Stories and Dreams, Memories and Secrets: Functions of Narration in Amy Tan's The Hundred Secret Senses
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The aim of this dissertation is to explore the functions of narration in Amy Tan’s novel The Hundred Secret Senses. The dissertation is divided into three parts: 1 ‘Introduction’, 2 ‘Analysis’ and 3 ‘Conclusion’.
After presenting the writings of Amy Tan and my chosen primary literature, I give a brief survey of terms, theories and previous research.
Part 2 ‘Analysis’ is presented in an order that corresponds approximately to the chronology of the primary literature, and will be divided into three chapters: 2.1 ‘Explain, Build a Relationship and Reflect’, 2.2 ‘Influence Thinking and Behaviour’ and 2.3 ‘Remember, Unify and Transmit’.
Chapter 2.1 has the first half of the novel as its main focus. It is organised mainly after the clarity of the narrator’s voice, i.e. if the narrator shows (e.g. ‘indirect explanation’) or tells (e.g. ‘explicit explanation’), and analyses how narration functions in order to ‘explain’, ‘build a relationship’ and ‘reflect’ on events and other things.
Chapter 2.2 elaborates on the narration that takes place before and after the trip to China, an event that divides the novel into two halves. This chapter deals with the function of ‘influence’, which can be seen as a result of the narrator’s authority and is summarised in the section called ‘Steps of Influence’.
Chapter 2.3 delves into the functions of narration most visible in the novel’s second half, which takes place in China. The functions of ‘remembrance’, ‘unification’ and ‘transmission’ have many sub-functions in common, which could perhaps be seen as a result of the blurred perspectives in the novel’s plot.
Part 3 aims to summarise the results of the analysis. A theme that recurs through the analysis of functions is the relationship and balance of authority between the two characters/narrators. Sometimes a narrator’s authority, or a shift in this balance, is a prerequisite of a function of narration.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 81 p.
narration, function, narrating, narrator, story, narrative, authority, sisterhood, narratology, narrative theory, cultural studies, magical realism, post-colonialism
berättande, funktion, berättare, berättelse, auktoritet, systerskap, narratologi, narrativ teori, etnologi, folklore, magisk realism, postkolonialism
General Literature Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100455OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-100455DiVA: diva2:693502
2013-11-04, Institutionen för litteraturvetenskap och idéhistoria, rum 326, Frescativägen 24 E, Stockholm, 16:00 (Swedish)