Presentation Title

The Mediation of Double Consciousness in the Orphan Picaro Figure

Location

Guzman 113

Start Date

4-19-2018 6:20 PM

End Date

4-19-2018 6:35 PM

Department

Literature and Languages

Student Type

Adult Degree Completion

Faculty Mentor

Amy Wong, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

This senior thesis project explores the prevalence of the orphan figure in literature, from the rise of the novel in Europe to contemporary, cross-cultural representations that demonstrate its vast and enduring appeal.

Much of this appeal emanates from the figure’s prominent foregrounding in the European picaresque novel, which established its close relationship with the picaro figure. The early picaresque novels of sixteenth-century Spain recognized the effective correlation between the orphan figure, a marginalized and alienated outsider, and the need for a protagonist who was external to societal and cultural boundaries. Thus, the figure became emblematic of historical periods in which societal boundaries are diminished and a stronger sense of the individual emerges.

The orphan figure’s subjectivity is a window into an othering of self and the experience of mediating that which is considered alien by a particular culture or historical period. As a figure of duality, it possesses the freedom to explore beyond ordinary boundaries. This double consciousness, however, endures an integrative process to synthesize its expanded horizons into a meaningful whole, a process which sustains its appeal to authors as diverse as Charles Dickens and Leslie Marmon Silko.

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Apr 19th, 6:20 PM Apr 19th, 6:35 PM

The Mediation of Double Consciousness in the Orphan Picaro Figure

Guzman 113

This senior thesis project explores the prevalence of the orphan figure in literature, from the rise of the novel in Europe to contemporary, cross-cultural representations that demonstrate its vast and enduring appeal.

Much of this appeal emanates from the figure’s prominent foregrounding in the European picaresque novel, which established its close relationship with the picaro figure. The early picaresque novels of sixteenth-century Spain recognized the effective correlation between the orphan figure, a marginalized and alienated outsider, and the need for a protagonist who was external to societal and cultural boundaries. Thus, the figure became emblematic of historical periods in which societal boundaries are diminished and a stronger sense of the individual emerges.

The orphan figure’s subjectivity is a window into an othering of self and the experience of mediating that which is considered alien by a particular culture or historical period. As a figure of duality, it possesses the freedom to explore beyond ordinary boundaries. This double consciousness, however, endures an integrative process to synthesize its expanded horizons into a meaningful whole, a process which sustains its appeal to authors as diverse as Charles Dickens and Leslie Marmon Silko.