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KCI등재 학술저널

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프랭크 노리스의 『맥티그』

Issuing a sharp rebuke to Howellsian genteel realism for staying tethered to the bland and tedious bourgeois life, Frank Norris famously insists that American novelists should engage with the “vast terrible drama” of the lower-class, For Norris, attention to the lower-class better captures a vast spectrum of human emotions, thereby enabling us to see the true core of life. The critics of American naturalism, however, have rarely answered Norris’s call to examine emotion, especially in his most well-known work McTeague. This essay aims to explore the class dynamics of envy, an emotion which has not been welcomed historically. Envy in McTeague, I argue, bespeaks the Utopian desire to transgress class barriers and grab a better life, away from the crisis-ridden present. Envy further demonstrates that the lower-class people are not psychologically simple, passive or inferior, and that for them the desire for social esteem and recognition is just as strong as the demand for economic well-being.

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