Of bridge construction: a critical study of Han Suyin's historical and autobiographical writings

Wang, Xuding (1996) Of bridge construction: a critical study of Han Suyin's historical and autobiographical writings. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This study will explore Han Suyin's recreation of herself through remaking the history of modern China and the histories of her parents' families in cultural, social and political terms. Her treatment of Western imperialism towards China and her efforts to build bridges between East and West so that both Asians and Westerners might adequately understand their differences can be better understood through Edward Said's critical theory of Orientalism and the post-colonial theories of internationalism and dissemination by Homi Bhabha and others. -- The study will focus on three major issues which are closely connected and central in her works: first how Han Suyin's presentation of the history of modern China reflects the relation between China and the West; second how she recreates her family histories into a social microcosm reflecting the relation between Eastern and Western cultures; finally how she defines herself in a variety of contexts through reconstructing the history of modern China and the histories of her parents' families. -- The principal method in studying Han's works is to follow the major historical events explored by her, and through which she recreates herself in multiple contexts. My study will follow the three important lines suggested above. Following the Introduction in Chapter One, Chapter Two examines the decline of Chinese society caused by both internal conflicts and external interference in cultural, political and economic terms. Chapter Three explores the recreation of her family history as social microcosm, using the fascinating stories of her parents as a mirror reflecting the failures caused by misunderstandings between China and the West. Chapter Four discusses the cultural, social, political and historical causes that have shaped the multiple selves of Han Suyin, who claims to build "bridges which many people will cross from one civilization and culture and mode of thinking to another" (CT 653). Chapter Five is the Conclusion.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7072
Item ID: 7072
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 333-356.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1996
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Han, Suyin, pseud--Criticism and interpretation; Han, Suyin, pseud--Biography

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