Identification, Rebellion and Compromise in Repression

  As the first female portrait figure in the history of Japanese banknotes, Higuchi Ichiyo was not only an excellent female writer known as “Meiji Shikibu” at the end of the 19th century in Japan, but also one of the early pioneers of modern Japanese realism literature. However, the long-term hard and laborious life and the prematurely withered flower of love made her starving, cold, and physically and mentally exhausted. On November 23, 1896, Yi Ye, who was plagued by illness, finally got rid of the noise and pain in the world forever. He was only twenty-four when he died. Although Yi Ye’s life is very short, she is like a “ephemeral flower” that never withers, leaving a haunting literary fragrance, especially the female images created in her works are extremely impressive. As she said: “I was born in this world to comfort the suffering and disappointment of women in this world…” Looking at the images of women in Yi Ye’s writings, if viewed from the perspective of feminist critics, the psychoanalytic model is roughly It can be divided into three categories: the image of women who identify with repression, transform repression into internal self-needs, and completely submit to the patriarchy; rebel in repression, and even go crazy, and bravely resist the image of female fighters against the patriarchy; Seeking balance and compromise in anti-suppression has led to the female image of split personality.
  1. Identification
  The background of Higuchi Kazuyo’s life is just like the toiling masses in her works, in the mixed period of feudal remnants and the initial development of capitalism. Because I have been exposed to classical traditional readings such as “The Tale of Genji” and “Pillow Grass Son” since childhood, what flows and hides in Yi Ye’s bones is still the gentle, weak, cautious and other characteristics of Japanese women. Therefore, strictly speaking, most of Yi Ye’s early works tacitly agreed with traditional morality and feudal ethics. Because they did not dare to break free from the shackles of feudal ideology to fight against the patriarchal society and seek the freedom of women, Yi Ye’s writings showed many women who agreed with the feudal ethics in an unequal society. They were under the influence and oppression of the patriarchy. Imperceptibly to the degeneration, and finally completely reduced to a chess piece in the society, such as Middenley and her sister in “Childhood Friends”.
  Maidenley and her sister in “Childhoods” live in a prosperous Yoshihara Flower Street. There, the power of women is evident. Because my sister is sought after by many people, she can easily support her parents and has a certain economic foundation. On the surface, it seems that she does not need to abide by feudal etiquette, and she has become relatively free in life, but in fact, who knows how many times she “has endless bitterness day and night”. Compared with her elder sister, Medanley is unique, and this uniqueness is not only reflected in her minor age, but also in her pure and natural feelings and clear destiny. Maidenley was originally a girl with a natural and pure nature, but step by step, she followed her sister’s “steps” from the kingdom of children. The whole process of change is like a preset track and a destined destination, full of helplessness and sadness. It is precisely because of such changes that Medanley has repositioned the gender of women not only physically, but also psychologically, realizing the constraints of being a woman in society and her own helplessness and depression. Yi Ye is close to life, carefully observes the budding emotions and growth process of boys and girls, and realizes that the society at that time not only made adult women lead a miserable life, but even children who have not grown up could not escape the clutches.
  Although capitalism had begun to sprout and developed rapidly in Japan in the Meiji era, the status quo of women’s lowly and subordinate status in a human society composed of men and women has not changed since the feudal society. Influenced by Japanese traditional culture, Ichiba only describes the difficult living conditions of women in her works, so as to express a deep sympathy and concern, but does not realize the urgency of saving those women and her own subjectivity.
  The rebellion
  The Meiji Restoration injected fresh blood from the West into traditional Japan. Taking “Literary Circle” as an opportunity, Ichiyo Higuchi began to come into contact with Western enlightenment thought. On the one hand, the active enlightenment thought and the thriving civil rights movement prompted Ichiyo to examine the humble and painful situation of Japanese women for hundreds of years from a new perspective; on the other hand, Ichiyo’s own difficult life also awakened unconsciously. her sense of female subjectivity. Therefore, some rebellious women appeared in Yi Ye’s writings, such as Ali in “Droid Current” and Alu in “Li Zi”, who bravely fought against the old society in order to win their love and freedom , regardless of success or failure, without compromise, and finally became a rebel of the times. Although such images are few and far between, they were part of Yi Ye’s creative career and had a profound impact on the society at that time.
  ”The Turbid Current” is a landmark novel in the transformation of Yi Ye’s early works. In the social environment at that time, free and happy love was such a luxury for a prostitute. However, Ali did not suppress her emotions. Whether it was for her good friend Yuki Asanosuke or her old lover Yuan Qi, she boldly pursued herself and used her actions to attack the shackles of the patriarchy. Even if there was only a single-plank bridge left, she did not stop but. Sartre said: “To be fully human, one cannot rely on pursuing oneself, but seeks a goal outside of oneself, and this goal is precisely what liberates and embodies oneself.” In a certain sense, Ali’s death is the A kind of relief. At the end of the work, people are discussing the cause of death of Ali and Yuan Qi. Although it is ambiguous, it affirms Ali’s tenacious spirit of resistance and a strong sense of pursuing an independent personality. It also shows Yi Ye’s hope for a better future and women Awakening of self-consciousness. Similarly, Alu in “Li Zi” is also an independent woman. Although this work has not been completed, it can be seen from the written part that his thoughts are more mature than the previous works, and his understanding of women is also more thorough. Although Alu was married as a wife, she did not lose her right to speak and act because of her status as a wife. Instead, she bravely expressed her emotions, was not afraid of social gossip, and fought for her own freedom and status.
