Joseph Conrad’s ‘The Lagoon’ in the Light of Homi Bhabha’s the Uncanny


Doğan B.

“Wine in Old and New Bottles’: Critical Paradigms for Joseph Conrad, “Conrad: Eastern and Western Perspectives, Krajka Wieslaw, Editör, Columbia University Press, Lublin, ss.219-237, 2013

  • Basım Tarihi: 2013
  • Yayınevi: Columbia University Press
  • Basıldığı Şehir: Lublin
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.219-237
  • Editörler: Krajka Wieslaw, Editör

Özet

In “The Lagoon,” as Said observes, Arsat’s reflection upon his past tries to illuminate what has been so uncomfortably mysterious to him (89). From Bhabha’s viewpoint, Arsat’s odyssey can best be explained with the help of the terms unhomely and/or uncanny. For Bhabha, to be unhomed does not necessarily mean to be literally homeless; on the contrary, the unhomely or uncanny moment can take over you at any moment stealthily. Although Arsat physically has home, he feels unhomed being exiled from his familiar surroundings after he betrays his own brother and his Malayan fellows. He finds himself dominated by this uncanny feeling. Seeing himself in the eyes of Arsat, who has acted like a colonizer, Tuan, too, notices his uncanny double in this Malayan man. According to George Panichas, Conrad’s works “explore and make known what takes place when the physical and metaphysical regions of intellect and emotion intersect and interconnect” (viii). Both Arsat and Tuan have faced the unhomely moment seeing their uncanny doubles in each other. In the end, it becomes evident that the boundaries of the notions of colonizer and colonized have been blurred uncannily in “The Lagoon.”

In “The Lagoon,” as Said observes, Arsat’s reflection upon his past tries to illuminate what has been so uncomfortably mysterious to him (89). From Bhabha’s viewpoint, Arsat’s odyssey can best be explained with the help of the terms unhomely and/or uncanny. For Bhabha, to be unhomed does not necessarily mean to be literally homeless; on the contrary, the unhomely or uncanny moment can take over you at any moment stealthily. Although Arsat physically has home, he feels unhomed being exiled from his familiar surroundings after he betrays his own brother and his Malayan fellows. He finds himself dominated by this uncanny feeling. Seeing himself in the eyes of Arsat, who has acted like a colonizer, Tuan, too, notices his uncanny double in this Malayan man. According to George Panichas, Conrad’s works “explore and make known what takes place when the physical and metaphysical regions of intellect and emotion intersect and interconnect” (viii). Both Arsat and Tuan have faced the unhomely moment seeing their uncanny doubles in each other. In the end, it becomes evident that the boundaries of the notions of colonizer and colonized have been blurred uncannily in “The Lagoon.”