This research aims to study Orphan of Asia through the perspective of gender, focusing on the ways by which Taiming's negative experiences lead him to perceive himself as a Taiwanese. This kind of Taiwanese consciousness encourages the initial formation of subjectivity through a sense of shame. In the past researches, most scholars emphasize Taiming's struggle and suffering among three identity positions: the Chinese, the Taiwanese, and the Japanese. This research will argue that Taiming's problems of national identity arise only in the latter half of the novel. In the beginning, as he receives classical Chinese education in his childhood, he grows up to become curious about modern things and pursues modernity through gendered experiences of falling in love with a Japanese girl. The unfulfilled love initiates his subjectivity based on a sense of shame. At the same time, he rejects a Taiwanese girl's affection for him. After he moves to mainland China, he falls in love with his own student, marries her and is disillusioned after marriage. Not until the war time does he fully realize that modernity and colonialism are two sides of the same coin, but he never develops a self-reflective and critical view of the significance of the intersection between gender and national differences. This research will focus on Taiming's relationship with three female characters: Hisako, Rei-e and Shuchun. By doing so, I intend to explore the formation of Taiwanese consciousness as constructed by gender relationship, the sense of shame and national differences.
|Effective start/end date||2017/08/01 → 2018/07/31|
- colonial modernity
- subject of shame
- Wu Zhouliu
- Orphan of Asia
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