"In far Cathay" : images of China in The Boy's Own Paper, 1879-1914

Shih-Wen Chen
This study discusses the representation China and the Chinese in relevant travel accounts, informational reports, adventure stories and illustrations published in The Boy's Own Paper (1879-1967) between the years 1879 and 1914. By examining the portrayal of China and the Chinese in The Boy's Own Paper, this thesis comments on the influential role of popular children's literature in the construction and perpetuation of racial stereotypes. Because racial stereotypes still persist in all areas of
more » ... he media today, an understanding of the origins of these stereotypes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century can help one to understand and then confront existing racial issues in contemporary society that sometimes perpetuate seemingly outdated prejudices. Chapter One traces the history of children's publishing in the nineteenth century, comments on the emergence of children's periodicals, and provides background information on The Boy's Own Paper. Chapter Two focuses on The Boy's Own Paper travel writers' impressions of the China and analyzes the rhetorical strategies they use in order to present China as an inferior country. Chapter Three analyzes the ways in which The Boy's Own Paper authors construct the Chinese as a race by discussing authors' language and tone in their descriptions of the characteristics of the Chinese people, which can be divided into physical traits and traits of personality. Chapter Four examines the portrayal of contemporary events in Chinese history, such as the Taiping and Boxer Rebellions, opium, piracy, and other issues related to China. Chapter Five compares the representation of the Japanese and the Koreans with that of the Chinese and discusses reasons for the different approaches the authors take to the countries. Chapter Six examines illustrations pertaining to China and discuss the implications of including these images in The Boy's Own Paper. The conclusion summarizes the findings of the study and provides a brief outlook on the issue of racial ster [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0089909 fatcat:vz4lunudwbgrjckrmqgn6yuqxm