  Such women are rare in Yi Ye’s works. On the one hand, Yi Ye’s creative career is very short, and on the other hand, it is due to the limitations of the author’s own thinking and the social environment at that time. However, even though Ichiba foresees in her literary works that the day of equality between men and women can only be in the distant future, she did not give in, but shouted out the deepest and most regrettable voice of women in the Meiji era.
  3. Compromise
  Although capitalism had already appeared in Japan during the Meiji period, because their bourgeois revolution was carried out from top to bottom, there were still many feudal ideas left in people’s minds. As a woman living at the bottom of the society, Yi Ye has a narrow range of life and has not been involved in social and political activities. Therefore, although she has come into contact with Western enlightenment culture, her vision is not broad enough, especially when she cannot see the crux of many social problems. Where there is, there is no way out for women, so even if the women in her writing have a spirit of resistance, they finally choose to compromise and submit to the ugly social reality. For example, A Guan in “Thirteen Nights” and A Jing in “Broken Road”, they clearly saw the darkness of society and the unequal treatment they received, and they rose up and resisted because they could not bear the pain, but later She deeply felt the difficulty of being a woman under the patriarchal system, and was ultimately unable to break the existing order and still succumbed to the patriarchy.
  A Guan in “Thirteen Nights” was born in a poor family and married into a wealthy and powerful upper-class family at the age of seventeen. Due to the disparity of status and status, Ah Guan’s “rich wife” life is not satisfactory. On the “Thirteenth” night of the reunion, she secretly returned to her parents’ home to complain, trying to get rid of her demonic husband. However, after some persuasion from her parents, the complicated emotions and dilemma of Ah Guan’s identity as a mother, wife and daughter and her pure pursuit of freedom and happiness made Ah Guan who had the courage to escape from the clutches begin to hesitate. In addition, the rotten thoughts of the feudal remnants are still deeply rooted in her thoughts, so, for the sake of her family and her parents, A Guan has returned to the original point. In addition, A Jing in “Broken Road” is also a woman who turns from autonomy to depravity. Although she lived poor and lonely, she was completely self-reliant and made a living by unpacking and sewing clothes for others. However, in a complex society where old and new ideas alternate, it is difficult for women living at the bottom of the society to control their own destiny. It is precisely because of this embarrassing social environment that the distortion of women’s personalities and the alienation of money from people make A Jing happen. Qualitative change: From a strong and independent woman to a person who is dependent on others and has no freedom.
  It is not difficult to see the duality of Higuchi Ichiyo’s character from the swaying and indecisiveness of such women. On the one hand, she still permeates traditional women’s feudal thoughts; on the other hand, she recognizes the unequal status of women in society. And painful encounters, eager to save them from dire straits, but helpless and helpless. It can be seen from this that no matter whether women obtain an economic foundation or not, or how they try their best to control their own destiny in this earth-shaking era, as long as the social environment in which women live and the cultural concept of patriarchy remain unchanged, the fate of women will also change. There will be no substantial changes. Because they didn’t really understand their needs from beginning to end, they couldn’t control their inner passions, they couldn’t change the cruelty of reality, and more importantly, they didn’t have a fundamental understanding of women’s proper status in society, so they began to wander and eventually compromise.
  In short, Higuchi Ichiyo is good at creating all kinds of female images from all angles, “with the long-suppressed hoarse voice of women, they shout and whisper the most essential anger and longing of their lives”, and put a kind of “can’t save if you want to save it”. “The complex mood is vividly expressed. Woolf said that “one of the motives that led them to write novels was the desire to expose their own suffering and defend their own careers”, and Higuchi’s works depict not only those who have suffered from social oppression and Bullying, women who are not treated fairly spiritually and materially, also reflects the cruelty and hardships of the entire society and the sadness and darkness of life. Although there are some deficiencies in Yi Ye’s works, such as the inexact description of psychological conflict, the characters are immature in thought and incomplete in action, but whether it is Maidenley, Ajing, Aguan or Alu, although In the end, he did not succeed in “rescue” them, but Ichiye obtained the release of the soul and the liberation of the spirit in the process of writing. Under the circumstances that cannot change the reality, she uses her broad and broad heart to comfort the world, even if she can only play a small role, she is not stingy with her writing and determination to save women. Although more than a century has passed since the era written by Higuchi Ichiyo, the literary significance reflected in her works will not disappear.