自由的陷阱:从弗洛姆自由观视角解读《革命之路》

论文价格:300元/篇 论文用途:硕士毕业论文 Master Thesis 编辑:vicky 点击次数:
论文字数:32556 论文编号:sb2021100715033538634 日期:2021-10-10 来源:硕博论文网
本文是一篇英语论文,笔者认为作为理查德·耶茨的代表作,《革命之路》成为文学批评的新热点。尽管它自出版以来没有取得商业上的成功,但却赢得了许多评论家的赞扬。这是一部讲述真实故事的小说。格雷尔·马库斯(Greil Marcus)曾写道,在20世纪50年代,美国人将现实生活换成了正常生活。(马库斯,209)乍一看,这是一对普通夫妇的婚姻生活;当我们阅读更多的时候,我们可能会发现它充满了作者对人类生存和自由的反思,包括人物的反叛和退让。

Chapter One Literature Review

1.1 Richard Yates and Revolutionary Road
Richard Yates, whose well-known representative work is Revolutionary Road, is amongthe best-known American authors at the commencement of the twentieth century. On accountof the fact that a majority of his works derive from personal life experiences, the contents ofhis novels are authentic and natural. Revolutionary Road, Yates’s first and foremost novel wasmisunderstood by the audiences of his time. During an interview with Ploughshares, Yatesmade it clear that Revolutionary Road was written for the purposes of complaints aboutAmerican life in the 1950s, instead of fighting marriage nor assailing suburban lifestyle.(Dewitt 208) As a writer with sharp insights, Yates became conscious of the spiritual crisispossessed by his American contemporaries. According to him, they were in pursuit ofconsistency in a blind and desperate manner, thereby deviating from the optimal and bravestrevolutionary spirit. (Steven 158) Thus, the study on Revolutionary Road is of greatimportance for displaying the writing style of Yates and approaching to the twentieth century.
1.1.1 Research on Richard Yates
As a talented writer, Richard Yates has suffered many mishaps in his life. Richard Yatesmight be particularly unfortunate, if the precondition for the life of any great writer is amiserable childhood. At the age of three, the marriage of his parents was broken. Yates foundthat they differ greatly and have nothing in common except a love of tobacco and alcohol. Itwas his mother who brought up Yates and was believed to naturally exert a great influenceupon him. In the fiction A Special Providence, Yates portrayed his mother as woman withexcellence, talents and courage (Bailey 11), but she was heavily in debt and took her son fromone place to another for the sake of the debtor. Afterwards, when he looked back upon thedays spent with his mother, he was aware of that mutual support was what he aspired for. He developed the habit of drinking and smoking in middle school. Subsequently, an outbreak ofpneumonia infections on the battlefield in Europe was serious and did enormous harm to hishealthy situation. When Yates graduated from high school, he was drafted into the army andwent through the ruthlessness of warfare. Following the warfare, Yates commenced his careeras a writer rather than the selection of pursuing further study in university. Yates resembleshis idol Hemingway in a variety of respects in addition to his triumph in the publication ofearly works. Apart from writing, he gained support from writing teaching as well. Yates hasundertaken the role of speechwriter for Robert F. 
................................

1.2 Fromm’s Freedom Theory
As a well-known German-American scholar as well as the eminent Western psychologistand sociologist, Erich Fromm is also thought to be the founder of the spirit analysis in thetwentieth century. Having been profoundly affected by Freud and Marx, Fromm devoted hislifetime to exploring psychological problem of contemporary people and the approach toliving a happy life. His work Escape from Freedom came out in 1941, in which thepsychological disease of modern people who are afraid to pursue freedom was revealed andhis own theory about freedom was proposed. Moreover, two approaches to extricatethemselves from the state of panic were also provided for people who lived in modern time.For one thing, it is human who creates history, however, the essence of freedom is regarded asthe prerequisite for creation of the history; for another, the freedom is the unescapableoutcome of activities under in the history of human. The external world is transformed byhuman through labor and practice during the building of history in order to make humanbecome a man with freedom. (Mclaughlon 245) The advancement in the history of human isdefined by him as the process of pursuit of freedom. Nevertheless, people living in modemcapitalist nations are trapped into a dilemma that despite their desire for freedom and makingthe largest attempts to quest for freedom, they are incapable of enduring the solitariness resulted from negative freedom, thereby making choices of evading from freedom orabandoning it.
1.2.1 Positive Freedom and Negative Freedom
It was a British philosopher, Isaiah Berlin, who for the first time put forward the terms ofpositive freedom and negative freedom. These two types of freedom was presented when heperformed an analysis of the freedom in diverse cultures and nations. More precisely,continental traditional liberalism was regarded to be positive freedom and theAnglo-American traditional doctrine was thought to be negative freedom. The former onefocused on the limitation that a person is able to do whatever he wants to do with nointerference from the other people; while, the latter primarily was thought that what peoplepossess pushes them to do something or become any one else they expect to be. Nevertheless,positive freedom was not advocated by him since positive freedom was thought to movetowards the other side of freedom, negative freedom, which is a consciousness in philosophyupon the basis of dialectical thinking. Freedom is actually a concept brimmed withcontradictions. It is completely likely for positive freedom to move towards the negativefreedom in Berlin’s view.
自由的陷阱:从弗洛姆自由观视角解读《革命之路》
自由的陷阱:从弗洛姆自由观视角解读《革命之路》
................................

