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    Title: On Fred Faulk in The Night of the Iguana
    Authors: 王緒鼎
    Keywords: The Night of the Iguana, Fred Faulk, Chinese Taoist culture, influence, comparative studies
    Date: 2015/12/05
    Issue Date: 2016-04-27 11:16:48 (UTC+8)
    Abstract: This paper explores the Chinese cultural influence on the character of Fred Faulk in The Night of the Iguana with a comparative approach. Tennessee Williams’s creation of Fred Faulk is influenced by Chinese culture in general and by Taoism in particular, and in the play, Williams establishes the Chinese influence on Fred in three ways. First, Fred can be directly influenced by his Chinese cook’s philosophy “Mei you guanchi,” no sweat. Second, Fred’s personality is strikingly similar to that of Hannah Jelkes who has obviously acquired Chinese philosophy; therefore, it can be Williams’s dramatic strategy to create Fred to foreshadow Hannah whose Chinese influence is metaphorically reflected back to Fred. Third, Fred’s own life style perfectly mirrors that of a Taoist sage hermit, such as Jiang Taigong or Chuang Tzu. Theoretically the paper analyzes Fred’s personality with concepts of parallelism favored by American comparatists in comparative literature. Although Fred Faulk is an absent character, he is a symbolic figure that is an organic part of Williams’s Oriental theme of the play, which has never been studied yet. The importance of Fred becomes clear through in-depth analysis of his personality and comparison between him and the main characters in the play. As a character in absentia, it is not surprising that no critic, whosoever, has paid any attention to him, let alone the Chinese cultural influence on him. Yet Williams has attributed to Fred a unique life style not only positively comparable to that of Hannah, but also sharply contrasting to those of his wife Maxine and his friend the Reverent T. Lawrence Shannon. In other words, Fred’s attitudes toward life and death are positively compared and strikingly contrasted to those of other characters, especially Shannon. If Shannon’s life style reflects “the Western preoccupations with guilt and suffering,” Fred’s way of life like that of Hannah’s mirrors “the Eastern attitudes of stoicism and fatalism [which] are offered as a positive alternative to the Western” ones, as Glenn Embrey remarks.
    Relation: International Symposium on Crossing the Boundaries in Drama/Theatre Studies Abstracts
    Appears in Collections:[英文學系暨研究所] 會議論文

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