The Otherness of Adopted Daughters-in-Law: Analyzing the Alternative Mother– Daughter Relationship in Taiwanese Literature

Main Article Content

Hui-Ya Lin

Abstract

The present study discusses the situation of adopted daughters-in-law in Taiwan. Two novels and six short stories are selected for analyzing the custom of raising adopted daughters-in-law, which is specified to the Han society till nowadays. Moreover, Third Feminisms and Western theories of mother-daughter relationship are used to examine in detail the adoption of daughters-in-law and particularly female subjectivity in Taiwan. After interpreting the novels and short stories, it can be inferred that the relationship between an adopted daughter-in-law and her adoptive mother was actually more similar to that between a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law than a biological mother-daughter relationship. Hence, adopted daughters-in-law tended to experience unfavourable treatment. Moreover, the mother-daughter relationship between an adopted daughter and her biological mother was disconnected in a social structure characterized by a preference for sons over daughters. The adopted daughters-in-law are the sacrifices of the unfair social system. The real source of oppression for women is the intricately designed patriarchal society. However, some exceptions in the texts also remind us that if we are more aware of the problem, we will be able to build a bond between adoptive mothers and adopted daughters, and together we can fight against the patriarchal society.

Keywords:
Adopted daughters-in-law, Taiwanese literature, Third World Feminisms, female subjectivity, otherness, mother-daughter relationships.

Article Details

How to Cite
Lin, H.-Y. (2018). The Otherness of Adopted Daughters-in-Law: Analyzing the Alternative Mother– Daughter Relationship in Taiwanese Literature. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 1(3), 1-9. Retrieved from http://journalajl2c.com/index.php/AJL2C/article/view/29578
Section
Original Research Article