Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This research paper focuses on the study of Chinese women's social status and tactics for survival in a patriarchal society in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan written by Lisa See. The author reveals the agony of the foot-binding tradition Chinese women had to undergo in the feudal period. Lisa See also demonstrates how female characters survived such circumstances by means of learning Nü Shu, a woman's writing invented by women for women to express their grievances and inner feelings, and of creating an emotional companionship between women called 'Laotong', which is significant for survival under the male dominance. My discussion will be divided into five topics: 1) The linkage between 'space' and 'female status', which is presented in the form of the 'public-private' dichotomy. 2) 'Nü Shu', a woman language which is used to express inner feelings and as a tool for liberating themselves from the dominant culture. 3) The concept of the body as a site of discursive practice which exercises its power over female subjectivity. This concept is presented in the form of the foot-binding practice. 4) 'Laotong' relations or emotional companionship between Chinese women, which is viewed as a homoerotic relationship and as a tool for linking women together.

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