In recent decades, with the continuous development of environmental movement and feminism, the study of ecofeminism has surged, and ecofeminist translation theory has emerged as followed, and began to appear in translation studies. Ecofeminist translation theory responds to three pairs of important relationships in the connotation of ecofeminism: “women and nature”, “women and men”, and “nature and civilization”. On the basis of inheriting feminist translation theory, ecofeminist translation theory pays more attention to the relationship among women, human beings and nature, and opposes anthropocentrism.
The Color Purple is the representative work of Alice Walker, an American black woman writer talking about oppression of black women in the society at that time. The novel describes the transformation and growth of a black woman bound by old ideas, fully demonstrates the political and living conditions of black women under the double oppression of gender and race, as well as their resistance to oppression and their pursuit of happy life, and profoundly reflects the author’s feminist ideology. Based on ecological feminism, this paper makes a comparative analysis of the two Chinese versions of The Color Purple (Tao Jie and Yang Renjing). By comparing the examples extracted from the original text and the translated text, this paper explores the translator’s understanding of the relationship between women and nature and the contradictions between men and women, nature and civilization. Through case comparison, this paper finds that female translators tend to have a deeper understanding of the meaning of the same work with the spirit of ecofeminism.
Key Words：The Color Purple; Ecofeminism; Ecofeminist Translation Theory; Nature
1 Introduction 1
2 Literature Review 3
2.1 Ecofeminism and Ecofeminist Translation Theory 3
2.2 Overseas and Domestic Research 4
3 The Color Purple and Two Chinese Versions 7
3.1 Alice Walker and The Color Purple 7
3.1.1 Alice Walker 7
3.1.2 The Color Purple 8
3.1.3 Academic Focus on The Color Purple 8
3.2 Translators and Their translations of The Color Purple 9
3.2.1 Tao Jie and Her Version 10
3.2.2 Yang Renjing and His Version 10
3.3 Reconstruction of Ecofeminism through Translations 11
3.3.1 Reinterpretation of Faithfulness 11
3.3.2 Translator’s Subjectivity 12
4 Significant Reflection of Ecofeminism in Two Chinese Versions 13
4.1 Women and Nature 13
4.2 Women in Patriarchy Society 15
4.3 Human under the Intrusion of Industrial Civilization 16
5 Conclusion 19
A Comparative Study on Two Chinese Versions of The Color Purple from Perspective of Ecofeminism
Ecofeminism is a new rise of thought in recent years declaring harmony in women and nature, human and the earth. Focusing on double oppression on nature and women, it combines perspectives of ecological ideology and feminism under the situation of increasingly serious ecological crisis. Three important parallels are contained in its connotation, mainly about that women are deeply connected to nature, and women as well as nature are dominated by men and civilization. As ideological system of ecological feminism develops, it also experiences collaboration with existed theories and disciplines, which ecofeminist translation theory is one of those important outcomes. The ecofeminist translation theory, more than embracing the ideas that translation is a political action to improve female position and eliminate discrimination which feminist translators propose, spares more consideration on natural environment, and highly considers the environmental reservation as well. Since this school of thought was introduced into China in the late 1980s, it has now been fully studied and waits for more innovation.
This paper carries out a detailed comparison on two Chinese versions of The Color Purple translated by Tao Jie and Yang Renjing respectively. The paper will find out whether translator’s ecofeminist awareness influences translation process and how translators implant their subjectivity into their rendition to uplift women’s position. In general, when translate the same text, translators respond differently with their various backgrounds. To be more specific, Tao Jie, as a female translator, has absorbed knowledge about feminist studies, thus her feminist awareness is stronger demonstrated in her rendition than Yang’s. Therefore, it can be deduced that translators who comprehend same spirit with the author tend to have better understanding on the original text. This paper aims at exploring translator’s subjectivity and justify hypothesis mentioned above.
This paper consists of five chapters, the first part is introduction which contains research background, objectives, and methodology applied and structure of the paper. In the second chapter, the paper will deliver a brief introduction to ecofeminism and its translation theory, and review previous studies at home and abroad on them. At the same time, researches on The Color Purple and its rendition will also be mentioned in this part. The next two chapters are the core component in the paper. The third chapter introduces The Color Purple and its author Alice Walker, together with translators Tao Jie, Yang Renjing and their translated versions. A brief analysis on The Color Purple from ecofeminist translation theory will be presented in this chapter too. The fourth chapter will conduct a comparative study on the two renditions in the aspect of three parallels in ecofeminism: women and nature, women in patriarchy society, human under industrial civilization. The last chapter is concluding part, showing the result of whether and how translator’s ecofeminist consciousness work in translation behaviors.
2 Literature Review
Ecofeminism is defined as a feminist approach to ecology, concerning about relationships between nature and women, human and civilization. The theory appeared in 1974, it is developing and absorbing with diversified social factors in the following decades, and now has become one of the main perspectives in literature criticism. As an essential outcome of translation study, ecofeminist translation theory inherits feminist translation theory and explores anthropocentrism in depth. The Color Purple, used to be discussed from the view of feminism, now has been studied from perspectives of ecofeminism and other theories.
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