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Rato, Montira (2003) Peasants and the countryside in post-1975 Vietnamese literature. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028717

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Abstract

Work on peasants and the countryside was a main corpus of twentieth-century Vietnamese literature. As a part of a mass mobilisation for the construction of a Socialist agricultural model and military struggles against foreign troops, the representation of peasants and the countryside in Vietnamese literature prior to 1975 was closely related to political agendas. This thesis seeks to explore the changes and continuities in stories about peasants and the countryside in post-1975 Vietnamese literature. The socio-political changes since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, and a greater freedom of expression granted during the Renovation period in the mid-1980s, are significant to the development of Vietnamese literary life in general, and the representation of peasants and the countryside in particular. It is proposed in this thesis that there are, together with socio-political changes in the post-war period, four major factors that account for changes in the way peasants and the countryside have been portrayed in post-1975 Vietnamese literature: the decline of Socialist Realism; the reinterpretation of collectivism and individualism; the transformation of literary generations from urban-based/middle-class to peasant-originated authors; and the socio-political disillusionment in post-war society. As a result of the changes, peasants and rural life began to be explored and represented from new perspectives. Writers began to depict peasants as individuals, not merely faceless masses, as portrayed in wartime literature. This thesis is divided into five chapters. The first explores how peasants and the countryside were represented in Vietnamese literature prior to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. The second chapter examines the sociopolitical context of the post-war society and its relation to changes and continuities of the representation of peasants and the countryside in post-1975 literature. The third chapter is about the portrayal of peasant women. The fourth chapter discusses how the conflict between the city and the countryside is articulated. The final chapter presents how the land reform programme is remembered in literary works.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028717
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:01
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28717

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