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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Reimagining Chinese Masculinities: Ideal Manhood in the Three Kingdoms
by Hui, Young, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2020, 214; 28000189
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the transformation of Chinese manhood within the Three Kingdoms story cycle, primarily within the plain narrative, the Sanguozhi pinghua and the the Sanguozhi tongsu yanyi, a reconstructed novel. I argue these two versions of the Three Kingdoms story attempt to reconstruct male identities in the late imperial period. This reconstruction of manhood in the process of novelization reveals how these rewritings respond to wen-wu masculinities. Many characters are described differently in the two versions of the story, and these differences describe the transition of Chinese masculinity from the Yuan to the mid-Ming period.

Chapter One focuses on the changes to the warrior character Zhang Fei’s defiant disposition in the plain and the reconstructed narratives examining the restraints cast on these warrior-like characters in this transition. In Chapter Two, I compare the image of Zhuge Liang in the plain narrative to the sorcerer-like Zhuge Liang in the reconstructed narrative, which presents the concept of self-invention and the shift to scholar-like identity. Chapter Three analyzes Guan Yu’s character as a Chinese knight-errant. In the reconstructed narrative, Guan Yu presents a different character archetype compared to Zhang Fei’s warrior-like or Zhuge Liang’s scholar-like archetype.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: He, Yuming, Lu, Sheldon
Commitee: Scott, Mary, Zhang, Chunjie
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Comparative Literature
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian literature, Comparative literature
Keywords: Chinese masculinities, Three Kingdoms
Publication Number: 28000189
ISBN: 9798672184234
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