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The Construction of Female Identity in Chinese American Literature

Author: ZhangYu
Tutor: WuJiaRong
School: Anhui University
Course: Literature and Art
Keywords: Chinese American Literature Feminism Female Subjectivity
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Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 454
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Abstract


This thesis mainly interprets the American literary text from feminism perspective. It selects Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan’s classical works "The Woman Warrior" "The Joy Luck Club" as research object based on feminism, feminine literary criticism, post colonialism and theory of postcolonial feminism.It intends to demonstrate readers Chinese American Women’s·unique cultural identity and their struggle in constructing female subjectivity. From the Chinese American Literature, we could see the silent woman images break silence eventually and then establish their identity in the society. The Chinese American authors are in attempt to express desire for constructing a harmonious world without conflict and antagonism.This thesis is divided into five sections. The foreword mainly discusses with the rise of Chinese American Literature, the background of Chinese American Literature and the current studies on Chinese American Literature in domestic and overseas areas. In the first chapter, it introduces the related concept about women’s liberation, feminism, postcolonial feminism and Chinese American literature. Feminism refers to women pursue the equality with the men in every aspect of real social life. Postcolonial feminism aims at establishing the female subjectivity in colony by overthrowing the hierarchal orders in gender, culture and ethnicity. The rise of the Chinese American literature is closely related to the development of the above mentioned theories and it intends to construct the female subjectivity especially for those women who are marginalized by the mainstream society. The Chapter 2 analyses the literary text "The Woman Warrior" and "The Joy Luck Club" in great detail from the theory of feminism and theory of post colonialism. The Chinese American women not only live in heterogonous culture, but also are confronted with biases and prejudices from traditional patriarchal society. This chapter argues that in the typical Chinese American literary texts, the women experience the process of awakening, struggle and reconstructing subjectivity. In the Chapter 3, it summarizes the research value of Chinese American literature. It argues from three points:Firstly, as a kind of diasporas literature, Chinese American literature discusses the confusion that the ethnic women suffer when they are confronted with different culture tradition. It allows the literary researchers to establish a new model of studying on conflicts and integration between Western culture and Chinese culture. Secondly, the discussion on genres and ethnicity among the Chinese American literature can be widely applied into studies on the literature of the third world. Thirdly, Chinese American writers have multiple perspectives as they acquire information from American society as well as from traditional Chinese culture as the second generation of the Chinese immigrants. Such experience endows them with talent that could integrate various views from different cultures. The conclusion indicates that the world literature should develop in a pluralistic approach.

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