Another London, another point of view: the use of defamiliarisation to elicit empathy in the reader for the white working-class protagonist in another London and their ‘real-world’ equivalents

Crewe, Jonathon (2019) Another London, another point of view: the use of defamiliarisation to elicit empathy in the reader for the white working-class protagonist in another London and their ‘real-world’ equivalents. New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing. ISSN 1479-0726

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Abstract

In literary fiction, white working-class characters are often represented as part of a homogenised group, complete with stereotypical behaviours and characteristics. Using Fredric Jameson’s theory of the ideologeme to identify representational tropes of white working-class characters, this article analyses the juxtaposition of free-indirect discourse and first-person narration in Another London as a defamiliarisation technique to expose the ideologemes of white working-class literary representation. It then examines how, using practice-based research methodologies, the novel attempts to elicit empathy in the reader for the protagonist - an individuated white working-class character – and by doing so challenge the reader’s assumptions about the lifestyles of members of this group. The reader’s literary experience can translate into ‘real-world’ changes in their perception of, and assumptions about, the behaviours and lifestyles of members of the white working class, thereby challenging stereotypical representations in mainstream media and politics, as well as literature.

Another London is a novel written as the creative component of a PhD Creative Writing. Set on a council estate in East London, it follows the social and psychological development of a white working-class boy into adulthood as he lives through fictionalised parallels of real-life events, which force him to confront his own ethnic and class identity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing on 13/06/2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14790726.2019.1625410.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Working-class, white, defamiliarisation, first-person, narration, empathy
Subjects: Literature > Creative writing
Literature
Depositing User: Jon Crewe
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2019 12:03
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2019 10:44
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/6159

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