Chapter Two Characters’ Sufferings of Negative Freedom inRevolutionary Road

2.1 April’s Destined Dilemma
The conflicts between the traditional roles within the society and the emancipation of thewomen independence has forced April into the dilemma and emotional struggle during thetransition. Rather than accepting the social norms and pre-defined role for women, Aprilpursue to be an artist in her entire life in order to feel a sense of freedom just like a man does.In a male-dominated society, April had put even more effort into freedom than Frank. However, April still struggles to balance the role as a housewife and artists. The society wasfull of false romantic art and materialism, and April’s artistic pursuit was just a fantasy. Dueto the fragmentation of her family since she was a child, April had been so eager for love thatshe finally fully devoted herself to her family and forgot her independence. This dilemma inachieving has driven April into despair by her great loneliness and powerlessness.
2.1.1 April’s Unattainable Artistic Talent
According to April, she considers herself as an actress with talents trapped in themarriage. However, from the standpoint of Frank, she is merely “an only mildly talented,mildly enthusiastic graduate of dramatic school (Yates 50).” Prior to her first pregnancy, sheworks as part time in the office, instead of the theatre or anywhere else that could displaywhat she acquires in the dramatic school. When she gets married, it would be told to others byher that she sacrifices her talents in performing arts for her husband. However, herself-deception has been debunked because of her failure in Petrified Forest. It is Milly whotells April that people from another neighborhood make attempts for organization of a theatregroup. Having known about that, April shows a rather overbearing manner towards it. Thecontempt for the people displayed in April’s face is observed despite the fact that she does notsee them before. In her eye, their behaviors are “these damn little artsy-crafty things” (Yates63). From back of her mind, she is fantasized by herself as a talented actress, thereby givingher a good sense of the Laurel Player. It is found by her that the poster for Laurel Playerplaces in the local paper shows refined tastes. After meeting up with those persons working inthat theatre, April made a determination to become a member of them. Nevertheless, she stillsings her own praise as talented actress; while, “her occasional lack of humility at rehearsals(Yates 8)” is found by other actors.
...........................

2.2Frank’s Doomed Plight
Rousseau once said man is born free but everywhere he is in chains. Freedom is a way tohelp people understand themselves and promote the development of society, but only if it is inaccordance with positive freedom. Frank, as a typical representative of the middle class,yearns for success and status in his mediocre life. However, the plain life makes him pursuehis own development out of mediocre fear; thus, he is in an attempt to maintain a purespiritual world in the material world. After a lot of self-questioning and unsuccessfulresistance to occupation, Frank did not gain happiness and satisfaction. The pursuit offreedom shrouded in negative freedom was doomed to failure and loneliness.
2.2.1 Frank’s Obscure Identity
Exposed to the influence of negative freedom, Frank is apt to aspire for the issue of theexistence situation. On the evening of his birthday, it is April who makes Frank believeprobability of their plan to Europe. Afterwards, a great alteration has occurred in his life thathe lives in a self-deceiving manner. As for him, the plan of settling down in Europe shouldhave been a different way of living from the life he undergoes. It is worthwhile to settle downin Europe, which means the final chance for Frank to find out who he is on essence. He tellsApril that they have almost become the family they despised. “And my God, when you thinkhow close we came to settling into that kind of an existence (Yates 136).” Then he expresseshis plan of longing for Europe, “It’s like coming out of a Cellophane bag. It’s like havingbeen encased in some kind of Cellophane for years without knowing it, and suddenlybreaking out (Yates 137).” These messages have revealed that Frank has gained anunderstanding of his self-deception on life. It is universally acknowledged that the freedom isthe way of living, which means that Frank chase for freedom and self-development. Hisexperience in Europe was shared with April. Upon his arrival in Europe, it was in a state ofwarship. However, unlike other persons, he did not show any terror. His attitude towards lifemakes himself astonished. He told April that “I just felt this terrific sense of life. I felt full ofblood. Everything looked realer than real... I kept thinking: this is really true. This is the truth(Yates 137)” However, Frank lost this opportunity to strengthen his self-enhancement. 
.....................................

