Reclaiming the Female Body: Dissociating Reproduction from Confucian and Socialist Patriarchy in 1980's Chinese Women's Literature
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis examines Hu Xin’s "Four Women of Forty" and Lu Xing’er’s "The Sun is Not Out Today" as examples of efforts by 1980's women writers to dissociate traditionally "feminine" qualities of nurturing, love, and motherhood from patriarchal demands driven by revolutionary forces and traditional forces.. This dissociation is similar to one represented by Henrik Ibsen's character Nora, appropriated by May 4th writers in early 20th century China to encourage a realization of female individualism. Steering away from initial radical modes of writing, post-Mao literary trends urge for reconciliation of women with their biological roles. Some Western feminists believe emphasis on these roles trap women within traditional stereotypes. However, further analysis of 1980's Chinese women's literature reveals that the call for patriarchal overthrow continues within a context presenting solutions to the issue of balancing social responsibility and biology by achieving human status. This thesis is part of ongoing gender literature evaluation and will lead to a revised understanding of the goals of 1980's Chinese women’s writing within its social context.
Degree ProgramHonors College
East Asian Studies