Characteristics of Abjection in First Love, Last Rites

Danyang ZHU, Rongying ZHENG

Abstract


First Love, Last Rites was one of the greatest works of English writer Ian McEwan, which leaded him to fame. The book was based on eight short-stories from eight teenagers’ or youth’s point of views. Among those stories, the men suffered from different dilemmas of sexual states, in which horror, violence, death, cruelty, absurdity, mildness and sadness were mixed and interwoven. Applying Julia Kristeva’ s theory of abjection, the eight heroes in the book acted different unusual sexual behaviors because of abjection towards somebody or something in life. In the meantime,the readers could also introspect their status and identities through the stories. Thus, extreme as the plots in this novel, it is true that the mental state of abjection and disorientation still tortures people nowadays. Through this work, the readers may reflect on the life they are experiencing and build up their own self -identity.

 


Keywords


Abjection; self-identity; Psychical analysis; Alienation

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References


Adams, M. J., & Ian Mc Ewan. (1986). Postmodern fiction: A bio- bibliographic guide (L. McCaffery, Ed., p.459). New York: Greenwood Press.

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Kristeva, J. (1982). Powers of horror: An essay on abjection. New York: Columbia University Press.

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McEwan , I. (2013). First love, last rites. Shanghai: Shanghai Translation Publishing House.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11871

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