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研究生(外文):Cheng-wen Chiang
論文名稱(外文):Everything Falling Apart: The Dissolving World of Rabbit at Rest
指導教授(外文):Yen Chu
外文關鍵詞:Rabbit at Restsimulationconsumer societypostmoderndepthless culturehyperrealUpdikethe Rabbit tetralogy
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本篇論文採用後現代及文化研究理論,對約翰.厄卜代克(John Updike)的《兔子安息》一書提出詮釋。厄卜代克在小說中呈現一個崩解的後現代世界。此一崩解的世界可以由幾個角度加以探討。第一章運用布希亞(Jean Baudrillard)的消費理論探討小說中的消費現象。生活在富裕的消費文化中,主角海瑞(Harry)反而倍感孤獨,他與外在世界及人類有很深的疏離感。他生命中珍視的許多事物其實只是資本主義社會生產的流行事物。在消費社會中,各種事物(諸如身體、情感、人際關係、價值觀、宗教)都可能商品化,也因此都不具恆久的價值。海瑞對此一商業世界的信心因此崩潰。第二章運用麥魯恩(Marshall McLuhan)、布希亞、詹明信(Fredric Jameson)與德波(Guy Debord)的文化理論,探討科技媒體文化的現象。海瑞現在生活在一個「景像」(spectacle) 的社會,此一社會充斥無深度(depthless)、無指涉(non-referential)的文化。此外,「擬像」(simulation)的過程也漸漸侵入海瑞生活中的各層面。海瑞可說是活在一個超真實(hyperreal)的社會,他理解現實的能力不再。第三章探討海瑞個人所面臨之困境。他體驗自身肉體的變形(metamorphosis),由性愛之軀逐漸衰頹而成為一死亡之軀。在此過程中,他喪失以往用以界定自身主體性的特質,如活力、陽剛氣與性愛能力。此外,他先前對國家本質、國家認同、歷史及性別的刻板看法亦開始產生變化。在結論中,我試圖提出個人對整部小說的看法。厄卜代克讓筆下的主角活在這麼一個崩解的世界是為了讓主角面臨生命中最大之困境,好讓他產生一種類似存在主義所謂的自覺意識(self-consciousness)。在任何形式的超越(transcendence)皆不易覓得的後現代社會,自覺是人類維持一點點自尊的方式之一。

This thesis puts forward the argument that John Updike depicts a dissolving (postmodern) in Rabbit at Rest. This dissolving world is examined from several angles. This thesis does not claim a unitary approach. Its approach is fairly eclectic, drawing upon concepts developed by Baudrillard, Debord, Jameson, and McLuhan to assist with the analysis.
The first chapter, drawing on Baudrillard’s consumption theories, examines some aspects associated with consumer culture. In the midst of consumer culture, Harry has a growing sense of solitude because he feels alienated from the material world and other human beings. What he has cherished in life are perhaps mere fads created by the capitalist system. In such a society, everything--the body, affection, human relations, values, and religion--tends to be commodified. Since they are commodified, they are susceptible to time. Harry’s faith in consumerism is shattered overnight.
The second chapter explores the predominance of technology/media culture. Harry is now living in society of the spectacle, which is also characterized by a new form of depthless culture. Besides, a process of simulation has permeated every aspect of Harry’s existence. Harry is living in a hyperreal world, and his apprehension of reality crumbles.
The third chapter draws on the Kafkaesque metaphor to assist with the investigation into Harry’s predicament. Harry undergoes a metamorphosis of his body from Eros to Thanatos. During the transformative process, he loses some of his self-affirming features. His vitality, masculinity, and personal identity dissolve. His previous notions of national identity and American history are also tottering.
The whole thesis ends in Conclusion with a brief reflection on Harry's final reconciliation with the world.

Introduction 1
Chapter One: Amidst the Sea of Objects 12
Chapter Two: Amidst the Land of Mirage 34
Chapter Three: Being Alone in the Volatile World 56
Conclusion 76
Works Cited 81

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