“Poor Lad’s Daydream” Story: Tender Is the Night and Other Novels
This paper aims to explore the traditional mode and modern edition of “Poor Lad’s Daydream” story, as well as the reasons behind its evolution. Modern edition of “Poor Lad’s Daydream” story, represented by the early 20th century American novelist Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night, turns out to be different from its classic form in folktale. First, modern edition focuses on how poor lad’s daydream becomes disillusioned, and on the various setbacks he is confronted with, rather than how the fancy dream gets realized. What’s more, in modern edition, male’s disadvantageous position in marriage market fails to be improved as the story develops, and the masculine power and authority are not further reinforced. In addition, females in modern edition break away from the embarrassing position of “the second sex” and “the other”. They take more initiative and independence, and gain more and more power in the relationship between two sexes, instead of being passive, fragile and always needing male’s protection as showed in traditional folktales. In the end, the old folktale displays male’s victory, while modern edition expresses male’s anxiety. The reason why ancient “Poor Lad’s Daydream” story has various evolution in modern narration is that female’s social status has been improved, social gender has been reconstructed, marriage concepts has developed because of the social change, and male writers become confused and anxious because of the change of male-female relationship and the change of gender roles.
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