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研究生(外文):Chun-yu Liu
論文名稱(外文):The Neglected Ones: Subaltern Characters in Michelle Cliff’s Novels
指導教授(外文):Amie Parry
外文關鍵詞:passive resistanceoppressionsubaltern
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This thesis is focused on life experiences of the four characters that can be categorized into the subaltern in Michelle Cliff’s two semi-autobiographical novels, No Telephone to Heaven and Abeng, who are often neglected in other critics’ analyses of the novels. These four characters, Christopher, Bobby, Zoe and Kitty, are different in their backgrounds and social status, and the exploitation and predicament they have suffered are not the same, either. That is, what makes them subaltern is different, and this suggests that the category of the subaltern is not a single or fixed organization, but there could be dissimilarities, contradictions and also conflicts. As Gayatri Spivak has claimed that “the subaltern cannot speak,” because their voices will be appropriated by the first world scholars who think they can represent the subaltern people. Consequently, the subaltern people’s claims and voices are lost, and thus they cannot speak. However, by examining the experiences of these four subaltern characters together and in detail, it would be seen that before the subaltern’s voice could be appropriated, it is lost, forgotten or neglected. The reason is that the predicaments caused by exploitations and oppressions have made them do not wish to speak, but choose to be silent or even to conform to the dominant powers instead of voicing their claims. Nevertheless, this kind of silence and conformity is their own way of resistance to the injustices produced by colonialism, class, gender and other ideologies, even though it seems to be passive or submissive. In other words, these characters not only reveal that there could be dissimilarities and even conflicts in the subaltern group, but also bring out the possibility of a passive kind of resistance and therefore problematize the general notion of resistance as the revolutionary action. However, if the critics neglected or overlooked these trivial but important aspects of these four characters, they might fall into the trap of epistemic violence in the critical level.
Abstract i
Acknowledgements iii
Chapter One: Introduction 1
Chapter Two: Reading Christopher and Bobby: Oppression, Violence and Traumatic Experiences 14
Chapter Three: Zoe’s Consciousness: A Different Kind of Resistance 37
Chapter Four: The Problematic and Limitation of Resistance: Kitty Savage as an In-between Character 55
Chapter Five: Conclusion 70
Works Cited 78
Adisa, Opal Palmer. “Journey into Speech—A Writer Between Two Worlds: An Interview with Michelle Cliff.” African American Review 28.2 (Summer 1994): 273-281.

Aegerter, Lindsay Pentolfe. “Michelle Cliff and the Paradox of Privilege.” College English 59.8 (1997): 898-915.

Agosto, Noraida. Michelle Cliff’s Novels: Piecing the Tapstry of Memory and History. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.

Bost, Suzanne. “Fluidity without Postmodernism: Michelle Cliff and the ‘Tragic Mulatta’ Tradition.” African American Review 32.4 (Winter 1998): 673-689.

Cliff, Michelle. Abeng. 1984. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.

---. No Telephone to Heaven. 1987. New York: Plume, 1996.

Edmondson, Belinda. “Race, Privilege, and the Politics of (Re)Writing History: An Analysis of The Novels of Michelle Cliff.” Callallo 16.1 (Winter, 1993): 180-191.

Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Ed. And trans. Quentin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. New York: International Publishers, 1971.

Guha, Ranajit. “On Some Aspects of the Historiography of Colonial India.” Selected Subaltern Studies. New York: Oxford UP, 1988. 37-44.

Schwartz, Meryl F. “An Interview with Michelle Cliff.” Contemporary Literature 34.4 (Winter 1993): 595-619.

Sethuraman, Ramchandran. “Evidence-Cum-Witness: Subaltern History, violence, and the (De)Formation of Nation in Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven.” Modern Fiction Studies 43.1 (Spring 1997): 249-287

She, Chia-ling. “A Question of Representations: Reading the Intellectual and the Subaltern in No Telephone to Heaven.” MA Thesis. NCU, 2002.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. "Can the Subaltern Speak?" The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Gen. ed. Vincent B. Leitch. New York and London: Norton, 2001. 2197-2208.

---. A Critigue of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Cambrige, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1999.
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