|| In Taiwan literary circles, Li-Ang, a controversial writer with strong awareness of issues, special writing style, and even strong political tendency, continuously causes a lot of disputes. Over forty years, she faces reviews of both praises and criticisms, passes through the challenges of time and has a place in literary circles.
All of Li-Ang’s novels point to one purpose –“Speaks out for feminine”, no matter how revoltingly forbidden subjects or taboos were brought up. She is concerned about feminine; nevertheless, she chooses to write her novels from a negative angle to present the distress of females in the patriarchy society. Therefore, the atmosphere of darkness and conflicts of power can be found in Li’s novel. The bold descriptions of sexual relationship and sex scene, portrait not only the carnal desires and lust, but the cultural sources.
In this thesis, the novels of Li-Ang are divided into three major themes: traditional patriarchy, capitalism, and political power concerning feminine. The section: “Impression of sex of females in patriarchy society”, the discussion of elaboration and criticism of virgin complex and the tragedy of forbidden of premarital sex is presented, which is in chapter 2: “The oppression and shackles of traditional society” of this thesis. The second section of chapter 2 presents how the bodies of women are caged by the rumor and folk legend in patriarchy society.
There are three parts in chapter 3: “the collaboration of capitalism and patriarchy culture”. In “The Butcher's Wife”, writer explores the fate of women, which uses sex in exchange for food, in traditional society by the thrilling case of the butcher’s wife kills her husband. In the second part: “dark nights: the special exchange of people in city”, the discussion of women in modern time dominated by men is elaborated. The third part “Misty courtyard: the love hunting and business culture” shows that woman using her body to gain power in patriarchy society.
Chapter 4: “The tangle of politics and women bodies” is divided into four sections. The first section: “The debasement and metaphor of Taiwan and women” discusses the novels: “Story of Miss Sophia”, “Misty courtyard”, and “Autobiography: a novel”, which elaborate the women in Taiwan is debased in both internationally and sexually. The second section: “the widow: the oppressed lust in the name of glory”, shows the women, whose husbands are victims of political repression, have to defend their chastity to keep the image of opposition party. The third part: “The price to enter the patriarchy power center” expounds the female characters using their bodies to trade for the power from men in novel: “Everyone puts their incense sticks in the Pehkang incense burner” and “Autobiography: a novel”. The last section: “The sadness behind the makeup face” discusses the metaphor of cosmetics and “the 228 Massacre”.
Li-Ang takes down the history of Taiwan by her novels throughout forty years. The exploration of feminine issues can be found by reading between the lines. Although the writing style, which is highly related sex, is disputed. The intention of Li-Ang is worthy of studying, despite of her position in the literary history in Taiwan.