Reconstructing identity in Peter Carey's Jack Maggs / Susanna Isobella Viljoen
Viljoen, Susanna Isobella
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The formation of identity is closely integrated with contextual, temporal and spatial dimensions. Perceptions about personal, cultural and historical identities are created within literary spaces through authorial and literary representation. As a postcolonial writer, Carey questions modernist authors who assume that they are accurately recording reality, as well as the representation of the identities of peripheral characters and contexts found in Victorian fiction. By revisiting Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations, Carey addresses socio-historical; cultural, identity and literary issues within a postcolonial context. In his novel, Jack Maggs, he succeeds in subverting and appropriating the authorial authority and historical and narrative spaces as they are perceived to be in Victorian fiction, by the manipulation of narrative aspects and by the use of literary conventions such as intertextuality and metafiction. He also succeeds in creating alternative methods of identity formation.
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