Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2020 Hannah E Orrahood
Initially, Charles Brockden Brown’s Edgar Huntly and Guy de Maupassant’s Le Horla appear to be rather unrelated texts. However, they have much in common. Both Maupassant and Brown use the threat of the Other as a source of fear and horror in their stories. In the end of both, the narrators realize that the threat of the Other cannot be escaped and that their associations of the Other include characteristics that are present in both their society and themselves. After taking into consideration the connection that both stories make between the Other and the foreigner, it becomes clear that there is an underlying message that deconstructs the notion of xenophobia that served as a basis for the stories’ definitions of the Other. What is most interesting about this conclusion is the fact that it comes from two books that differ in temporality, language, continents, and historical and cultural influences. This suggests that Maupassant and Brown were not picking up on a common literary trend, but perhaps something that is more intrinsic to the human condition. These ideas are expressed in everyday culture and society, but they also find their way into literature, immortalizing the notions of the historical moment. Xenophobia is something that has persisted across time and across oceans. It is a manifestation of the universal human fear of the unknown. However, it is my hope that my rereading of these two stories will help to deconstruct the idea of the foreign Other within the context of national identity.
Orrahood, Hannah, "National Identity and Deconstructing the Foreign Other in Charles Brockden Brown's Edgar Huntly and Guy de Maupassant's Le Horla" (2020). Scripps Senior Theses. 1569.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.