AN ANALYSIS OF MALAMUD’S PROSE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF BUBER’S I-YOU PHILOSOPHY
Keywords:Buber, I-It, I-You, Malamud, Love, Responsibility
This paper seeks to analyze the prose of Jewish-American writer Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) from a perspective of Martin Buber’s I-You philosophy, which aims toward a transition from I-It to I-You. The I-It connection entails a subject-to-object connection with the world, whereas I-You refers to a subject-to-subject relationship with another human being, including an animal or inanimate object. This sort of relation entails responsibility and is best manifested through love. The study sheds light on the transformation of the Malamudian hero from an egotistical individual who first treats others as merely objects to regarding them as equally important human beings. This moral evolution occurs in the mode of Buberian I-You philosophy. This transition whereby both participating entities are transformed does not occur easily because the protagonist’s past is considerably dark and he is initially distrustful of the world. This way, on his road to redemption the male character is generally encouraged and guided by the female counterpart, serving as an alter ego that reminds him of his responsibility and humanism as a human being. The analysis begins with a short introduction into Buber’s philosophical ideas, which are then illustrated through Malamud’s major works.
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