Representations of the other in selected works of Joseph Conrad

Osei-Bonsu, Victoria Amma Agyeiwaah. Representations of the other in selected works of Joseph Conrad. 2018, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_12727

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This thesis examines how Otherness/ alterity is represented in Joseph Conrad’s writing through an exploration of a selection of three of his works, namely The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’, Lord Jim, and Under Western Eyes. Drawing on notions of alterity and the Other as espoused in postcolonial discourse (which is subsumed under poststructuralism and postmodernism), it sets out to demonstrate that, in his writing, Joseph Conrad deploys of a formulaic technique of Othering that could be traced, to a greater of lesser degree, across all his writing.
It proceeds from the premise that Conrad’s writing engages with an abiding concern with the individual’s construction of an identity in relation to his society. From this perspective, it investigates issues of race and culture as they relate to identity within the contested terrain of social space. Drawing on theories of identity and representation propounded by Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, and Stuart Hall, and reading these in tandem with Edward Soja’s theories of space and place, this study proposes an identification of Otherness through an examination of intra-colonial relations and/or encounters that help to reveal how the Othered characters are constructed within the structures of their own social systems.
In addition to demonstrating how the Other is revealed through the selected texts, this study also yields insights into the possibility of perceiving the Other through a ‘thirdsight’ perspective. Having developed this concept of ‘thirdsight’, I theorise it as a possibility of perception triangulated through the various narrative perspectives that are presented, either subtly or overtly, in the texts. Through thirdsight, it then becomes possible for the reader to arrive at alternative and plausible meanings that sustain my overall argument that Conrad demonstrates an abiding interest in representing varying forms of Otherness in his writing.
Advisors:Schweighauser, Philipp and Steffen, Therese
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Amerikanistik (Schweighauser)
UniBasel Contributors:Schweighauser, Philipp and Steffen, Therese
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:12727
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (IV, 182 Seiten)
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Last Modified:28 Sep 2018 04:30
Deposited On:27 Sep 2018 08:20

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