24 Kasım 2013 Pazar

Intertextuality in Fowles' The Collector

     The Collector of John Fowles who is generally attributed as a Post-Modernist writer was published in 1963. While writing to book, Fowles was inspired from a real story of Bartok’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle with a contemporary newspaper report. He says in Woodcock (1984; 27) that: “ a boy who captured a girl and imprisoned her in an air-raid shelter at the end of his gar- den ... there were many peculiar features about this case that fascinated me.” In the novel some characteristics of Post-Modernist Literature is used such as intertextuality . Shakespeare's play The Tempest, The Old Man of The Sea in story of Sinbad the Sailor from One Thousand and One Nights, Jane Austen's novel Emma are some of the most significant literary works which are mentioned in The Collector.
     The first inter-text in The Collector is Shakespeare's play The Tempest, which is obvious through the Miranda' s and Fredrick Clegg' s names. Firstly, Miranda is the daughter of the Prospero in The Tempest. She is stucked in an island, because his father is exiled from Milan where he was a duke in the play. Similarly, Miranda in The Collector is abducted by the anti-hero of the novel and stucked in a cellar. The lowering standards of being in an island is not so different than being kept in a cellar. They both are isolated from the civilization where they are supposed to belong because of their gender. While Miranda in The Tempest reaches to happiness and gets married to man she loves, Miranda in The Collector dies because of malaria without seeing the light which she looks forward to from these quotations: “ The thing I miss most is fresh light. I can’t live without light.” and “ I could see daylight through a keyhole.” Secondly, the name of anti-hero Fredrick Clegg is also an inter-text to the Shakespeare's play since the first name of Fredrick Clegg is Ferdinand, who gets married to Miranda in The Tempest ,and Clegg hopes to make Miranda falls in love with him. In the novel it is seen in this quotation:
What’s your name?” she said. Clegg, I answered.“Your first name?” Ferdinand. However, unlike Ferdinand, Clegg never achieves his aim. Furthermore, after he reads Miranda's diary and learns what actually she thinks about him and hates her.
     In addition to his first name, Clegg is called Caliban in Miranda's diary, which creates another inter-text to The Tempest. Prospero tries to teach Caliban religion and language, but after Caliban tries to rape Miranda, he is treated like a monster. In The Collector, Clegg is tried to be educated by Miranda. She tries to increase his humanity and intellectuality.“You have money - as a matter of fact, you aren’t stupid, you could become whatever you liked. Only you’ve got to shake off the past. You’ve got to kill your aunt and the house you lived in and the people you lived with. You’ve got to be a new human being.” He is given a book which he stops reading. He also uses bad English which can be easily understood when his writing and Miranda's diary are compared. Clegg doesn't rape Miranda while Caliban in The Tempest tries it. However, he is still called as Caliban because of his narrow-mind, and psychological disorder by Miranda.
     Lastly, G.P whom Miranda loves in the novel can be linked with Prospero in The Tempest . They both are not young characters. Prospero has a daughter and lives in an island for years. G.P is earns his own money and he is elder than Miranda. Both of the characters are well-respected. Miranda praises G.P' s ideas about the collectors in the novel. “ G.P. saying that collectors were the worst animals of all. He meant art collectors, of course. But of course, he is right.” Prospero is the play's protagonist and he is a moral man. He admits to stop spell after he takes what he deserves and gives lesson to everyone. G.P 's name might also refer to Prospero as Great Prospero because sorcerers are generally called as great.
The second inter-text in The Collector is Jane Austen' s Emma. The heroin of Austen's novel is described as “handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition.” Miranda thinks herself like Emma and states her admiration that a few time in the novel. “I am Emma Woodhouse. I feel for her, of her and in her. I have a different sort of snobbism, but I understand her snobbism.” In this quotation, Miranda feels an instant connection between her and Emma because sometimes she looks down on Clegg who doesn't understand neither art nor literature like Emma's behaviors to lower class people. Miranda also tries to justify Emma's wrongs, which shows how she feels close herself to Emma.
I know she does wrong things, she tries to organize other people’s live.Creative, determined to set the highest standards. A real human being. Her faults are my faults: her virtues I must make my virtues.” After finishing to book, Miranda matches the people in her life to the characters in the novel Emma. “Emma. The busi- ness of being between inexperienced girl and experienced woman and the awful problem of the man. Caliban is Mr Elton. Piers is Frank Churchill. But is G.P. Mr Knightley?”
     Finally, the third inter-text in the novel is to the story of Sinbad the Sailor and One Thousand and One Nights. In one of Sinbad's quest he is captured by Old Man of the Sea and makes him drunk to kill him. Miranda thinks Clegg is like Old Man of the Sea because he doesn't let her go. “I know what you are. You’re the Old Man of the Sea. The horrid old man Sinbad had to carry on his back. That’s what you are. You get on the back of everything vital, everything trying to be honest and free, and you bear it down.”

     To sum up, Fowles uses interxtuality in The Collector thanks to The Tempest, Sinbad the Sailor and Emma, which can be seen in the examples that I mentioned. 

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