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A Study of the Woman Warrior from the Perspective of Feminist Orientalism

Author: LiWenJuan
Tutor: ZhangXiHua
School: Changsha University of Science and Technology
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: The Woman Warrior Feminist Orientalism Self-orientalization construction of Chinese American identity merging of cultures
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Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 166
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Abstract


In the 1970s, Chinese American literature has occupied a place of its own in American literary world. In earlier times, mainly based on Chinese culture, Chinese American literary works offered readers the characteristics of foreign land, alien race, different sex and other culture, thus gained much attention from both the informal literary market and the serious academic research. The famous woman writer Maxine Hong Kingston and her maiden work The Woman Warrior are the representatives of the research of Chinese American literature. In 1976, The Woman Warrior received National Book Critic’s Award for non-fiction by which it came to the leading edge of the current Chinese American literary circles.In The Woman Warrior, the author strives to make a complaint against male-dominated society through speaking for the voiced and voiceless women, but there cannot hide the Orientalist views in the book. This Feminism which is mixed with Orientalism is said by Zhao Wenshu to be“Feminist Orientalism”. This thesis tries to discuss the Feminist Orientalism represented in The Woman Warrior, on the basis of the theory of Orientalism. In order to show readers a more clear clarification of this idea, the thesis will compare it with“Self-orientalization”of Oriental writers, then analyze the reasons why it can really exist in the book, while considering the historical factors.The thesis consists of five chapters in addition to an introduction and a conclusion. The paper applies a progression method to understand why the author chooses this kind of writing. The Woman Warrior was written in the period when the relationship between China and America was not so stable and friendly. The market needs these materials about Chinese culture and Chinese society. What is more, it is difficult for Chinese American writers to pursue their own identity under the Orientalism discourse, while the literary books are one of the methods for people to know more about their trouble in expressing their independent identity.The features of this paper are to introduce the creation background and historical reality based on text, thus help people know clearly about the reasons why there is Feminist Orientalism in the writing. By connecting it to the“Self-orientalization”, people can understand the intensive meaning of it and even make it helpful to the merging and communication of the two different cultures.This is just one of the perspectives to study the text, and there will be adequate spaces for further study.

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