||Hiromi Goto’s poem “The Body Politic,” and novels Chorus of Mushrooms and The Water of Possibility, concerning how Japanese immigrants go through identity construction and find their positions in Canadian multi-ethnical society, have been widely discussed from the perspectives of politics, cultural differences and cultural recognitions. This thesis starts from these perspectives to examine these three literary works and their relationships to Goto’s writing about the body and creating identity. In the three literary works, all of the central characters have their own personal issues, confusion and passion as they try to locate themselves in a new world. However, I want to elaborate that through writing Goto uncovers the marginalized body and gives voice to the silent. Under her pen, the central characters in her works all undergo the process of rethinking their ways of responding to the outside world. Eventually they generate possible changes and transforms into the better selves, which find comfort in Canadian society. |
In Chapter One, I analyze Goto’s poem “The Body Politic” as a poetical and polemical intervention into the English-dominated discourse and expound how Judith Butler’s theory of performativity and Gilles Deleuze’s becoming theory fit into dealing with the idea of body as a performance and as an in-between state generating the power of becoming. Based on a discussion of Goto’s “The Body Politic” and the body’s performativity and possibility, textual analyses will follow up to examine Goto’s other works in Chapter Two and Chapter Three. In Chapter Two, Goto’s novel Chorus of Mushrooms will be examined through the lens of Butler’s body theory through performativity. The central characters in the novel, three women representing respectively the three generations of a Japanese immigrant family, seek to find their positions through performing their bodies into Canadian society. Their reactions toward the monotonous cultural discourse push them to act, and further subvert the cultural norms and social fixations. In Chapter Three, Goto’s children’s novel The Water of Possibility will be explored through Deleuze’s becoming theory. A journey traveling in between the magical land and the real world turns out to be a journey to discover the inner self as well as to inspire infinite possibilities toward Canadian writing.