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Construction and Deconstruction of Orientalism in the Joy Club

Author XieYunLong
Tutor YangXiaoLian
School Sichuan International Studies University
Course Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords Amy Tan Orientalism Joy Luck Club Construction Deconstruction
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Amy Tan, whose first novel the Joy Luck Club was published in 1989, has been considered as a renowned American-Chinese female writer. Stories about four mother-daughter relationships in American-Chinese families are vividly depicted in this novel, which makes this book appear on the New York Times bestseller list and gain many awards.This thesis first focuses on the analysis of the Chinese people and traditions pictured in the novel to unfold a fact that the described China is just a Collective imagination of the West property, in other words, it is a kind of construction of the Orientalism to some extent. And then the embodiment of clashes between Oriental and Western cultures are paid great attention to in the following parts of this thesis in order to reveal the deconstruction of the Orientalism to a certain degree. Finally, the thesis explores the reasons why the author has such paradoxical feelings towards Easternism.By way of describing the paradoxical attitudes embodied in Joy Luck Club, this thesis enhances and strengthens the understanding of the Chinese American Literature to readers and also helps to the realize the hardship faced by the developing Chinese American Literature. As we all know, any alien culture to a country is just like an“other”culture. The same can be said of the research on Chinese American Literature and it is often regarded as an“other”culture in American mainstream society. Through the analysis of this thesis can we recognize the misread and misinterpretation Chinese traditional culture has suffered overseas on the one hand, and on the other hand it can remind us to embrace a more objective and impartial attitude towards the Chinese American Literature.

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