International Journal of Science , Engineering and Management (IJSEM)

Monthly Journal for Science , Engineering and Management

Volume2,December 2017,

Topic : A new historicist study of Jack London‘s novella 'The Red One‘ and Solomon Islands Tribes and Traditions

Authors:S. Malathi || S.S.Jansi Rani

Abstract:This paper reviews the novella, ‘The Red One’ written by Jack London (1916), in a new historicist perspective. The novella is set in Guadalcanal of Solomon Islands. New historicist practice selects an anecdote. The anecdote is the microcosmic image of the power relations which the critic seeks to elaborate in relation to the main text of discussion. A paragraph from a letter written by a missionary to prospective funders for the church is selected as the anecdote. The anecdote reveals the preconceived ideas of a European visiting the islands for the first time. The description is compared with anthropological studies on the tribes and traditions of the islanders. The traditions of the islanders are viewed from a colonial perspective in the anecdote. Expressions for fear of forest, savages hiding in it for the opportunity to kill and eat the missionaries are analyzed. The novella and the anecdote share the same ideology. Descriptions of practices of the islanders like the head-hunting, cannibalism, mortal fear of the forest, deep-seated covetousness of the protagonists in both narratives are discussed. What emerges is the manifest colonial discourse that seeks to usurp the land, enslave the people to sustain its economy. The power relations between the colonials and the natives are established. Historical accounts of blackbirding or capturing people by force for indentureship, missionary correspondence, legal documents, and letters are used to explore the ideology and social texts of colonialism. The flexibility of new historicist methodology, which does not prescribe a canonical standard for research, is used effectively. Illustrations of the islanders and their artifacts and missionaries are included..

Keywords: new historicism, anecdote, blackbirding, head-hunting, relations of power

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DOI: 01.1617/vol4/iss12/pid48527


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Dr.Muhammad Ishtiaq,
Mirpur University of
Science & Technology,
Mirpur, Azad Kasmir.

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IMPACT FACTOR: 2.7

ISSN(Online): 2456-1304

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Thomson Reuters ID : q-6288-2016.
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Journal Code : IJSEM
Electronic ISSN : 2456-1304
Impact Factor : 2.7
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