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<Oralities< : food and language as avenues of expression in works by three Chinese American authors--David Wong Louie, Fae Myenne Ng, and Amy Tan

Food and language as avenues of expression in works by three Chinese American authors

Authors Chiu, Annette S.
Issue Date 1995
Summary This thesis proposes to examine the communicative nature of alimentary images and the self-conscious use of language, in texts by Chinese American authors. For the purposes of this discussion, Chinese American authors are defined as those born and raised in America, of Chinese ancestry. The texts examined are "Pangs of Love," a short story by David Wong Louie; Bone, a novel by Fae Myenne Ng; and The Jov Luck Club, a novel by Amy Tan. China can be described as having a food-centred culture, and this emphasis on food has been carried over by Chinese immigrants to America. However, in America, food has come to signify the cultural and communication rift between the immigrants and their American born children. For Chinese Americans, Chinese food is strongly associated with the foreigness, assigned by mainstream America to anything non-mainstream. It is attached to the social stigma that comes with being non-white in a predominantly white society. In many cases, Chinese food is also associated with the poverty which mired many of the immigrant generation. From the parents' perspective, food is an important means for them to draw the children back into the influence of Chinese culture. Thus, food comes to be an important representive of the differences and tensions which characterize Chinese Americans and their families. The discussion of language here focuses on a particular concept of translation, which includes the difficulties of communication in a bilingual family, and also the cultural translations, as encoded by language, which must occur when immigrants settle in America.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 1995
Language English
Format Thesis
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