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Journal|[J]Theory and Practice in Language Studies (TPLS)Volume 10, Issue 8. 2020. PP 977-981
Space and Politics of Identity in “Eli, the Fanatic”
Author: Tianyu Chen
摘要 / Abstract
In Philip Roth’s short story “Eli, the Fanatic”, the construction of Eli’s cultural identity is interwoven with the game of space. Space not only represents the change of Eli’s cultural identity, but also participates in its constitution as dynamics. Eli, representing the Americanized Jews of Woodenton, tried to marginalize the Jewish culture through isolating and encoding the physical space where the displaced persons temporarily dwelt. Shuttling between Woodenton and the Yeshivah, Eli was caught between American culture and Jewish culture. He was trapped into a liminal space full of cultural collision, which caused him to reconsider his location of culture. The implosion of liminal space triggered by Eli’s ambivalence about two cultures urged him to conduct spatial practice on his body, which indicated his embrace of Jewish identity. The fluidity of Eli’s cultural identity reflects Roth’s nonessential thought on cultural identity.
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