Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ideology and Literature Revisited

How literature has attempted to heal to the cultural crisis of the West. To quote:
The corrosive doctrine called multiculturalism, for example, has an ancestry traceable to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s proto-revolutionary rejection of modern European civilization and his notion of “the Noble Savage.” Herman Melville’s South-Sea novel Typee (1848) engages Rousseau keenly. Indirectly, as fiction typically does, but incisively, Typee suggests the gross inadequacy of Rousseau’s “rejectionist” argument and its accompanying “Noble Savage” theory. We may therefore say of Melville’s novel that, in addition to its fascination as a story, it has a cognitive function: in reading it we participate with Melville in careful consideration of the question, answered in the prejudicial affirmative by the author of The Social Contract, whether savagery is preferable to civilization. When Melville’s contemporary Nathaniel Hawthorne brings the psychological structure of fanaticism under scrutiny in The Blithedale Romance (1852), his narrative too is a deflationary analysis of socialism, which he regards as misplaced crusading religiosity.

1 comment:

Julygirl said...

This socio-political cum socio- religion analysis overlooks the 'sociology' of this country and that is....deluding ourselves about reality is the "American Way" and our current President is running full throttle with it. The reality of Liberal piety and Conservative piety is either ignored or unnamed by the general populace. We need to be wary of it. This country is actually more multi-farious than multi-cultural and that is how it succeeded. The Puritan settle in New England is merely a microscopic part of the colonization of this country but has been bandied about for centuries by Liberal intelleginsia as an evil influence on society. In truth this country was colonized by the dual mentalities of, (1) exploiting its natural resources for monetary gain, and,(2) the opportunity in the minds of disenfranchised "Old World' citizens to advance beyond a job and a roof over one's head. So whether we like it or not this fact created multi-culturism and it offspring, (a current dirty word to Conservatives), Diversity. But realistically we are a multi-farious nation and as mentioned above that is why we succeeded.