A Study of Different Aspects of Hutcheonian Parody in Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Graduate Student of English Language and Literature, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

2 Associate Professor of English Language and Literature, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

10.34785/J014.2020.315

Abstract

The purpose of the present article is to investigate Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs (1997) within a theoretical context set by Linda Hutcheon’s definition of parody. In Hutcheon’s view, parody is a repetition with critical distance. Hucheonian parody allows the adapted work to challenge and ironically transform the form and the content of the hypotext in order not to ridicule but to create. The central questions of this research are: How does Jack Maggs employ Hutcheonian parody within the broader postmodern narrative discourse to view its source text with a critical distance? And, how does Hutcheonian parody engage Jack Maggs in contemporary social debates? In order to answer these questions, the research applies various aspects of Hutcheonian parody to Carey’s novel. The present paper demonstrates that Carey’s Jack Maggs recontextualizes Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (1860) in a new Australian setting. It also argues that the novel, which has mostly received positive responses and reactions from both literary critics and general readers, illustrates Carey’s parodic attempt to revisit one of the most renowned novels of the Victorian era. The present research contends that Jack Maggs is a critique of nineteenth-century realism and, more broadly speaking, of master narratives.

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