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   Newest Articles

 Literary Facebook Narratology
 Maria Mäkelä

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 Autobiography, the Literary, and the Everyday in Paul Auster’s Report from the Interior
 Jarmila Mildorf

 Intermedial Experience and Ekphrasis in Wordsworth’s "Slumber"
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 Narrating Selves and the Literary in the Bible
 Greger Andersson

 Narrating Selves from the Bible to Social Media
 Matti Hyvaerinen, Mari Hatavara, and Jarmila Mildorf

 The Meaning of Liberation
 Jin Hengshan

 Robert Frost’s Traitors and His Poetics of Disloyalty
 Grzegorz Kosc

 Fascination in Julio Cortázar’s “Axolotl”
 Torbjörn Gustafsson Chorell

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Updated Up To 17/06/2013
Volume 17, issue 1 (January 2019) : 65-80
The Meaning of Liberation
From The Joy Luck Club to Face and Saving Face
Jin Hengshan
Rubric A: Divided Loyalties
Rubric B: American Literature



The film The Joy Luck Club (1993) adapted from Amy Tan’s novel of the same title is considered a classic in the representation of Chinese Americans, especially Chinese American women in the past few decades. In many ways, two other films, Face (2002) and Saving Face (2004), share a similar theme with The Joy Luck Club, in terms of the conflict between mothers and daughters as well as between Chinese culture and American culture. The conflicts are eventually resolved to some degree, to everyone’s satisfaction, to the satisfaction of the Chinese audience in particular. It is important, however, to see the films as a window to American life and society: the theme of liberation presented in the films is to be understood in the context of American topoi, namely, the pursuit of the self and the search for the value of life in a multicultural society. To a large extent, the three films address the American audience rather than the Chinese audience. While they tend towards the promotion of the social status of the Chinese community in America and engage in the representation of the different Chinese cultural features, the films endow the contemporary Chinese Americans with a prominent national identity that is American rather than Chinese.

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