2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

"Bridging the Gap": The Nature of Life and Death in Jose Saramago's All the Names
Belkisa Causevic
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The separation of the living and the dead in the Central Registry of Births, Marriages, and Deaths in Jose Saramago's All the Names parallels the novel's themes of meaning and futility. The novel emphasizes the difference between the living and the dead yet insists the two are one and the same, weaving together the characteristics of the living and deceased. While the story is written about people who each have their own worth, the characters' names are never revealed and the speaker hints at how quickly they will be forgotten after their deaths. Using Jacques Derrida's principles of deconstruction, I will analyze how Saramago contrasts motifs of dehumanization with portraits of each character's individuality to reinforce yet break down the traditional dichotomy of the importance and uselessness of life.

Keywords: Jose Saramago, All the Names, Jacques Derrida, deconstruction, life, death, identity


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 110-3
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:30

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