Sorrow after the Honeymoon:
The Controversy over Domesticity in Late Republican China

By Lu Liu

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 13, no. 1, pp.1-35

In May 1948, famous director Shi Dongshan,s film Sorrow after the Honeymoon went public. Focusing on the conflicts between family life and career development an urban female intellectual confronts, the film stirred up a wide debate on the idea of “cult of domesticity. Taking a close examination of this film-incurred debate, the essay contends that image of women on the screen underwent significant change in the post-World War II China. The type of “domestic woman replaced the type of “woman warrior that had been popular in wartime cinema. Moreover, situating the controversy over domesticity in the politics of postwar society, the essay argues that the 1948 debate reveals how middle-class women took full use of the press to resist the cult of domesticity that the state deliberately cultivated and that male filmmakers supported.