Death by Applause

Eileen J. Cheng

in Literary Remains

Published by University of Hawaii Press

Published in print April 2013 | ISBN: 9780824835958
Published online November 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780824870867
Death by Applause

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This chapter discusses Lu Xun's criticism of the “Nora phenomenon” and the images of “new women” circulating in popular culture. In his view, such images, like the traditional ideals of femininity, merely reflected the desires of the men who promoted them. In an increasingly commercialized cultural field still bound by traditional norms, Lu Xun saw how images of the modern woman and the rhetoric of emancipation could accomplish little other than to offer false promises to women while subjecting them to new and old forms of exploitation. However, the chapter suggests that fear of the power of narratives and images in bringing representations to life may have led Lu Xun to pay particular attention to how women are rendered visible in cultural forms.

Keywords: Lu Xun; Nora phenomenon; new women; traditional femininity; emancipation; narratives

Chapter.  10089 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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