This thesis attempts to review the exoticism and feminist consciousness in Hsu Ti-shan’s literary works and their dialogue with the ideas upheld by the intellectuals of the May Fourth Era....[ Read more
This thesis attempts to review the exoticism and feminist consciousness in Hsu Ti-shan’s literary works and their dialogue with the ideas upheld by the intellectuals of the May Fourth Era.
Chapter One begins with a biographical sketch of Hsu and a summary of the key May Fourth ideas that have to various extents influenced Hsu and his creative writings.
Chapter Two examines the exotic atmosphere that appears in Hsu’s creative writings, followed by an analysis of its complex dialogue with Chinese traditions and Western ideas. This chapter argues that exoticism is a literary strategy for Hsu to expound his views as a May Fourth intellectual.
As a pioneer for woman’ s causes, Hsu is one of the modem Chinese writers who are remembered for their understanding and awareness of feminist issues. Chapter Three takes note of Hsu’s efforts in exploring such issues. It attempts to account for Hsu’s views on the relationship of knowledge and women’s independence, his questioning of an ideological trend in women’s education since the Late Qing to perpetuate the notion of ‘virtuous wife and good mother’, and his endeavor to create in his literary works a female subjectivity in tune with the May Fourth ideas.
Chapter Four argues that Hsu is also a rebel of his times. Some of his works criticize the basic values of the May Fourth Era, such as the romantic idea of free love. He also argues that familial love is as important to human emotions as free love. His insistence upon promoting Chinese romanization in his later years also makes him an oddity among his peers. All these are examples to illustrate his critical and marginal stance .
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