Chapter Three Reasons for Falling into Negative Freedom in Revolutionary Road...................................... 26
3.1 Enthrallment with Illusory Complex of Paris...............................................26
3.2 Inclination to Middle-class Hollowness............................................ 29
Chapter Four Routes from the Freedom Predicament of Characters in Revolutionary Road.........................37
4.1 Escape from Freedom with Mental Mechanism...................................37
4.1.1 Frank’s Domination and April’s Submission.........................................38
4.1.2 The Destructive Urge of John and April.................................... 39
Conclusion.......................................46

Chapter Four Routes from the Freedom Predicament of Characters inRevolutionary Road

4.1 Escape from Freedom with Mental Mechanism
Modern people present a style of escape mechanism, sourcing from individuals’ intolerablesense of helplessness and loneliness. This behavior intolerability and attempt to evade is notthe pathway to realize happiness and positive freedom, but just an effective way discovered inthe incomplete phenomenon, aiming at reducing the restlessness and avoiding the panic indaily life. Therefore, individuals have shaken off the bond restraint of pre-individualistic society, but not obtaining the freedom to realize their personal selves in the positive sense,that is to say, they can’t express their mental, emotional and sensorial potential freely bymeans of escape mental mechanism.
4.1.1 Frank’s Domination and April’s Submission
In Escape from Freedom, Fromm explains that “symbiosis, in this psychological sense,means the union of one individual self with another self in such a way as to make each losethe integrity of its own self and make them completely dependent to each” (Fromm, 1969: 18).In explaining the syndrome of masochism, it is argued that different forms which themasochistic strivings assume have one aim: to get rid of the individual self, to lose oneself. Inorder to eliminate the unbearable burden of self, the frightened individual will try desperatelyto seeks for somebody or something to tie his self to. So many masochists strive to submit to aperson or power which he considers as being overwhelmingly strong. Fromm proposed that“by surrendering the Self and renouncing all strength and pride connected with it, one losesone’s integrity as an individual and surrenders freedom; but one gains a new security. (Fromm1977) On one hand, April wanted to escape from Frank to be an independent person whilelonging for the security he brings. In effect, as an individual, April wants to develop herself,but she is not strong enough to bear great pain. However, once she yields to Frank, she willhave a sense of belonging, as well as avoiding the loneliness brought by the outside world. Onthe other hand, without completely get rid of this inability to loneliness, Frank’s control oflove made April became more and more powerless, all April had done didn’t make her get ridof all the isolation and desperation. Surrendering to Frank does not eliminate the sense ofloneliness and powerlessness brought by negative freedom, but only veils this feeling. So theinequality between them affects the stability of harmonious relationship. (Zhou 85)
自由的陷阱:从弗洛姆自由观视角解读《革命之路》
自由的陷阱:从弗洛姆自由观视角解读《革命之路》
.............................

Conclusion

As a master neglected for half a century, Richard Yates gains the attention from readersin the new century. His fictions have become more well-known to audiences in latest years.As Richard Yates’s representative work, Revolutionary Road has become a new hotspot ofliterary criticism. Although it has not achieved commercial success since its publication, it haswon the praise of many critics. This is a novel that tells a true story. Greil Marcus once wrotethat in the 1950s Americans exchanged real life for the idea of normal life. (Marcus, 209) Atfirst glance, this is the frustrated marriage life of an ordinary couple; when we read more, wemay find that it is full of the author’s reflection on human existence and freedom, includingthe character’s rebellion and concessions.
Freedom is the eternal pursuit in human history. Human beings always spare no effort toget it. On the way to freedom, people will try all kinds of things. Sometimes, when a personbreaks some kind of bondage, he believes that he has gained freedom. However, The feelingof loneliness and powerlessness overwhelms him. He finds it difficult to get rid of it.
We want freedom, but we cannot afford it. Thus, the pursuit of freedom eventuallyturned into an escape from freedom. The characters in Revolutionary Road are more likecontrolled individuals drowned in the river of negative freedom. The Wheelers and John aresinking deeper and deeper into the mire of negative freedom, enduring endless loneliness andpowerlessness from fate. Frank began to have doubts about his own identity. In the pursuit ofnegative freedom, he suffered from loneliness due to the misidentification and support ofpeople around him. In his attempts to break down the mediocrity and anxiety of the middleclass, he realizes that he cannot escape the control of fate. In the same way, April cannotescape the reproductive mission of women, resulting that she is hindered by family and otherfemales during the pursuit of art development. And in the marriage of unrealistic fantasyadded to the family, ultimately she can only accept the merciless blow of fate andunspeakable loneliness. Similarly, in the pursuit of truth and self-consciousness with wrongway, John constantly hurts his family and friends, contending with the whole society, and was eventually isolated and excluded by the society.
reference(omitted)

上一篇:文学地理学视域下《推销员之死》中景观表征的悲剧内涵
下一篇:英汉结果构式RAP制约的认知研究