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타자의 초상: 「오루노코」와 「메리 로울랜슨의 포로수기」에 나타난 인종
Portraying the Other: Representing Race in Oroonoko and A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

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Authors
신문수
Issue Date
2008
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.31 No.1, pp. 133-169
Keywords
인종(race)인종주의(racism)오루노코(Oroonoko)아프라 밴(Aphra Behn)메리 로울랜슨(Mary Rowlandson)포로 수기(captivity narrative)식민주의(colonialism)노예제도(slavery)인종적 타자(the racial Other)
Abstract
This study aims to investigate how the racial Other is represented in Oroonoko and A True History 0f the Captivity and Restoration 0f Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, both published at the dawn of Enlightenment when the modern concept of race emerged and was developed into the ideologies of racism in the West under the pressure of the ever expanding colonialist world system. Oroonoko, written in 1688 by Aphra Behn, the first professional English woman author, has long been noted as a seminal work in the tradition of antislavery writings from the time of its publication. The female narrator romanticizes its protagonist, Prince Oroonoko, as a romantic hero of learning and dignity in the first half of the novella, whereas she changes her attitude to the African prince in the latter half of the work, where he becomes a leader of slave revolt after being kidnapped and enslaved in Surinam. Oroonoko is now portrayed as a mean and diabolic savage who threatens to subvert the reigning social and political order of the colonial regime of Surinam. The narrator’s ambivalence toward the African prince and his tribes suggests that rather than denounces slavery itself, the novella criticizes the inefficient and inhumane management of its system, while reflecting a historical situation in which race as a conceptual category for classifying human race changed into a crucial social code to regulate the African slaves and natives under the expanding regime of colonial exploitation. A similarly changing view of the racial Other is also found in Mary Rowlandson’s classic captivity narrative published in 1682. Rowlandson recounts and interprets her captivity experience in terms of orthodox Puritan theology, accepting her afflictions as providential evidence of her redemption, simultaneously registering moments of breaching the governing ideologies she invokes. She initially regards the natives as precivilized, merciless, and diaboliical heathens, but shows, as her staying with them prolongs, occasions of implicitly challenging such preconceived characterizations of them by acknowledging their customs and social arrangements to be complex and intricate. This textual dissonance suggests that her captivity experience destabilizes her identity and consciousness and gets her new eyes with which she comes to view both cultures as well as her own self differently. This paper also wants to remind that it is almost impossible to separate the categories of gender and race from each other, although they never really function on a completely equal footing, in figuring out the social formation in any historical period.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88631
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 31 Number 1/2 (2008)
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