Tài liệu Insights on pursuit for meaningful life in selected works of toni morrison

  • Số trang: 244 |
  • Loại file: PDF |
  • Lượt xem: 59 |
  • Lượt tải: 0
nhattuvisu

Đã đăng 27125 tài liệu

Mô tả:

i BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam INSIGHTS ON PURSUIT FOR MEANINGFUL LIFE IN SELECTED WORKS OF TONI MORRISON A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School Batangas State University Batangas City, Philippines In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in English by VU THI QUYNH DUNG (Dzung) June, 2014 ii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines ABSTRACT Title: Insights on Pursuit for a Meaningful Life in Selected Works of Toni Morrison Author: Vũ Thị Quỳnh Dung (Dzung) Course: Doctor of Philosophy major in English and Literature Year: 2014 Adviser: Dr. Maria Luisa A. Valdez Summary: This dissertation aims at presenting how the selected works of Toni Morrison manifest the sufferings of black women in terms of racial oppression, gender inequality, emotional abandonment, and women’s sufferings; the sources of strengths and motive of women’s resistance as shown in the love between mother and children, husband and wife relationship, freedom and equality, and self-identity; and the manner how the women in the world portrayed in the novels express resistance to the different forms of violence. Likewise, it shows the implications of the themes pursued iii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines in the novels to the study of meaningful family life among Vietnamese students. In dealing with the works, the qualitative method with content analysis basing on the Sociological and Philosophical Approaches and the theory of Viktor Frankl’s Meaningfulness of Life were employed. The study found out that 1) Mostly, the black female characters experienced humiliation and suffered an acute isolation in a white racist society that has marginalized them; 2) Black women always resisted every sort of oppression with different sources of strength and motives; 3) Oppressed women resisted and revolted in various ways, such as verbal, physical, and armed resistance with different manners such as violence, non-violence or acquiescence; and 4) the themes pursued in the novels will change the way Vietnamese students think and act, and foster students to hold campaigns and propaganda focusing on promoting the values of a meaningful family life, a life of prosperity, equality, happiness, progress, a life without prejudice and violence. iv THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines The dissertation can be used as reference for students of Literature in the Contemporary American Literature course. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training, the educational institutions may integrate the insights on the pursuit of meaningful family life in the academe that will also inspire them to spawn activities in the curricula. This paper will also make members of the community understand that life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose. v THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This dissertation appears in its current form due to the assistance and guidance of several people. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to them for their assistance and guidance has help me during the whole period of study. First and foremost I offer my sincerest gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Maria Luisa A. Valdez, who has supported me though out my dissertation with her patience and knowledge whilst allowing me the room to work in my own way. I attribute the level of my PhD. degree to her encouragement and effort and without her this research, too, would not have been completed or written. One simply could not wish for a better or friendlier supervisor. I owe my gratitude to Dr. Matilda H. Dimaano and The Panels for their highly intellectual abilities to give excellent advises and detailed review during the preparation of this study. I would like to give expressions to my gratitude to all the teachers of the Graduate School of Batangas State University of the Philippines for their valuable lectures that inspire me to carry out the research. vi THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines I would like to seize this opportunity to thank the Philippines Government which sends each time with the utmost willingness skilful and qualified teachers to Thai Nguyen University. The cooperation between the two countries should be a lesson for other Asian countries to improve education and achieve integration. I am indebted to ITC, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry of Thai Nguyen University for accepting me as a PhD. Student and for your guidance and supports during the course. I greatly appreciate the financial assistance and spiritual supports of Hung Vuong University, of Foreign Language Department, of my dear colleagues and students for me and my family during my PhD. study. I am grateful to To Loan Nguyen and her family to help me in the search of documents while they were in Germany. My classmates, thank you very much for making the atmosphere of our class as friendly as possible. vii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines I cannot finish without thanking my family. I warmly thank and appreciate my parents for their encouragement and looking after my children in the process of study. I want to express my gratitude and deepest appreciation to my lovely husband and two sweet daughters. without your supports and encouragements, I could not have finished this work. I can just say thank you all for everything. viii THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines TABLE OF CONTENTS TITLE PAGE............................................................................................ i ABSTRACT .............................................................................................ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS............................................................... iv CHAPTER I .............................................................................................1 THE PROBLEM ......................................................................................1 Introduction..............................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem......................................................................10 Scope, Delimitation and Limitation of the Study....................................11 Significance of the Study.......................................................................13 CHAPTER II ..........................................................................................71 REVIEW OF LITERATURE: SYNTHESIS AND HYPOTHESIS...........71 Conceptual Literature ............................................................................71 Literature and Philosophy......................................................................71 Meaningful family life in Vietnam...........................................................77 Sociological and Philosophical Approaches in Literary Criticism ..........90 Toni Morrison and her Significant Works. .............................................98 Research Literature.............................................................................105 Frankl’s theory about Meaningfulness of life .......................................116 ix THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines Conceptual Framework .......................................................................124 Definition of Terms ..............................................................................125 CHAPTER III .......................................................................................130 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ...........................................................130 Research Design.................................................................................130 Treatment of Materials ........................................................................131 CHAPTER IV.......................................................................................135 ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA................................135 1.1. Racial oppression.........................................................................136 1.1.1. Racial oppression in Song of Solomon .....................................137 1.1.2. Racial Oppression in Tar Baby.....................................................142 1.2. Gender Inequality .........................................................................146 1.2.1. Gender Inequality in Song of Solomon ....................................146 1.2.2. Gender inequality in Tar Baby...................................................160 1.3. Emotional Abandonment ..............................................................172 1.3.1. Emotional abandonment in Song of Solomon...........................172 1.3.2. Emotional abandonment in Tar Baby...........................................179 1.4. Women’s Sufferings .......................................................................184 1.4.1. Women’s Sufferings in Songs of Solomon....................................184 1.4.2. Women’s Sufferings in Tar Baby..................................................191 x THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines 2. Manifestations of the Sources of Strength and Motive of Women’s Resistance..............................................................................196 2.1. Manifestations of the Sources of Strength and Motive of Women’s Resistance..............................................................................198 2.1.1. Love between mother and children in Song of Solomon..........199 2.1.2. Love between mother and children in Tar Baby............................204 2.2. Sources of Strength and Motive of Women’s Resistance in term of husband and wife....................................................................213 2.2.1. Sources of Strength and Motive of Women’s Resistance in term of husband and wife in Song of Solomon .....................................213 2.2.2. Sources of Strength and Motive of Women’s Resistance in term of husband and wife in Tar Baby .................................................219 2.3. Freedom and Equality ....................................................................222 2.3.1. Freedom and Equality in Song of Solomon ..................................222 2.4. Self-identity ....................................................................................227 2.4.1. Self-identity in Song of Solomon ..................................................227 3. Manner of Women in the world depicted in the Novels that Expresses Resistance to the Different Forms of Oppression......................243 3.1. Manner of Women in the world depicted in the Novels that Expresses Resistance to the Different Forms of Oppression in Song of Solomon ...............................................................................................243 xi THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines 3.1.2. Manner of Women in the world depicted in the Novels that Expresses Resistance to the Different Forms of Oppression in Tar Baby ...252 4. The implications of the the themes pursued in the novels to the study of meaningful family life among Vietnamese students ..........253 CHAPTER V........................................................................................259 SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION ..................259 Summary .............................................................................................259 Findings ...............................................................................................260 Conclusions .........................................................................................263 Recommendations ..............................................................................264 BIBLIOGRAPHY.................................................................................267 Primary Sources ..................................................................................267 Secondary Sources .............................................................................267 1 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM Introduction What is my purpose in life is a question asked by many people as they ponder the reasons for their existence. Life is the expression of the reason for being. The reason epitomizes the intelligence that is within all things. For instance, it is the power within a seed, when planted in the garden, grows step by step to the self-actualization of its reason for being. Everything has a purpose, a time and a season. Autumn is a wonderful sample of the fulfillment of many plants as men enjoy the abundance of fruits and vegetables that are harvested at this time in the cycles or seasons of life, according to the 2014 Society of Kabalarians of Canada Website (2014). Philosophers, psychologists, spiritual leaders, and researchers have all pondered on the thought of what makes life worth living. The answers are different based on one’s cultural, social, religious, professional or ideological backgrounds. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl once wrote, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” For most individuals, feeling 2 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines happy and finding life meaningful are both essential and correlated goals. But do happiness and meaning always harmonize? It seems questionable, given that many of the things that people regularly choose to do are unlikely to upsurge man’s day-to-day happiness. What is the purpose of life? Finding and clarifying one’s life purpose and core life intentions can help men to move with greater focus and clarity every day of their lives. Specifically, in these challenging times, setting clear intentions and developing and refining life’s purpose can make it much easier to sail across stormy waters. There are countless ways to both find and develop life’s purpose and intentions. There are a number of useful resources to help men on this path of discovery and to inspire them to be all that they can be and to lead an ever richer, fuller life. A great way to start exploring one’s life purpose and intentions is to stop for a moment and ask oneself these two key questions: What is most important to me in my life? and What are my deepest values and beliefs? 