Female Doubling and Postcolonial Exile

  • Hong Zeng
Part of the Semiotics and Popular Culture book series (SEMPC)


Chapter 3 examines the symbol of female doubling as the semiotics of postcolonial exile. Doubling indicates the separation within selfhood. The proliferation of the doubling image in modern literature and film is linked with the fragmentation and longing for companionship that is concurrent with the technological development of mechanical duplication and people’s increasing isolation, which accompany the advancement of modernity. Since in colonial discourse, the disempowered colonized is often feminized, female doubling emblemizes the split allegiance and complex identity of the colonized, and thus figures colonial and postcolonial exile. Such is the case in Chinese Box. The cinematic doubling of a Shanghai and Hong Kong actress in Center Stage brings Hong Kong and Shanghai into a mirroring relationship, in which fallen women are employed to figure fallen cities in colonial and postcolonial crisis. The cinematic doubling in Good Men, Good Women suggests the uprooted life of the contemporary Taiwanese that has lost the spiritual heritage of their forefathers, who were unsettled on their own land by the “white terror” of the Kuomintang government. In Farewell, China, schizophrenia is another form of doubling that internalizes the Diasporic cultural conflicts within selfhood.


Film Performance Love Story Female Protagonist Good Woman Colonial Discourse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Hong Zeng 2012

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  • Hong Zeng

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