IJLLL 2015 Vol.1(3): 222-227 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2015.1.3.43

Penetrating the Mist of Horror in Post-9/11 Era: A Study of Narrative Violence in Tree of Smoke (2007)

Shao Bingqing and Liu Xiao
Abstract—Continuing trauma writing and anti-war topics of previous Vietnam War literature, Tree of Smoke (2007), the winner of 2007 American National Book Award, is affected by the trend of violence presentation in post-9/11 era and keeps a watchful eye on militarism of U.S. empire in the fall Saigon, a place surrounded by horror. The novel differs itself from traditional Vietnam War novels in that it addresses more about violence outside the battleground in forms of language, religion, even consumer goods, rather than massacre, slaughter and killing on the battleground, underlying a more subtle form of violence manipulated by U.S. Empire. This thesis is going to employ Žižek’s violence theory and dedicated to revealing the mechanism of how imperial language motivates the expansionist doctrine to justify imperial activities, unmasking the logic of exceptionalism through detailed analyses of symbolic violence, employing various narrative techniques.

Index Terms—Symbolic violence, tree of smoke, violence narrative, exceptionalism, imperialism.

The authors are with National University of Defense Technology, China (e-mail: shaobingqing@vip.sina.com, liuxiao3333@163.com).

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Cite:Shao Bingqing and Liu Xiao, "Penetrating the Mist of Horror in Post-9/11 Era: A Study of Narrative Violence in Tree of Smoke (2007)," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 222-227, 2015.

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