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The Giant Wistaria

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  • August 2, 2008
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"The Giant Wistaria" deals with the troubled connection between the sexual repression of women and the male’s control of motherhood. There are two parts to the story. The first part takes place in the past, a hundred years before the second one. It is about a beautiful young lady who commits adultery with her cousin, and as a result gives birth to an illegitimate son. It involves the punishment of the young woman by her parents, especially by her father. The father wants to get rid of his daughter’s unwanted baby so he can protect himself from people’s gossip. He knows that his daughter is in love with her cousin; however, does not want people to think that his daughter is pursuing her love.

The second part of the story, which takes place a hundred years after the first, is both disturbing and mysterious. It involves a group of young people, Mr. and Mrs. Jenny, their pretty sisters and their sisters’ lovers who talk about the possibility of having a ghost inside their house and eventually discover the house’s dreadful secret. This part reveals the secret from the first part. Without it, the first part would have been very vague and incomplete. Along with the characters from the second part, we must attempt to read across a hundred years of silence to reconstruct the first woman’s story. We are forced to discover what traditions, what historical and cultural continuities link the two halves of the story together.

The house beneath “The Giant Wistaria” is a symbol of “patriarchal culture.” Built, maintained, and controlled by men, the house is a place of entrapment for the woman at the center of the story. The wistaria, on the other hand, is a symbol for women’s influence and their power to dismantle patriarchal constructs. The wistaria is a symbol of female charisma and the supremacy of women to conquer that patriarchal empire. In this sense, it represents women’s existence, their rights, as well as their identity.

The Giant Wistaria symbolizes women’s...