Chapter Six Noraism and Class Ideology in Modern Chinese Fiction
New sociocultural contexts will give a literary work new significance. This new significance will produce other literary texts that create intertextual conditions for further interpretation of the work. The cause becomes the effect, and the effect becomes the cause of newer effects. Intertextuality occurs as a result of this chain relationship, succeeding interpretations referring to previous arguments. In this sense, the Chinese interpretation of A Doll’s House as a feminist manifesto and the subsequent literary works produced as a response to it can be seen as a network of relations involving literary and social conditions of text production and consumption that form an intricate relation of intertextuality and intercontextuality. Being treated more as a social surgeon than as a dramatist, Ibsen has had a more immediate impact on the social and cultural movements of China than on drama and the theatre. Although Ghosts is a much more sophisticated play in dramatic technique and feminist psychology than is A Doll’s House, the latter is better known in China and had a greater effect on modern Chinese literature and society in general because of Nora’s daring confrontation with Helmer and the declaration of her independence. Ever since A Doll’s House was introduced to China, it has been associated with the emancipation of Chinese women and has served as an intellectual guide for women to confront adversities in life. Numerous plays and novels have been produced with a heroine leaving her home just as Nora does.