Abstract

After A Doll’s House, a play by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, was translated into Chinese, the heroine of the play, Nora, aroused great interest from the Chinese. There emerged a Nora craze in China during the early 20th-century. No other literary figure exerted greater influence on the Chinese than Nora. This paper aims to examine the relationship between the Nora craze and the deep cultural psychology of the Chinese from the perspective of cultural translation. First, Nora has certain traits of the female stage characters that were familiar to and loved by the Chinese. Female characters in traditional Chinese drama are usually portrayed as more strong-willed than males. Nora’s character traits are consistent with Chinese drama aesthetics. This is an important reason why she was so popular in China. Second, Nora embodies factors that were very strange and fresh to the Chinese. This is most clearly shown in her action of leaving home. Since familism was the official ideology of traditional Chinese society, even if female characters are allowed to speak out their sufferings on stage, the idea of their leaving home is not conceivable. Nora’s leaving home points a way out of the bonds of familism and brought great excitement to the Chinese, which explains why they developed such a craze for her. The analysis of the deep cultural psychology of the Nora craze helps us to understand what conditions and factors have made a certain foreign cultural factor succeed in a local cultural context.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2383-9899
Print ISSN
2092-6081
Pages
pp. 121-148
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-06
Open Access
No
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