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Abstract[[abstract]]法國作家福樓拜的<包法利夫人>與美國自然主義作家德瑞瑟的<嘉莉妹妹>在某種程度上非常相似。兩部小說皆反映了作者生存的時代逐漸產生的一些現象與潛在問題。在十九世紀初，由於基礎教育的擴展與便宜印刷術的發達，以商業銷售為主之言情刊物及書信體小說在歐洲市場大受歡迎。一七八九年與一八四八年的兩度革命也使得中產階級的勢力擴張。另一方面，美利堅合眾國當時正處於劇烈的社會與經濟變遷，都市化與工業化的腳步在南北戰爭以後迅速進展。人們遷移至都市，傳統的農業生活也轉變成都市的小家庭式生活型態。本論文旨在探討兩部小說中所揭示的卑劣人性和漫無目的之人類生活。 本論文分為四章，第一章介紹兩本書與有關其背景的一些大體概念。此外都市背景是很重要的一環，因為城市環境是兩部小說的共通背景，且都市生活可改變其居民的價值判斷，並進而影響其人生觀與行為表現。接下來的一章重點放在兩性關係的追求。兩本小說中的兩性關係基本上是不穩定的，但卻有不同的的原因或背景。愛瑪的閱讀羅曼史以及煽情小說，使其種下了錯誤的愛情觀念，虛幻的夢想註定使這位女主角成為一位感情受騙的女性受害者。此外，兩位男性勾引者─羅多爾夫及萊昂─，只不過是追尋享樂的動物罷了。<嘉莉妹妹>所呈現的則是現代都會生活裡的特徵，包括了不快樂的婚姻與家庭氣氛，以及短暫的金錢交易關係。小說中有女主角嘉莉和婚外情男主角賀式特戊得，從互相吸引到完全看清楚對方，使得新鮮感完全喪失，終於導致彼此厭倦的詳細心理過程。現代的男女關係似乎顯得膚淺而不易持久。 在論文的第三章裡顯示的是兩本小說裡對於名利和成功的不遺餘力追求。 <包法利夫人>中的兩個代表人物─勒樂與奧梅─在其掘取金錢和名譽成功的過程裡，展現了人性裡極其醜惡的一面。另一方面<嘉莉妹妹>則是女主角一生追求金錢和舞臺表演的過程，也是賀式特戊得從人生的最高點逐漸沒落至最終敗亡乃至一無所有的詳細記錄。成功和沒落也影響了這些角色的自我評估和心理變化。兩本小說的最後結局暗示了不同的主題。福樓拜觀察到了成功不見得屬於善良安份守己者，相對的，鑽營投機者也許更容易取得成功的果實。德瑞瑟則是指出了成功可增加一個男人對其他女性的性魅力，但是短暫的世俗成就也可能在一瞬間化為烏有。 最後一章裡，我首先說明慾望的特質─不可捉摸與永遠無法滿足，慾望驅使這些人物進行永無休止的世俗追求。接著我列舉這些追求的兩項重要本質「循環」與「無意義」。福樓拜和德瑞塞經由文字、意像和反覆情節的運用，將循環的主題傳達給讀者。在另一方面，我個人以為人際疏離是追求無意義的最主要原因。前書指出了在資產階級社會裡的無聊和無法與人溝通，後面一書中有都市疏離的人際關係和高度分工化機械制度所帶來的個人渺小感覺。透過作者的精緻寫作技巧，追求的無意義性似乎也能傳達給讀者。
[[abstract]]Madame Bovary and Sister Carrie, the two literary works respectively written by French writer Gustave Flaubert and American writer Theodore Dreiser, are similar to a certain degree. Both novels reflect some kinds of phenomena and latent problems that begin to emerge in their age. In the early nineteenth century, through the expansion of primary school education and the development of inexpensive printing technology, the sentimental books and epistolary novels for commercial purpose became popular in the European market. And the revolutions in 1789 and 1848 had strengthened the power of the bourgeois class. On the other hand, the United States was in the midst of drastic economic and social upheaval. The process of urbanization and industrialization went rapidly after the Civil War. People moved to great cities, and the agrarian life gave way to the nuclear family of the city. The aim of my thesis is to discuss the traits of debased human nature and purposeless human life shown in these two novels. This thesis is divided into four chapters. The first chapter introduces some general information concerning each book and its background. Besides, city environment is an important factor because it serves as the common background of the two novels and city life can change city people’s value of judgment and influence their philosophy of life and behavior. The following chapter focuses on the pursuits of bisexual relations. The bisexual relations in the two novels are basically unstable, but they have quite different causes or background. Emma's reading of romance and sentimental books leads her to the wrong conception of love. The false dreams doom this female protagonist to be a love-wounded woman victim. In addition, the two sexual seducers, Rodolphe and Leon, are nothing but pleasure-seeking animals. What Sister Carrie presents is the remarkable traits in modern metropolitan city life, including unhappy marriage, cold family atmosphere, and the transient economical bond. The later novel contains the detailed psychological processes of the two major characters─ Carrie and Hurstwood, respectively the female protagonist and the male participant of the extramarital affair, from their first infatuation with each other to their gradual seeing through the other’s true face, through total loss of the sense of novelty for each other, till the final boredom with the other side. The modern bisexual relations appear to be superficial and not enduring. Chapter three of my thesis shows the ardent pursuits of money, fame, and success in the two novels. The two representative characters in Madame Bovary─ Lheureux and Homais, displays the most sordid side potential in human nature in the process of their grabbing money, fame, and success. On the other hand, Sister Carrie records the whole process of the female protagonist’s pursuing money and theatrical performance, and also Hurstwood’s gradual decline from his life’s culmination to his final downfall which nothing can be relied on. Success and downfall influence the self-estimation and the psychological change of the major characters, too. The outcomes of the two novels insinuate some different themes. Flaubert sees that success does not always belong to good people. Instead success may be attached to or grabbed by the cunning persons. Dreiser points out that success can increase a man’s sexual glamour for the other women, but the temporal success may collapse suddenly. In the last chapter, I elucidate the quality of desire─ elusive and insatiable, and desire drives the characters to endless secular pursuits. Then I enumerate two essential qualities linked to the pursuits─ circularity and meaninglessness. Through the use of words, images, and recurrent plot, the theme of circularity is conveyed to the readers. I think interpersonal alienation is the major cause for the meaninglessness of pursuits. The former book points out the boredom and incommunicability in a bourgeois society, while the later one has the alienated personal relations in the city and the sense of individual triviality brought by the highly mechanical labor-division system. Through the delicate writing technique, the meaninglessness of the pursuits seems to be conveyed to the readers, too.