I’m a Bannerman, But Bannermen Are Chinese Too
Negotiating Manchu Identity in Lao She’s Teahouse
Lao She’s Teahouse (Chaguan, 1957) is one of the most important plays in modern Chinese literature. Generally contextualised within the Hundred Flowers Movement, scholarship has viewed it as an explicit representation of the historical struggles of modern China, as well as an implicit critique of the political context of the mid-1950s. Such a predominant view on Teahouse is embedded in a discourse of the collective that unites issues of class and nation that was promoted by socialist literature. Adding complexity to this discursive construction through the significance of ethnic identity, this article argues that Teahouse also represents the problematic integration of Manchu identity within the parameters of class and nation in the late-Qing and Republican periods.
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