An Analysis of the Death Image in The Bonesetter’s Daughter毕业论文_英语毕业论文

An Analysis of the Death Image in The Bonesetter’s Daughter毕业论文


摘 要

《接骨师之女》 是美国著名华裔女作家谭恩美的一部具有自传性色彩反映华裔母女生活的作品。本文以死亡意象为视角,从母女的死亡、西方视野中的东方死亡文化和女性主义三个方面探讨了华裔母女互相以死相逼却又深爱着对方的不一样的亲情、美国华裔群体在承袭传统文化时面临的困境以及中国女性在世无法言说社会不公而只能在死后借鬼魂寻求公平的悲剧命运,认为死亡及其相关意象成为华裔女性寻找自我意识的有效策略。



1.Introduction 1

2. Demonstration 2

2.1 Death image and mother-daughter relationship 2

2.1.1 The role of death image in mother-daughter relationship 3

2.1.2 Role of suicide in mother-daughter relationship 4

2.2 Oriental death in the Western perspective 6

2.2.1 The exotic color of Oriental culture 7

2.2.2 The idiosyncratic cultural dilemma of Chinese minority 8

2.3 Death image and women’s fate 9

2.3.1 Chinese women’s twists and turns in fate 9

2.3.2 Women’s determination to seek selfhood 10

3. Conclusion 11

Notes 13

Works Cited 14

Bibliography 15

An Analysis of the Death Image in The Bonesetter’s Daughter

1. Intriduction

Amy Tan (February 19, 1952) is an American writer, many of whose works explore the Chinese-American mother-daughter relationship. Born in Oakland, California, Amy attended medical school and later obtained a master’s degree in linguistics. After she was 33 years old, she began to write novels and published the first novel The Joy Luck Club, which built up her reputation in the literary world. The Joy Luck Club vividly describes the subtle affection between mother and daughter, which not only won her the National Book Award that year, but has been adapted into a film and achieved Box Office success. She also published novels like The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, etc, which have been widely translated into more than 20 languages in the world. Amy Tan is a contemporary master of storytelling. She is an excellent writer who is good at touching people’s heart. In today’s American society advocating multi-culture, her position has overtaken the identity of a minority or popular novelist, and she becomes one of the most famous first-class writer in America and even in the West.

The Bonesetters Daughter is Amy Tan’s fourth full-length novel, which was published in 2001 and has continued the success of her former three novels The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife and The Hundred Secret Senses, and was still widely praised by both critics and readers. By now, Amy Tan has become a representative figure of minority writers in the American literary world. The Bonesetters Daughter still revolves around the theme of the confrontation and reconciliation between mother and daughter of Chinese immigrants. Researchers focus on Chinese immigrants in the United States of the author’s experience and are more interested in journey, but contemporary readers, regardless of their race and place, feel her portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship, and have a deeper sense of identification in the role of her book.

If early Chinese American writers paid more attention to the living conditions of ethnic Chinese, the second or third generation of Chinese American writers born in the United States focus more on the collision and assimilation between the two cultures. They are concerned about the relationship of Chinese and American cultures, emphasizing Chinese helplessness, struggle and loss in the two cultures. In Wang Yangming’s The New American Literature, there is such evaluation of Amy Tan’s creation that “Amy Tan’s novels mix the form of biography, folk stories and memoir. The topics that she discusses include race, gender, relationship between identity, cultural dislocation and cultural conflict.”(373) We can see that Amy Tan’s literature discusses the relationship of people, and the conflict between human and society.

The thesis is divided into three chapters. The first chapter explores what role the death image plays in the mother-daughter relationship and how it promotes the development of the relationship. The emphasis is on the suicidal behaviors of the three generations of daughter and mother and the role of suicide in the ups and downs of mother-daughter relationship. The second chapter analyzes the mysterious Oriental ghost culture in the Chinese tradition, and also explores the cultural conflict and integration that Chinese Americans are faced when they are in the process of confronting the two cultures. The third chapter mainly discusses the different meanings of death image for women. Traditional women rebel by death against their oppressed fate while Chinese American women are more interested in finding their selfhood.

  1. Demonstration

2.1 Death image and mother-daughter relationship

In The Bonesetter’s Daughter, the theme of mother-daughter relationship runs through the whole novel with focus on death and life of the three generations of mother and daughter, so this part will solve the problems which are exposed at the beginning of the novel, explore the Mother and Daughter’s suicide motivation and attempt, analyze the ghost and the evolution of the mother-daughter relationship. So figuring out the core topic is of great significance for us to interpret the role of death image in understanding the mother-daughter relationship and the theme of the novel.

2.1.1. The role of death image in mother-daughter relationship

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