AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 4, Number3. August  2020                         Pp. 148- 158

A Structural Postcolonial Analysis of Voice and Noise  in Joseph Conrad’s The Lagoon

Department of English, College of Arts,
Tafila Technical University
Tafila, Jordan


This article explores the motifs of voice and noise in Joseph Conrad’s The Lagoon from a structural postcolonial perspective. The dialectic relations between voice and power, structure, and function are critically investigated to identify the ideologies involved in the subjugation of the Orient and sustainment of the racial superiority of the Occident. The noise narrative structure and ethnic conflict add to voice disrupts the effective reception of the message conveyed. The Lagoon encapsulates a story-within-a-story with two storytellers relating different narratives and addressing different characters and audiences from different viewpoints. Their narratives elicit responses ranging from trust to distrust depending on the identity of the storyteller and hierarchy of the narrative structure within the story. The study evaluates the impact of structure and ethnic identity on the reception of voice, and shows how structural and cultural noises disrupt the voice of the Orient. It finds that the Occident’s perception of the Orient is based on certain stereotypes and misconceptions. The voice of Arsat, a protagonist and storyteller, is accordingly subordinated to the framing voice of the third-person narrator, and his tale structurally functions as a flashback.

Cite as:

Zeidanin, H. (2020). A Structural Postcolonial Analysis of Voice and Noise in Joseph Conrad’s The Lagoon. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4 (3) 148- 158,


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Hussein Zeidanin is an associate professor of literature and literary Criticism at Tafila Technical
University, Department of English Language and Literature. His research interests include but
not limited to ethnic and minority literature, American literature, world literature, literary
theories and comparative literature. ORCid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4433-0178