One characteristic of writing about military dependents’ villages inTaiwanese literature is authors’ spontaneous overflow of pivotal momentsgrowing up in there. Writing the motif – military dependents’ villages – as anemotional outlet, authors are de facto reviving the life memories and progressesof these villagers.
This current study begins with the idea of diaspora, tackling the diasporadestiny of these villagers, followed by the nostalgic memories of the firstgeneration villagers and the attachment to the land of the second generation
villagers. Architectural styles and living habitats of military dependents’villages are investigated afterward, together with the portrayal of militarydependents’ villagers, their leisure activities, food culture, and their integrationwith the outer ethnic groups. Owing to their different living backgrounds, lifeexperiences, and points of view, the first and the second generation of villagersare not in complete accord in terms of their nostalgic reminiscences,conceptualization of ethnic groups, national identity, and living surroundings.
Such a discrepancy in national consciousness and nostalgic perception betweenthese two generations leaves a plethora of topics for further investigation.Notwithstanding the notion of military dependents’ villages as a living
community and these villagers’ blood-thicker-than-the-water comradeship, theyounger generation has waded through the Chinese Complex. Trying tointegrate their writings with the Taiwanese locality, these younger authorsmight somewhat have been through a “shifting identity”, according to Chao
Yang. Regardless of the fact that we can find out the conspicuous traces ofChinese Complex in the literature of military dependents’ villages, theinfluence of Chinese Complex in this genre is virtually nonexistent for the
second generation authors, considering their attachment to the land.The literature of military dependents’ village germinates fromanti-communist literature, military literature, and nostalgia literature, thrivingin its unique style and contents, after having weathered through the secondnativist literature movement (1977-78). Their last imagined field connectedwith the Chinese dream in the literary context, however, is thoroughly shattered,
thus making the second generation authors feel obliged to think for their nextdirection and placement. In turn, their literary works are bound for anotherpromising stage.
Hence, earlier literary works depicting military dependents’ villages focuson nostalgia and emotional outlet for the hometown, since the roots andrelatives of the first generation villagers are on the other side of the straits.
More recent works about military dependents’ villages, nevertheless, focus onthe life within military dependents’ villages and the attachment to the land,since the recovering of mainland China is nothing but an illusion. Followingthe logic, the contradiction and discrepancy between these two generations, theconflicts and reconciliations between these villagers and local Taiwanese, andthe diverse characters in the villages along with the pivotal moments becomethe fundamental nature for creative writing – also the frozen snapshots of
This current study intends to keep track of a memorable record by synthesizing the writings of military dependents’ villages in case they, as discontinuing societies in modern Taiwan, are doomed to fade out as points ofreference. Facing the impact of Taiwanese localization movement, the study aims to utilize these collective writings as a springboard to clarify the
attachment to the Great China, to reconcile the rivalry among ethnic groups here, and to retain the disappearing memories.