This chapter traces a historical line through Taiwan fiction that depicts intimate relationships between teachers and students, through two popular Chinese-language novels, Chiung Yao’s Outside the Window (1963), and Lin Yi-han’s Fang Si-Qi’s First Love Paradise (2017), as well as two English-language novels set in Taiwan, Under the Phoenix Tree (1991) by Catherine Dai and Lessons in Essence (2006) by Dana Standridge. All four novels focus on the emotional stresses experienced by young female students dealing with complex personal relationships, including strained family ties, amid the all-consuming pressure in Taiwan to do well academically. In these novels, the students find support with a trusted teacher. While exploring taboo relationships between young students and older male teachers, these “campus novels” also shed light on issues related to Taiwan’s history and social and political relations, above all its changing relationship with China, and how these factors are manifested in Taiwan’s education policy. The novels by Dai and Standridge in particular give insight into ongoing struggles between the old regime and new Taiwan, over reverence for the legacy of Chinese culture and respect for authority itself, and the way forward for Taiwan identity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 藝術與人文 (全部)