Bakhtin`s dialogism in the novel "Three daughters of Madame Liang" by Pearl S. Buck

Velinova, Eva (2019) Bakhtin`s dialogism in the novel "Three daughters of Madame Liang" by Pearl S. Buck. Knowledge - International Journal, Scientific Papers, 32.4. pp. 467-473. ISSN 2545-4439

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The paper analyzes the novel of the American writer Pearl S. Buck from the perspective of dialogism introduced as a concept by the Russian theorist and philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin, at the same time when was written the Pearl Buck`s novel (1969), that is, in the middle of the twentieth century, with no direct influence between the two authors but a similar arrangement of the narrative model in both of their works. Under Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism, one can understand the abolition of the monologue principle of speech and its replacement with two or more perspectives or voices that exist in parallel and independently of the narrator's or author's voice. The author's point of view can no longer be explained by the ideology of one of his characters, because they occupy a dominant flow in the novel and their truth persists without the author's authoritative control, in constant interpersonal debate and dialogue. Such a diversity of ideological perspectives was observed in the novel written by Pearl Buck, where, at the height of the great changes on the Chinese soil, when the revolutionary movements resulted in the introduction of the communist order and the cultural revolution in the country, the three daughters of Madame Liang were called upon by the state to return from America and to adapt to the new living conditions in their home country. The conflict of mentality and the issue of patriotism for each one of them, including Madame Liang, evolves in a different way, each one finding herself in a unique situation to choose between her own good and the collective faith. Bakhtin's dialogism can be found on many levels in the novel: as a dialogue between the old traditional and the new modern worldview, as a dialogue between the various ideological perspectives of the characters who accept or reject the changes, as a dialogue between the scientific ethics of the Chinese and the American continent, as a critique of the monologic surveillance of China's new communist order, as an intertextual dialogue between the speech of the characters and the inserted excerpts of the traditional Book of Changes, as a blend or conflict of two cultures, Chinese and American, as a view of the past or towards the future ... As a concluding remark of the paper, one idea of Bakhtin's work is taken, and that is the connection between ethics and aesthetics in his theoretical works, as well as the concept of the ultimate freedom of the narrator's thought in building the integrity of his characters, which almost can not be achieved in any way other than through creation. As a consequence of this claim, the life choices of each of the characters of Pearl Buck's novel and their relationship with the creative activity are considered, and at the same time the approach of the narrator of the novel that distances himself, but at the same time confirms the existence of the literary characters.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Humanities > Languages and literature
Divisions: Faculty of Philology
Depositing User: Eva Gorgievska
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2019 09:01
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2019 09:01

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