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Neo-orientalist stereotyping in amy tan’s the hundred secret senses
Published in Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Volume: 66
Issue: 1
Pages: 31 - 45
An American novelist of Chinese origin, Amy Tan attempts to reconstitute the American experience for both the first and second generation Chinese immigrants in her fictional discourses. Curiously, she defiantly promotes the idea of a re-created identity through assimilation, even while she is aware of the inability of Asian Americans to discard their ethnicity and disappear into the American culture. Significantly, Tan’s fictional Asian American characters not only justify their ethnic affiliation but also assert the importance of variance within the American culture by challenging the status-quo of American identity. However, this assertion of the Asian American subjectivity within the multicultural context of America further reinforces the insurmountable cultural differences between the scientific Western ‘self’ and the exotic Eastern ‘other,’ leading to the production of hybrid or alchemised characters, rather than monolithic Americans. Focusing on her use of exotic and supernatural tropes in The Hundred Secret Senses, this paper probes how Tan astutely perpetuates occidental and oriental stereotyping in her fictions and thereby indulges in New Age Ethnicity or neo-Orientalism, as a part of her aspiration to belong to the white American intellectual circle. © Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association 2019.
About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetJournal of Language, Literature and Culture
PublisherData powered by TypesetTaylor and Francis Ltd.