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An Age of MelodramaFamily, Gender, and Social Hierarchy in the Turn-of-the-Century Japanese Novel$
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Ken K. Ito

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757775

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757775.001.0001

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I'll Be Doing the Giving

I'll Be Doing the Giving

The Traffic in Women and Men in Gubijinsō

(p.188) Four I'll Be Doing the Giving
An Age of Melodrama
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the treatment of the issues of marriage and family succession in Natsume Sōseki's Gubijinsō. It explains that this novel focused on themes rooted in contemporary social morality, particularly the conflict between female desire and patriarchal succession and it also highlighted the fascination of Meiji melodrama for homosocial alliances and heterosexual relations. This chapter contends that the moral exemplar of the novel is brute as can be seen in the final confrontation scene and argues that the ie-seido was not restored through faith but force.

Keywords:   marriage, family succession, Gubijinsō, Natsume Sōseki, social morality, female desire, patriarchal succession, homosocial alliances, heterosexual relations, ie-seido

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