Nature as Refuge in Chinese Film and Literature

Chunyan Zhang


In the period of 1920s and 1930s, traditional Chinese ideas and aesthetics, although embattled and in the process of being superseded by modern and Western aesthetics, did not totally disappear or die out in Chinese film and literature. For example, the image of nature continued to be constructed for its ability to relieve the misery of humanity. This is demonstrated in the films A Poet at the Edge of the Sea (1927) and Sand Washed by Waves (1936). However, because of social turmoil and turbulence of this period, the peaceful inner spirit as conveyed in the traditional culture seemed unattainable. There were more hints of social struggles in the “utopia”, as shown in the films Little Toy (1933) and Return to Nature (1936). The traditional ideas and aesthetics were also continued by some writers, such as Zhou Zuoren, Feng Wenbing, Yu Pingbo and Wang Tongzhao, who still had close spiritual connections with traditional culture. Sometimes the spirit of the “return to nature” was embedded with another mark of this period: the influence of Western culture, as shown by several of Guo Moruo’s poems.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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