Late Qing Woman Writers’ New Concept of Marriage: Using Nuyu Hua , Jiemei Hua and Xiayi Jia Ren as Examples

A reformulation of the concept of marriage began to emerge in Late Qing China as intellectuals struggled to break away from the bonds of the traditional family and clan system and attempted to establish a different kind of marriage concept based on autonomous personal feeling and will. This new voice came to form the modern concept of marriage, which developed into the main trend in twentieth century China with its focus on “freedom of marriage” ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚. Besides emphasizing free choice of marriage as well as personal independence, it also advocated more liberal social relations between the sexes. Issues concerning marriage and love therefore came to be a chapter in the development of the woman rights movement in the Late Qing period, yet these concerns were originally almost exclusively voiced by male intellectuals. This paper discusses how women, who were generally more deeply embedded in traditional society, reacted and responded to “male” demands for woman rights. How did they reflect on and deal with their environment? Did calls for reform bring about a new era or prepare the next crisis? This article will analyze specific female narratives as found in Wang Miaoru’s ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚ The Flower Walled in ⬚⬚Nuyu Hua,⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚ ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚, Huang Cuining’s ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚ The Sisters ⬚⬚Jiemei Hua, ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚ ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚ and Shao Zhenhua’s ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚ Courageous Beauty ⬚⬚Xiayi Jiaren, ⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚⬚ in order to investigate the emerging concept and significance of marriage. Keywords: Late Qing, woman writers, concept of marriage, freedom of marriage, socialization between male and female, love between husband and wife

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