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A comparative study of gender representations in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and its Chinese translation

Tso, Wing Bo (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials has caused controversy as well as enjoyed great popularity among readers worldwide. Its influence has created a great impact in the field of children’s literature. The purpose of this thesis is two-fold. Firstly, the thesis analyzes gender representations in Pullman’s trilogy in the context of how he rewrites female archetypes through the subversive re-inscription of Eve, the invention of daemons, the reinvention of ‘femme fatale’, and the new portrayal of Gypsy women. Secondly, the thesis aims at comparing and examining how gender representations in the source text are translated, transformed or / and manipulated in its Chinese translation. With reference to Chinese gender ideology, which includes the Chinese concept of the ying-yang polarities, Buddhist notions of gender, the notion of the femme fatale, and the stereotypical image of Chinese grannies, the syntactic and semantic alterations made by the Chinese translator are investigated. Issues regarding how Chinese gender views may influence and alter the translation product are discussed in detail. By studying the similarities and differences in gender representations between the texts, the thesis attempts to shed light on the gender ideology of both English and Chinese contemporary cultures.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Knowles, Murray and Caldas-Coulthard, Carmen Rosa
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies
Subjects:PE English
P Philology. Linguistics
PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1163
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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