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The Evolution of the Term Defamiliarization Essay

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“Defamiliarization”, “alienation effect”, “making strange”, and “denaturalization” that has hitherto concerned many thinkers, underwent so many changes throughout history. This thesis aims to study the evolution of the term defamiliarization up to the field of postmodernism, and to reveal the fact that defamiliarization in its anti-illusionistic manner has turned to be indispensable spirit of the second half of the twentieth century. The analysis of the two works written by two authors from different backgrounds, The Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and the Harmonia Nocturine by Reza Ghassemi, will support this idea.
The main issue with which literature has always been concerned is the subject of “man” and its status in the “world”. But the most critical exploration of these concepts is accomplished by emergence of postmodern fiction. This thesis first aims to explore that what changes man and the world around him have underwent and that how the developments in the realms of culture, philosophy, and aesthetics have caused these changes. In the second step, the thesis turns its focus of attention from turns and twists of the status of man in the world to study that how postmodern fiction reacts to this process and how it reveals an awareness of this process through a defamiliarization of man, world, and the relationship in between. In accordance with the topic of this thesis, for clarifying this argument that why these are the crucial concerns of postmodern fiction we pose three questions:
1. Who is the postmodern man?
2. What is the postmodern world?
3. What are the transitions of man and the world up to postmodernism, and how the relationship between the two is represented?
Since there is no definite boundary among the differ...


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...agments came to be superior to adherence to the chronological narrative. This led to the violation of the boundary between the worlds of fiction and fact that otherwise resulted in ontological indeterminacy. Both Ghassemi and Vonnegut overthrow traditional moods of writing which tended to distinguish the world of fiction from that of reality, and construct reality through a unified closed system excluded of the different. Equipped to the techniques of intertextuality, metafiction, and self-refrentiality, both writers confirmed their postmodernist ideas which reject uniformity .In Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut moves in a somehow similar path. His protagonist Billy Pilgrim is a man who doesn't "belong" to the world he has been thrown in. Billy is not a man of war so the only way that Vonnegut can help him endure sufferings and pains of war is to unstuck him in time.



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