Nora and Du Liniang: A Study of the Imported Feminism and the Fettered Feminism in Traditional Chinese Theatre

Xuekui GE


This paper, through studying Du Liniang in The Peony Pavilion and Nora in A Doll’s House, argues that the feminism in traditional Chinese theatre was in its predicament when engendered and the appropriation of the feminism as personified by Nora was very different from what as embodied by Du Liniang. Thus the imported feminism only served as a placebo but never a solution to the emancipation of Chinese women at that time. At the end of the paper, the paper explains that the reason why Nora’s introduction to China was so sensational at the turn of 20th century, that is, both the wish to reinvigorate the nationhood and the rise of individualism contributes to the popularity of the Nora theme.



Nora; A Doll’s House; Du Liniang; The peony pavilion; Fettered feminism; Predicament; Placebo

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