A literary gerontology : the self-imposition of narratives and the individual negotiation of the aging process.
Tung, Colin Zhi Shing.
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
There is a dominating discourse on the eroding effects of time and aging on identity that, in the process, dehumanises the elderly. I seek to show how this erosion takes place in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, John Banville’s The Infinities, and Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall. This thesis also has an interest in the representation of the past or, more specifically, the memory or recollection of the past through the characters of the aforementioned texts. I seek to show that Banville’s main characters (in this case, the senior Adam Godley in The Infinities) are not the only ones who perpetuate this inclination, but also Cunningham’s Peter Harris and Fitzgerald’s Benjamin Button. Simultaneously, I conclude that these interventions in the narrative of aging complicate the alignment of age with historical or chronological time and suggest that human identity is not a linear development.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University