妓女的妹妹哈辛娜成為小說主要的對比。透過哈辛娜的書信,阿麗不但給予孟加拉移民朝思暮想的「故國」實質的存在,同時也透過陳述女性受到的歧視壓迫解構了「想像想國」的美好幻影,突顯出移民女性鄉關何處的困境。再者,小說在時間軸線上由1980年代推衍至二十一世紀,賦予小說從後柴契爾時代到後911時代的跨世紀框架,從族裔的角度對於英國政治所做的批判,並且以紐約世貿大樓遭受恐怖攻擊的餘震之中穆斯林人民的生存情境,作為女主角政治意識覺醒的觸媒。女性身體與心靈乃至於政治意識的覺醒這文學敘見但在穆斯林傳統中仍屬禁忌的主題,對於南亞穆斯林移民女性傳統的定義而言極具挑戰性,卻也提供了第一代的孟加拉女性走出磚牆高砌的族裔陋巷之可能。

Parallel abstracts


Conditioned by South Asian social and religious traditions, the South Asian British literary arena has long been dominated by prominent male figures such as V. S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie. However, the end of the twentieth century has witnessed the rising prominence of creative works by women. Many of these have entered the mass cultural imagination and have become highly influential not only in terms of the reformulation of ”Britishness,” but also as an important and integral part of the South Asian diaspora within the context of global flows. This essay reads Monica Ali's acclaimed debut novel Brick Lane (2003) as a quintessential Bildungsroman focusing on a female immigrant subject and as a representation of the ways in which South Asian women cope with the problems of re/constructing selfhood, subjectivity and South Asian British identity. As such, it focuses on exploring the themes of belated sexual and political awakenings of a Bangladeshi immigrant female protagonist, Nazneen. Since both sexual and political awakenings are still tabooed in Islamic traditions, in the final analysis Ali's novel challenges the traditional definition of South Asian Muslim womanhood and provides a way out of the brick lane of an ethnic ghetto.

References


Abel, Elizabeth,Marianne Hirsch,Elizabeth Langland..Introduction..
Abel, Elizabeth(eds.),Marianne Hirsch(eds.),Elizabeth Langland(eds.)(1983).The Voyage In: Fictions of Female Development. Hanover.NH:UP of New England.
Ali, Monica(2003).Brick Lane..New York:Scribner.
The Guardian 17 June 2003
Browski, Susan..The Novel of Awakening.

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