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Globalisation has profound effects on culture. Tradition, customs, ideas and values from different countries all around the world can be experienced firsthand. However, writer Paul Pedersen suggests that “[e]xperiencing a new culture is a sudden and sometimes unpleasant feeling causing persons to reevaluate both the new host and their own home culture" (2) in his book The Five Stages of Culture Shock. This statement is applicable to Angela Carter's story “A Souvenir of Japan”, where the British female protagonist travels to Japan and has a relationship with a Japanese man. In this essay, I aspire to prove that in the environment of an unfamiliar culture, the protagonist undergoes unpleasant cultural shock, which makes her reassess the new …show more content…
She discovers deep-rooted genderstereotypes in Taro and in a book where she reads, “[i]n a society where men dominate, they value women only as the object of men’s passions.” (Carter) Her boyfriend Taro is a typical Japanese man, chauvinistic and patriarchal. Being a Westerner, our female protagonist has been deeply influenced by the idea of individuality due to fact that since “the advent of the nation-state, people in the West have come to understand ‘society’ to mean an association of individuals.” (McKinney) The Japanese gender stereotypes totally overthrows the Western concept of individuality. She disagrees with it, yet out of her love for Taro, she does not just break up with him and be free from the constraints of being an “ideal wife”. Instead she compromises, stays at home, waits for Taro to return from work and persuades herself that it is “a better thing to be valued only as an object of passion than never to be valued at all.” (Carter) She re-evaluates and puts her native culture aside, sacrifices her individuality and gives up what Western culturehas made her

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