Society, History, and Values: A Cultural Study of Paul Yee's Chinese-Canadian Female Characters


  • John (Zhong) Ming Chen
  • Pat Parungao


Résumé: L' auteur analyse les personnages féminins du romancier Paul Yee dans le contexte de l'émergence du multiculturalisme canadien. Ce dernier parvient, tout d'abord, à créer des personnages de femmes qui échappent au cadre de la société sino-canadienne au caractère patriarcal prononcé; ensuite, grâce à de solides recherches historiques, il met au jour le riche répertoire les mythes canadiens et chinois; en fin, sa connaissance discrète mais approfondie du taoïsme et du confucianisme, et son assimilation des valeurs canadiennes font de scs oeuvres des récits complexes et stimulants. Summary: The paper studies a range of Paul Yee's female protagonists by situating them in the challenging and rewarding social, historical, and cultural context of an increasingly multicultural country--Canada. It argues three main points. First, Yee 's solid social or sociological expertise combines well with his creative imagination in portraying female characters who break away from the super-stable, mostly male-dominated or patriarchal Chinese society and family structure; second, a historian turned writer, Yee's rich and first-hand historical knowledge and experience enable him to draw from both Chinese and Canadian histories, myths and mythologies; third, his profound though somewhat hidden philosophical systems express themselves largely in two forms of values: Confucian and Taoist. The interplay between these two, compounded by the third clement of Canadian value systems, makes Yee's work sophisticated and thought-provoking.