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研究生:陳安純
研究生(外文):An-Chun Chen
論文名稱:留人活路:史坦貝克藉由揭發社會不公對抗社會達爾文主義
論文名稱(外文):Live and Let Live: How Steinbeck Counters Social Darwinism by Exposing Social Injustice
指導教授:柯克柯克引用關係
指導教授(外文):Rufus Cook
學位類別:博士
校院名稱:國立成功大學
系所名稱:外國語文學系碩博士班
學門:人文學門
學類:外國語文學類
論文種類:學術論文
論文出版年:2007
畢業學年度:95
語文別:英文
論文頁數:208
中文關鍵詞:社會正義適者生存物競天擇社會達爾文主義經濟大蕭條利他主義共產主義
外文關鍵詞:isismGreat DepressioncommunismaltruismSocial Darwinismsocial justicesurvival of the fittestnatural selection
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一九六二年諾貝爾文學獎得主約翰.史坦貝克(John Steinbeck)以小說為社會弱勢族群發聲,將加州南部飽受社會誤解排斥,貧窮卻樂天知命的擺薩諾人(paisanos),經濟大蕭條時期美國中西部農業州往加州遷徙的三十萬貧農遭受排擠歧視,掙扎求生的慘況,二次大戰期間受納粹侵略的歐洲各國人民的心聲,以及墨西哥革命前後,獨裁者由美帝撐腰、勾結權貴、謀奪印第安農民土地的血淚史,於書中一一描繪。
社會達爾文主義(Social Darwinism)的禍害罄竹難書,它為許多人纇歷史上的悲劇做註腳,其中最極端的例子莫過於納粹對猶太人的殘酷迫害。其他如階級鬥爭、貧富差距、種族歧視、帝國主義,凡此種種人類社會弱肉強食的殘酷現實,背後均有社會達爾文主義的影子。歷史不斷重演,社會達爾文主義並未隨著歷史傷痛的被淡忘而消失,它仍在世界各地以各種面貌和名目肆虐猖狂。
本文檢視史坦貝克七部作品,並依其寫作階段區分為三個時期,其間史坦貝克流露對社會人性的關懷,控訴一昧強調「物競天擇,適者生存」社會的自私冷漠。由第一時期的擺薩諾小說(Tortilla Flat, Cannery Row),到第二時期的勞工三部曲(Of Mice and Men, In Dubious Battle, The Grapes of Wrath),再到第三時期的世界小說(The Moon Is Down, Zapata),其視野與涵蓋層面如漣漪般不斷擴大。傅柯(Foucault)對法律為社會精英族群所操控,並以其為手段壓榨經濟社會弱勢族群有深刻的論述。班雅明(Benjamin)對统治階級以規範來包裝暴力本質,以控制中低階層人民也有相當著墨。對於社會達爾文主義掌控整個社會,甚至整個世界的政治經濟面,對生存競爭中「不適者」(the less fit)加以利用、欺凌、毫不留情的情況,史坦貝克在《美國和美國人》一書中表示深受困擾。受到社會達爾文主義調控的美國社會完全受資本家宰制,「美國夢」(American Dream)也成為遙不可及的幻想。
人性之自私和貪婪不啻為社會達爾文主義的溫床,但為貪私利不顧他人死活的做法,無疑是自堀墳墓,逼迫不適者為生存而反抗,反而加速本身的滅亡。史坦貝克倡議以不自私的利他主義(altruism)及相互合作(communal work)來對抗社會達爾文主義的狂流,而這樣一個充滿平和的公義社會,正是柏拉圖理想中烏托邦(Utopia)的寫照。
John Steinbeck wrote on behalf of the socially ignored, underprivileged and oppressed. In America and the Americans, Steinbeck openly stated that he was “deeply unhappy with the heavily promoted ideology of Social Darwinism”(AA 66). Although he did not openly and directly attack Social Darwinism, he stood firmly against it with his voice of “otherness,” whether he was writing about the Hispanic descendants’ dilemma in the conflicting cultural contexts, the peon-class migrating farmers in his own homeland during the Great Depression or about the suffering of the conquered and colonized people beyond the national borders during WWII and in Mexico.
Notoriously, Social Darwinism is among the forces most often cited as underpinning Nazi policies on war, eugenics and race. Elsewhere, class conflicts, discrepancies in wealth distribution, imperialism, and many other actions “the stronger and the more powerful” take against “the weaker and poorer” are put forward as the inevitable, unavoidable law of natural selection. Steinbeck documented the struggle of the least fit in a world dominated by the fittest.
Exactly how Steinbeck’s works expose and oppose is the focal point of this dissertation. In this paper, seven major works of Steinbeck’s are examined to see how the theme of countering Social Darwinism as a means of exposing social injustice has been laid as the fundamental basis of the writer’s perspective of the world. Social Darwinism is by no means dead, for vestige of it can be found everywhere in the present. Reading Steinbeck thus gives us a broader perspective in analyzing the environment we find ourselves in. Half a century later, the solutions he proposes for a better world against Social Darwinism: altruism and communal work are still practical and significant. A world of social justice, which is established by altruism and communal work, fits the definition of Plato’s Utopia perfectly.
Chapter I Introduction: Social Darwinism and Social Injustice ……… 1

Chapter II Steinbeck and Social Injustice in His Novels ……………… 14

Chapter III Countering Social Darwinism: Steinbeck’s Celebration of
the Paisanos …………………………………………………… 73

Chapter IV Confronting Capitalism: Anti-Social Darwinism Taken to the
Extreme in the Work Trilogy ………………………………….. 97

Chapter V Beyond American Borders: Social Darwinism in Zapata and
The Moon Is Down …………………………………………… 140

Chapter VI Conclusion: Altruism and Communal Work ………………… 184
Notes …………………………………………………………………………… 199

Works Cited …………………………………………………………………… 201
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