UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Feminine fantasies and reality in the fiction of Eileen Chang and Alice Munro Wang, Yuanfei


It seems unwise to compare Eileen Chang and Alice Munro, because at first glance the urban traits of Chang's Shanghai and Hong Kong romances are dissimilar to the rural idiosyncrasies of Munro's southwestern Ontario stories. However, both the female writers describe in their fiction the women characters' romantic fantasies and their interrelationships with reality. In Chang's Romances, in the westernized and commercialized cosmopolitan set, a new age is coming, and the traditional patriarchal familial and moral systems are disintegrating. The women try to escape from frustrating circumstances through the rescue of romantic love and marriage. In Munro's fiction, the women attempt to get ride of their banal small-town cultures in order to search for freedom of imagination and expression through the medium of art, although at ; the center of their quest for selfhood is always their love and hate relationship with men. The women are in the dilemma of "female financial reality" and romantic love; they express their desires and fears through immoral and abnormal love relationships and vicarious escapades in their imagination; their interpretation of life and love is in reference to art in general, but such interpretation is full of disguise. Only in their unbound daydreams and imagination can they express their desires freely. Alice Munro and Eileen Chang's fictional worlds bespeak a sense of femininity.

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