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On Mothers’ Memory of China in Amy Tan’s Novels

Author ZhangXueZuo
Tutor ZhangShiJun
School Jinan University
Course Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords Amy Tan mother memory of China self-conflict traumatic memories
CLC I712.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
Downloads 288
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Amy Tan is an influential Chinese-American writer and her novels are related toseveral Chinese-American mothers’ memory of China. The author intends to makeanalysis of those mothers’ memory of China in her novels by applying the memorytheory of French philosopher Henri Bergson’s and Floyd’s. This thesis consists of sixparts all together. In the introduction part, this paper mainly discusses the life and creationof Amy Tan, reviews of researches on her novels, the research methods and theoreticalviewpoint in this thesis. The first chapter centers on mothers’ painful memory complex.The author classifies the first Chinese-American mothers’ painful memory into three typesof marriage, family history and war and then discusses the torture on them by their griefmemory from such aspects respectively. The second chapter discusses mothers’ collectivememory of Chinese nation. From the three respects of Chinese cultural image, Chinesediet and Chinese filial piety in the memory of mothers, the author intends to expound herviews on the charms of Chinese culture. The third chapter focuses on the mother’sself-conflict. The author intends to discuss the formation cause and harm of mothertraumatic memory by using Freud’s memory theory and find out the solution. Thecommunications between the mother and daughter release the traumatic memoriesoverstocked in the heart of mothers’. Thus the real new life began. The fourth chapterdiscusses the fusion of the memory and the reality. The first immigrant mothers move outof private memory towards the self-reconstruction in reality. The subjectivity of themother and the communication between mother and daughter enable them to achieve thenew orientation in real life and the connection between the memory and the reality.Epilogue summarizes the views that the first Chinese-American mothers achieved theself-critical reconstruction in self-conflict and the collision of contradictory thoughts.They finally found their social roles and responsibility for the cultural inheritance, thusrealized the ego value.

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