Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
After CritiqueTwenty-First-Century Fiction in a Neoliberal Age$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mitchum Huehls

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456221

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456221.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 June 2019

Turning to Presence

Turning to Presence

The Contingent Persons of Human Rights Literature

Chapter:
(p.34) 1 Turning to Presence
Source:
After Critique
Author(s):

Mitchum Huehls

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456221.003.0002

Chapter one examines two child-soldier narratives, Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone and Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation. As the simultaneous victim and perpetrator of human rights abuse, the child soldier embodies the representational challenges facing human rights discourse: does he deserve full human rights by virtue of his humanity alone, or does the fact that he’s also a murderer suggest that those rights can only be conferred artificially through the state? Beah, whose memoir stands as a counter-example in the chapter, ignores the duplicities of child soldiering to insist on his status as a deserving subject of human rights. In Iweala’s novel, however, the protagonist willingly embodies the ambivalence of his position. Because this leaves him unable to predicate his humanity on natural human rights, he instead produces the value of his humanity ontologically, by linking his present circumstances to meaningful presences from his immediate past.

Keywords:   human rights, child soldiers, comparison, catachresis, simile

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .