Gender in 20th century Chinese society through Jin Yong’s novels Novels : how did gender representations in Jin Yong’s Chinese Martial Arts fiction novels reflect the change in gender understanding in 20th century China?
Ang, Yi Lei
Date of Issue2017-03-25
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Chinese Martial Arts stories, or Wuxia stories, have a strong influence and following in today’s Chinese-speaking society. Stories by notable Wuxia authors, such as Jin Yong, have even been produced and remade into films and television dramas throughout the years. These stories often reflect societal issues of their time period, as well as society’s understanding of culture and norms. China’s society in the 20th century underwent drastic changes, beginning with the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the formation of the Republic of China, to the later reformation as the People’s Republic of China. This period of turbulence in China’s history saw the flourishing of Wuxia stories, including those written by Jin Yong. Unlike other Wuxia authors, Jin Yong’s stories follows a different literary path and the characters that he created do not conform to the society’s definition of gender and masculinity. This defiance of gender norms and masculinity makes his stories stand out, and reflects his understanding of China’s changing society during the period of the 20th century. The research paper will focus on issues of gender and masculinity in Jin Yong’s Wuxia novels.