Hospitality, nation and empire in Walter Scott’s Waverley novels.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
Full text available as:
This research is a study of the notion of hospitality in the novels of Sir Walter Scott from a postcolonial perspective. Through the analysis of various acts of hospitality in the Waverley Novels, this thesis intends to examine how the notion of hospitality is represented as one of the most significant, ancient Scottish traditions defended and performed by people who have less power in society, but is abused by those (often the ruling class) who intend to use it as a mechanism to increase their existing power. Therefore, through the analysis of power relations between various host and guest characters, this thesis attempts to demonstrate the ways in which those groups who are under the rule of hegemonic power are constructed as the subaltern, a postcolonial term derived from the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci’s usage in the Prison Notebooks. However, in contrast to the accepted view of subaltern muteness and passivity, this thesis argues that in his novels, Scott not only represents subalterns as individuals but also gives them agency to initiate action in engaging or resisting colonizing power. The subaltern groups of particular interest to this investigation include the Jacobites, the Covenanters, the Scottish Highlanders, socially-underprivileged classes, and the Orientals. This thesis ultimately seeks to demonstrate that, because of their serious concern over the underprivileged, subdued, or alienated identities in history, the Waverley Novels render Scott in this dimension a postcolonial novelist.
Actions (login required)