What Is The Relationship Between Shen Te's Line And I Can Mimic Men

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I would like to examine Shen Te’s line “and I can mimic men” (pg 702) that is given to Yang Sun during their first encounter. There is so much significance to be read behind this statement. By this point in the play, she has already revealed her alter ego Shui Ta, her imagined, strong-willed, male cousin, who stands in stark contrast to the meek, selfless, female she actually is. Shen Te has already successfully proven that she can in fact “mimic men” in appearance, voice, and demand for respect. With that said, I believe this character to not only be a part of the parable story speaking to the inability to “be good” in society (pg 682); but more specifically, a critique on women’s inability to remain good, and be respected in comparison to men.…show more content…
She is not only able to “mimic” men, but she feels it is necessary to do so in order to make progress with her issues of debt, rent, and everyday interactions with the people of her town. Shen Te must have felt obligated to create a male alter ego. She just as easily could have created a fictitious female cousin to do all of her dirty work and still manage to keep her name clear. Instead, she solves all of her issues by way of being male. This begs the question; what does it mean to be a man in this society? Is this something that can never be achieved by a woman, and is that what forces Shen Te to have a split personality that is male? Will society simply not respect a woman who is kind and yet makes pertinent decisions about business and
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