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A Case Study of The Historical Reflection and Aesthetic Self-consciousness in Peach Blossom Fan

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This is an article by Wai-Yee Li, trying to critically analyze and responding to aesthetic self-consciousness and historical reflection in the peach blossom fan. The peach blossom fan is a musical play and historical drama that is acted in forty-four different scenarios. The article to be analyzed tries to explore and digest how history is represented in all these acts. History according to this play was treated as a problem that basically needed solutions. In this article Wai explains the role history has played in making up the play. History is viewed as a problem in this play in that it influences and affects the present and the future that is to say the past in this article is argued to be haunting the future.

The setup

The writing of peach blossom fan was done by 1969; this was awhile ago in comparison with the date today. The timing was significant to appreciate the role history played. Identification in the play by playwright and audience assumes the role of historians meditating the past and present gives an account of the setup of this article. The fact that this play has forty-four scenes of action represents the large population of the Chinese and their great cultural diversity.


The article on representation of history in the peach blossom fan is relevant to the fact that the whole play setup and nature was in line with the appreciation of history. It appreciates the Chinese culture and gives clear accounts as to why it is relevant. This article gives a clear and a deeper insight of the themes characterized by this play. Some of the themes addressed in this article in relation to the main play include history and performance explaining the role of history in the play and how it was incorporated and performed thereafter. Another point of discussion is absence and ambiguity which shows the extent to which there are omissions and instances not fully elaborated making some part of the play ambiguous. Lastly is the nostalgia and reconciliation which elaborates the nostalgic nature of the play in that it evokes memories the good and the bad but at the same point brings about reconciliation by trying to make sense out the history of the Chinese.


The merits of this article is that first, it gives a deeper insight into the power of history, secondly it explains the relevance of the play to the history of the Chinese people, third is that it addresses the role of history to the daily lives of the Chinese and lastly, it appreciates the need to reconcile as a nation the Chinese people due to their past differences. This article also explains why love is fundamental in bringing about a sense of togetherness. It has also enabled the reader to appreciate the Chinese color.


In as much as this article is progressive and useful in understanding the play. It has its shortcomings. First, it does not give an account of how history has impacted the country either positively or negatively, the article also through nostalgia awakens fresh wounds that are the past that was already being burred, the article has numerous omissions bringing along several instances of ambiguity.

It is important to note that according to Wai-yee Li the representation of history in the peach blossom fan is very evident to the fact that every reader is in a position to read and understand the relevance of the play in the appreciating the past and future.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

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A Case Study of the Historical Reflection and Aesthetic Self-consciousness in Peach Blossom Fan. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from
“A Case Study of the Historical Reflection and Aesthetic Self-consciousness in Peach Blossom Fan.” GradesFixer, 05 Nov. 2018,
A Case Study of the Historical Reflection and Aesthetic Self-consciousness in Peach Blossom Fan. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Nov. 2021].
A Case Study of the Historical Reflection and Aesthetic Self-consciousness in Peach Blossom Fan [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Nov 05 [cited 2021 Nov 28]. Available from:
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