To ask other readers questions about Polite Liesplease sign up. No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! It kept my interest and I read it in only a few days. This seemed a bit cruel, but this cruelty is born from an honest loathing. I, too, am a person that left her country and does not feel the wish to come back, and that I understand. The world sees little more than a winner, a benign petty king or diamyo, a leader bearing moei burdens.
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Guiyou Huang and Wu Bing. Constance S. Richards is one of the pioneers to incorporate transnational feminism in literary interpretations.
These are some major issues in need of further explorations in this paper. A Japanese American novelist, poet, and nonfiction writer, Mori was born in Kobe, Japan, in and left for the United States to attend college around She left Japan at twenty, maneuvering her way for a promising future and trying to find a place of her own after escaping from what the Japanese culture has intended her to be.
She eventually earned her doctorate in English creative writing in the United States. It is in this book, a collection of essays about her life as a Japanese American woman in the American Midwest, that she starts her journey to explore meanings of traversing past and present as a woman shuttled between cultures. For instance, in the American Midwest such as Greenbay, household tasks are divided by gender.
Women are supposed to take charge of anything decorative, aesthetic, and superficial, leaving their men to deal with the more important decisions about finances or overall structure. But if the house needs a new roof, a new furnace, or a large structural repair, their husbands are in charge of assessing the damage, calling the right kind of repair people, and negotiating with them Long after she tried so hard to elude from her home in Japan, hoping to find her place in a new home in America, she, however, finds herself trapped by gender expectations again.
If Mori is not prepared for gender discrimination in America, she should not be surprised at what is expected of a woman in Japan. When critiquing gender and body politics in two societies, Kyoko Mori does not privilege one social context over the other. This means, her stance and attitude toward gender and body politics in two cultures are in no way to essentialize gender discrimination by dismissing the social and cultural conditions that produce sexism. Henceforth, Mori is able to exemplify what seems liberating for her by immigrating into a land of promise turns around against her in a different form of oppression because of her gender identity that is complicated by her national origin.
Mori, in her daily interactions with her American friends, sees that her friends, at least some of them, feel insecure and self-conscious about their bodies, assuming they are ugly and not presentable. She reflects: My attitude toward the body is more pragmatic, I realized, because I grew up in Japan. I was spared an American upbringing that teaches women that their bodies are sexual objects about which they should feel guilty or inadequate.
In Japan, the body is not the inferior part of the body-soul dichotomy. For a Japanese woman growing up in a polite upper-middle-class family, the body is desexualized. Maybe, I thought, that is something I should feel thankful about Although this rhetoric is built around sexuality and desire, it takes on different undertones and attitudes for women in two societies.
Here, Mori not only admits the difference between her American peers and herself but also exerts a mild criticism of sexualized female body in America. One is seen shunning company and another is seen walking around half naked. Both women, for Mori and her friend Diane, feel insecure and self-conscious about their bodies in a different way. In these examples, body itself becomes a site of self-censorship or self-expression which directly reveals different female attitude to the body.
Along similar lines, body in Japanese culture is highly gendered. What bothers Mori about Japanese gender politics is that access to the body is highly gendered and manipulated under male dominance. What bothers Kyoko Mori when she critiques the rhetoric of the female body is that, however differently her American and Japanese peers view their bodies, they seem to subject themselves to what is imposed upon them and behave accordingly. Whereas, for Mori, American women oftentimes internalize expectations of their bodies and self-consciously engage in change of their bodies, Japanese women abstain themselves from any desire and pleasure but at the same time help consolidate male power in the practice of erotic construction of the female body.
Her critique of gender and body politics not only serves as a mirror of two 8 substantially different societies but also triggers her narrative of resistance and transformation. There are two types of resistance narrative in Polite Lies: the first being resistance in silence and death; the second being resistance in challenge and transformation. Kyoko Mori and her mother Takako both resist the oppressive gender politics but take different routes.
Nonetheless, she is not allowed to express her anger and depression although her life is fraught with desperation and inner struggles. Anger first develops within her. Kyoko Mori first tries to break away from the Japanese expectations of a woman. She rejects the silent and subordinate Japanese woman like her mother.
By denying the expected silence of a Japanese woman, she denies the most oppressive form of oppression of women. On the other hand, Kyoko Mori also challenges the ideal American marriage built on irrational and even pathetic love and romance, as she argues.
She seriously reconsiders her marriage to Chuck. Unlike many of her Japanese and American counterparts, she does not want to sacrifice in a Japanese way or immerse herself in American love and romance, which puts her happiness in the hand of one man.
As a result, she divorces her husband, Chuck, although she holds nothing against him personally, as she admits to her friends. To reiterate Constance S. It is also significant to heed how women resist their own oppression and the oppression of other women. It is even more important to understand self-reflexivity and self-growth transnational feminist approach is able to examine.
In the book, past and present, history and reality do not necessarily negate each other but are contained in each other across time and space. Moreover, Kyoko Mori is shuttled between cultures and travels back and forth between them. Living in two cultures has inevitably imposed challenges on her -- trying to decide what to accept as different but well intentioned and what to tolerate irrespective of cultural differences.
Kyoko Mori is one of the acclaimed post immigrant women writers from East Asia. Kyoko Mori has published both fiction and non-fiction works. Polite Lies , the primary text in my paper, won a Book of Distinction award from the Wisconsin Library Association not long after its publication. References: Angelika Bammer. Displacements: Cultural Identities in Question. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, Bow, Leslie.
Princeton, N. Cheung, King-Kok. King-Kok Cheung. New York: Cambridge University Press, Flores, Juan and George Yudice. Heitlinger, Alena. Alena Heitlinger. Knippling, Alpana Sharma. Lim, Shirley Geok-lin, et. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, Lowe, Lisa. Durham: Duke University Press, Moghadam,Valentine M..
Pierre Hamel, Henri Lustiger-Thaler, et. New York: Palgrave, Mori, Kyoko. New York: Fawcett Books, Naples, Nancy. New York: 13 Routledge, Noh, Eliza. The New Centennial Review. Parekh, Pushpa. Geoffrey Kain. Richards, Constance. Rubenstein, Roberta. Shohat, Ella. Slaymaker, Douglas N. The Body in Postwar Japanese Fiction. Zhou Xiaojing. Seattle: University of Washington Press,
Akigor Nov 27, Laura Patak rated it it was ok. On one side, it was really interesting. Polite lies can be our defense against barbarity. Overall rating No ratings yet 0.
I dont always approve of this kind of behavior. Hemingway did it with people in his life. The book is about rejecting polite lies for the sake of honesty. Honesty can be a release. It can be freedom, but it always comes with a price. Honesty is also destructiveit lays bare the cruelty of the world and the corruption that eats at our relationships.