3 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines Though both can be valuable, there is a difference between life purpose and life intentions. One’s life purpose is generally a single statement related to the overall reason that man feels a person is here. What is the greater purpose behind your being alive? Why are you here in the world? Rick Warren cites that the starting place must be with God and his eternal purposes for each life. The quintessence of human existence and significance comes from understanding and fulfilling God's purposes for putting an individual on earth. Both life purpose and life intentions can be rich and valuable in helping to move through the challenges life brings men, though some will prefer focusing on one over the other. If a person finds this process somewhat challenging, he or she might do best to focus on one first. Different people hold different views about meaningful life. In general, if an average person possesses these five things, their life will be significant: a faith in God, a meaningful family life, a meaningful career, bosom friendship, and the positive contribution 4 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines to the society. Those five important components foster one another to strengthen the life of the being. For women, a part of a meaningful life is derived from the liberation of their own lives. Throughout the world, governments have committed to achieve the equality between men and women. Women now take part more in the workforce, have more legal rights and more opportunities of education. However, their status in many countries remains considerably inferior of men in many aspects of life. In developed countries, women are still suffering from unequal wage in the workplace, from sexual harassment; the prevalence of men in political, economic, and other fields. Likewise, in developing countries, women’s traditional roles are still family-focused with domestic chore, bearing and rearing children, taking care of her household. In addition to those obstacles, they are also oppressed with race discrimination, sexual violence and domestic violence. As a result, many of them struggle to fight against those so as to pursue a better life. Similarly, the status of Vietnamese women has been greatly improved since the foundation of the country in 1945. The 5 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines proportion of women attending schools and universities increases considerably. They take part in paid employment of almost all fields such as politic, economic, cultural sectors. Gender relations and attitudes also shift rapidly in recent decades. Women are more respected in families and in society. Men now are willing to share housework with their mothers, sisters and wives. Nevertheless, in many parts of Vietnam people have been severely affected by Confucian influence, which embrace the patriarchal values. Women are expected to lead a life of “three obedience” and “four virtues”. That privileges males and stresses female subordination. Consequently, women are victims of discriminations, violence, obstacles and gender disparities. It is quite common that their work at home and at work are inappropriately recognized and appreciated. They are burdened with the noble job of a mother and a wife in the families as well as of a citizen in the society. Never than before do they need the sympathy and share from the other half of the population. That is the reason why the search for a meaningful life of Vietnamese women is an endless struggle. 6 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines Literature is about human beings. It is the reflection of their various experiences, ideas, and their daily passions. It allows people to look back on their memories, allows writers to share their experiences, and it also allows the reader to learn a life lesson through other’s experiences. In literature, people find stories designed to portray human life and action through some characters who, by their words, action and reaction, convey certain messages for the purpose of education, information and entertainment. It is impossible to find a work of literature that excludes the attitudes, moral and values of the society. This idea holds true particularly for prose, which treat life in a more picturesque fashion than any other form of arts. The theme about women, about their lives, their work, and their dream have attracted many writers, however, few authors had taken on the task of writing about the diverse and complex lives of black women within the black community as well as holding that community responsible for its own actions as Toni Morrison. Although the impact of white racism on black communities is undeniable, Toni Morrison addresses the question of the position of 7 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines women within black communities, and how their relationships with both men and other women shape their lives. Toni Morrison is an Afro-American writer, a spokesperson for social reforms, and the most prominent issues in her writing involved the problems of black women in various social institutions. But among the contemporary black woman writers, Morrison herself emerged as an African American star in the twentieth century. She has distinguished herself as an author, editor and critic who has transformed the American literary landscape with her presence in the African American literary tradition. Toni Morrison is the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Morrison is a major figure in the mainstream of American literature. Throughout her writing career, she has embraced her black culture and heritage and devoted her creative contributions to her black fellows. She writes for black people, especially for black women, and she is proud of her being a black woman writer. Her double identities as a black and a woman provide her with great advantages to penetrate deeply into the hearts of black women and 8 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines reveal their psychological misery, emotions, feelings, thoughts, and desires. She engages herself in breaking the stereotypes of black female characters depicted in most of literary canon, molds a range of vivid new images of black women, exhibits the conflict in their minds with the stress of racism and sexism, and actively establishes black women’s subjectivity (Jiao, 2012). Black womanhood is the central theme in Morrison’s fiction and is the topic she returns to time and time in her articles and interviews. In her novels, the black women are portrayed as breeding women, maids and domestic workers. Black women are viewed and treated just the commodities to be handled by the white masters. They are not allowed to have any human rights whatsoever. But their white masters have all rights over them (Beaulieu, 2003). They are forced to live in a setup which is full of racism and sexism which result in alienation. Toni Morrison’s passion in unremittingly exploring human relations was striking. After she gained international recognition, the opportunity to study her writings which manifest female oppression and marked with nuggets of wisdom is timely. Her novels not only 9 THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY Socialist Republic of Vietnam BATANGAS STATE UNIVERSITY Republic of the Philippines explores racism in the twentieth-century United States from the point of views of blacks, but centers on black women and their positions within their communities, she draws the reader’s attention to intra-racial issues. Within the pages of Morrison’s works there surface a collection of gems, reflecting deep philosophy and unique expression. The wisdom embodied in the selected works of Toni Morrison could be one of the motivating factors that could help the Vietnamese students re-examine their lives and values when they become conscious of their genuine philosophical dimension. Her writings could describe lifestyles that outline the Vietnamese attitude towards life in general and towards specific actions in particular. They may rightly be regarded as transformers of human acts, influencing their deep inspirations. They are entwined in the raw materials of the social development of a Vietnamese student as a person existing in a community of persons. They lend support certainly to the efforts of nation building. With this thought in mind, the researcher was deeply motivated to explore and undertake an analysis of how black
- Xem thêm -