앤 피트리의 『거리』에 나타난 아메리칸 드림의 해체

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서울대학교 인문대학 인문학연구원
인문논총, Vol.59, pp. 1-25
This paper is an attempt to re-evaluate Ann Petrys The Street in light
of the recent culturalist readings of the text that read Lutie as a negative
character who has internalized the American dream and suggests that the
black womens community comprised of Mrs. Hedges and Min should be
viewed as an alternative to the hostile white society. The paper argues that
contrary to this negative characterization, Lutie does not internalize the
American dream and furthermore, is very much aware of the fictionality
of the discourse of the American dream. Lutie, who perceives the fictional
nature of the American dream embodies the Du Boisian double-consciousness.
In this context, Sacvan Bercovitchs assertion that American dream is an
ideological construct is much more useful in reading Petrys Street. In fact,
the text can be read as a theoretical precedent to Bercovitchs theorization
of the critique of the American dream. This paper goes on to demonstrate
that through the figure of Junto who symbolizes the oppressive nature of
capitalistic democracy in white America, the text deconstructs the American
Dream by fundamentally questioning the validity of capitalistic democracy
as a workable system for black women in the 1940s. The text suggests
that the system of democratic capitalism is deeply flawed by showing the
destructive forces brought on by the disfigured character Junto who
embodies both white control of capital and the spirit of democracy gone
awry. In this way, The Street refuses to be contained but rather subverts the
existing order, compellingly contesting Bercovitchs argument that all
narrative challenges to the American dream are already and always contained.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원)Journal of humanities (인문논총)Journal of Humanities vol.59 (2008) (인문논총)
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