Mikhail Bakhtin's Theory Of The Grotesque

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2.1 Introduction:
Most scholars agree that defining the grotesque is not simple, because it is connected with the conceptions of time, space and culture. Generally, it can be recognized as something that challenges an established norm and as a device for questioning the role models of perfection that are informed by patriarchal cultures. ; so it is crucial to set up the contrasts between the elements that oppose each other in the narrative, and to frame the work in question within its time, space and culture. In this regard according to the feminist scholars like Kuryluk, women who rebel against the existing power are likely to be seen as a threat. These female protagonists because of their rebellious behavior and/or their imperfect bodies,
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In Rabelais and his world, he basically traces the popularity of pop culture and its positive laughter in Rabelaisian world in the social subtext of carnival and the literary dimension of grotesque realism. In the initial stages of his study, Bakhtin traces the history of folk culture and its laughter to both before and after Rabelais’ time. Accordingly, laughter is given its due prominence during the Renaissance in the works of Rabelais as well as Shakespeare and Cervantes. Historically speaking, laughter as a main part of carnival and folk culture has its roots in the rituals of antiquity and the Orient…show more content…
As a matter of fact, the downward movement to bodily lower stratum is the backbone of all grotesque imagery, through which the high is uncrowned and unburdened. As an infernal image, it downgrades and initiates the regeneration simultaneously (Bakhtin,376). In Bakhtianian definition of the grotesque, as mentioned earlier, every death is followed by a rebirth or a new birth. This phenomenon is essentially performed in a purely physical sense, though it can be taken metaphorically as well. Bodily lower stratum is accordingly compared to the earth, of which the heights and cavities - not the opaque surface - are of interest (Bakhtin,399). Going down through an experience involving lower stratum is like a journey to the underground, to the inferno. As the hierarchical system of medieval is ignored in Rabelaisiana, the downward movement is never reversed. Rather than moving upward for a second time, it moves forward in a horizontal line instead of a vertical one (Bakhtin,401). This is, of course, related to the positive notion of grotesque conceived by Bakhtin, which clearly refers to the perpetuation of human being achieved in a communal sense rather than an individual one. It is the immortality accomplished through a totally gay process, stepping toward perfection. As Bakhtin states, ‘when life is reborn, it does not repeat itself, it is perfected’
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