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Carlissa King Justin DiCosola Yohanna Briscoe November 4 th 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Carlissa King Justin DiCosola Yohanna Briscoe November 4 th 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carlissa King Justin DiCosola Yohanna Briscoe November 4 th 2009

2 Background Yu Hua ( 余华 ) – Born in 1960 in Hangzhou. – High School during Cultural Revolution. – James Joyce Award in 2002 Brothers – Portrays loss of traditional values – Unhappy, unprincipled greed – Compares Cultural Revolution China to Capitalist China – NY Times Interview NY Times Interview

3 Baldy Li: Organizer of the Hymen Competition PR Liu: In charge of public relations Wandering Zhou: Itinerant charlatan who sells artificial hymens and “Boobs” cream Song Gang: Eventually works for Zhou, and agrees to get a “boob job” Hymen: (discuss) Boobs: (discuss) Key Terms and Characters

4 Discussion Topics Plastic Surgery and… – Gender Males control conception of female beauty. Female performance of virginity Performance of the body and uses of a gendered modified body. – Narrative Satirical narrative shines light on the obsession of consumption. – Class & Social Mobility Agency and transforming the body. Access vs. desire – Economics The use of modified bodies to stimulate consumption and profit.

5 Contextualizing Contextualizing plastic surgery in Chinese Fiction. Deconstructing Deconstructing the reading of Brothers and identifying key themes and motifs used to convey Yu Hua’s satirical message. Discussing Discussing the effects of economic growth and class distinction on modern Chinese concepts of female beauty. – Who maintains these ideals and who creates them? Examining Examining the reality of plastic surgery versus its fictionalization. Goals of Discussion

6 Quotes for discussion Gender: Misogyny of beauty constructs; – “PR Liu then suggested perhaps it was somewhat inappropriate for all the judges to be men. Shouldn’t they also have some female judges? Baldy Li, however, disagreed, and said with a wave of his hand, “I don’t want and women. ‘It is ultimately us men who decide which women are pretty or not, so what point is there in’ including women?” ~Page 475 Brothers

7 Gender: Selling the intact hymen; – “The [virgin] competition will help promote traditional Chinese culture, increase the self-respect and ultimately the self-confidence of today’s women, and at the same time support higher standards of health and hygiene...” – “…The hymen plays a crucial role in preventing the invasion of foreign microbes, protecting the internal reproductive system, and preserving the body’s reproductive ability” ~ Page 477; Brothers Quotes for discussion

8 Gender: What the competition was really about… – “PR Liu didn’t realize that Virgin Beauty #1358 wasn’t actually a virgin anymore but was infact already a mother. After spending three thousand yuan having hymen-recon surgery, she had traveled to Liu Town to participate in the competition. Upon arriving, she immediately figured out what the competition was really all about.” ~ Page 516; Brothers – “She admitted that indeed, she had a two year old daughter, but she nevertheless insisted that she was still a virgin. She explained that, spiritually, she would always be a virgin, because she had maintained her spiritual purity” ~Page 527; Brothers Quotes for discussion

9 Class & Social Mobility: A Callous pursuit to acquire wealth… “As long as it will help us earn money, I’m willing to do anything.” ~Song Gang; Page 549, Brothers Quotes for discussion

10 Economy: Constructing a Hymen Economy; – “eventually the people of Liu Town came to appreciate the significance of the hymen economy. The county hospital, together with the rural clinic below it, was, of course, the first to benefit from the trend” – “Now that everyone in Liu- men and women, old and young- knew what hymen-recon surgery was, they said, ‘It is as simple as having double eyelid surgery” ~Page 479; Brothers Quotes for discussion

11 Groups of 4 to 5 Work together to create your own aesthetics based economy. Fictionalize the use of plastic surgery, create a reason for the procedure and design a press release to support your cause. – 15 Minutes to prepare in groups; Group Activity

12 The Business of Artificial Hymens China’s Miss Ugly Competition Plastic Surgery Facts In July 2006, China imposed on ban on television and radio advertising for products that promised breast enhancement, weight loss or increased height. The Beijing news service reported: “Recently some medical organizations have exaggerated the results of treatment provided using experts and previous patients on television commercials to mislead others." Fiction Vs. Reality

13 Yu, Hua. Brothers. Trans. Eileen Cheng-Yin-Chow and Carlos Roja. New York: Pantheon, 2009. Print. http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20051012_1.htm Bibliography


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