Type of Submission

Podium Presentation

Keywords

Postcolonialism, unhomeliness, Evelyn Waugh

Abstract

In the short story “The Man Who Liked Dickens,” Evelyn Waugh describes a cultural collision deep in the jungles of Brazil. The story’s narrative centers around two men, one of whom is an Englishman taking what he believes to be a temporary exploratory expedition to Brazil. The other, Mr. McMaster, is a half-Brazilian, half-white landowner who loves the Dickens books he cannot read for himself. Henty, the Englishman, leaves home to escape his wife, who loves another man, and goes on an ill-fated mission to explore the unmapped regions of Brazil. Along the way, he loses his companions and ends up sick and alone in a jungle surrounded by natives with whom he cannot communicate. Mr. McMaster however, is an exception because he speaks English and is drawn to Henty because he too speaks English. He nurses Henty back to health and, as payment, asks him to read aloud every day from one of his Dickens novels. Through the character of McMaster, Waugh demonstrates how unhomeliness, resulting from cultural colonization and mimicry, can cause desperation and loneliness when the colonized are alienated from both the colonized and colonizing groups.

Campus Venue

Stevens Student Center, Room 240

Location

Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-1-2015 2:45 PM

End Date

4-1-2015 3:00 PM

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

 
Apr 1st, 2:45 PM Apr 1st, 3:00 PM

English in the Amazon: Unhomeliness in Evelyn Waugh’s “The Man Who Liked Dickens”

Cedarville, OH

In the short story “The Man Who Liked Dickens,” Evelyn Waugh describes a cultural collision deep in the jungles of Brazil. The story’s narrative centers around two men, one of whom is an Englishman taking what he believes to be a temporary exploratory expedition to Brazil. The other, Mr. McMaster, is a half-Brazilian, half-white landowner who loves the Dickens books he cannot read for himself. Henty, the Englishman, leaves home to escape his wife, who loves another man, and goes on an ill-fated mission to explore the unmapped regions of Brazil. Along the way, he loses his companions and ends up sick and alone in a jungle surrounded by natives with whom he cannot communicate. Mr. McMaster however, is an exception because he speaks English and is drawn to Henty because he too speaks English. He nurses Henty back to health and, as payment, asks him to read aloud every day from one of his Dickens novels. Through the character of McMaster, Waugh demonstrates how unhomeliness, resulting from cultural colonization and mimicry, can cause desperation and loneliness when the colonized are alienated from both the colonized and colonizing groups.

 

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