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Title: Hawaii, Hawaii/Like a Dream/So I came/But my tears/Are flowing now/In the canefields: Beauty's Price in Philip Kan Gotanda's Ballad of Yachiyo.
Author: Seguro Gómez, M. Isabel (Maria Isabel)
Keywords: Postcolonialisme
Literatura americana
Estats Units d'Amèrica
American literatures
United States
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Centre d'Estudis Australians
Abstract: Oftentimes popular culture depicts Hawaii as an ideal paradise, represented by images of '[p]alm trees, a distant mountain (frequently a smoking volcano), and a hula maiden, all surmounted by a splendid full moon' (Brown 1994). Such a picture clearly contrasts with the labour song quoted in the title of this article, which reflects the exploitation, mainly of Asian workers, in the sugar-cane plantation system the original basis for (white) American prosperity in the islands since the mid-nineteenth century. Philip Kan Gotanda's play, Ballad of Yachiyo, which premièred at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 1995, takes place within a Japanese community in early twentieth-century Hawaii. It is loosely based on the silenced story of the playwright's aunt who committed suicide for bringing shame to the family as a result of an extra-marital pregnancy. Gotanda considers that this particular work is not so much about politics, but about 'a tone' and a 'kind of beautiful sadness' (1997). Despite the author's words, Ballad of Yachiyo inevitably has embedded within a political message insofar as it makes references, for example, to working conditions in the sugar plantations, the formation of the first inter-ethnic (Japanese/Filipino) trade unions and the expectations of Japanese immigrants in search of the mythical paradise Hawaii was meant to be. That is, by recovering what was once a lost voice, Gotanda reconstructs part of his family's memory as forming part of Hawaii's recent history.
Note: Reproducció del document publicat a:
It is part of: Coolabah, 2009, vol. 3, p. 17-23
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ISSN: 1988-5946
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Llengües i Literatures Modernes i Estudis Anglesos)

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