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      The Insanity Plea in The Butcher’s Wife

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          Abstract

          In 1983, Li Ang, a Taiwanese writer, adapted a case about the killing of a husband, committed by Zhan Zhou Shi in Shanghai in 1945, into the novel The Butcher’s Wife (1983). The case is also recorded in The Hearsay in Shanghai (1955) written by Chen Ding-Shan. The Butcher’s Wife depicts a woman who, due to her traumatized childhood and psychological condition caused by her husband and neighbours, kills her husband, a butcher, and dismembers the body the way he does pigs. Li Ang’s novel tries to offer a legal explanation to exonerate the butcher’s wife, Lin Shi, through a plea of insanity. In this article, I will compare the case of Zhan Zhou Shi both in the media and in The Hearsay in Shanghai with The Butcher’s Wife to illustrate Li Ang’s reinterpretation of the case and explain how Li Ang goes beyond the insanity pleas that strengthens a stereotypical image of insane female offenders.

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          Most cited references 4

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          民國初年的女性犯罪 (1914–1936)

           Q WANG (1993)
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            From Soy Garden Lane to Lugang: The Transnational Narration of The Butcher’s Wife

             N. HUANG (2011)
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              Travels of Minor Narratives: Chen Dingshan’s Shanghai and Taipei

               N. HUANG (2014)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                26 August 2019
                2019
                : 5
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Dalarna University, SE
                Article
                10.16995/olh.451
                Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Literature, law and psychoanalysis

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