Essay Pa Chin's Family

1364 Words 6 Pages
All through time, successive generations have rebelled against the values and traditions of their elders. In all countries, including China, new generations have sought to find a different path than that of their past leaders. Traditional values become outdated and are replaced with what the younger society deems as significant. Family concentrates on this very subject. In the novel, three brothers struggle against the outdated Confucian values of their elders. Alike in their dislike of the traditional Confucian system of their grandfather, yet very different in their interactions with him and others, begin to reach beyond the ancient values of Confucianism and strive for a breath of freedom. Their struggles against the old values …show more content…
In addition, Chueh-hsin hoped that despite his arranged marriage he would at least be able to finish his education and become a high-ranking official as was hoped for him by his mother, of which he only had his tragic memories. Instead, he is removed from school and forced to enter the workforce in order to provide for his family and younger brothers, as dictated by the Confucian values of filial piety.
Although Chueh-hsin did not agree with these values, which so unfairly restricted him from his goals and desires, he felt as if he had no choice but to follow the word of his father and grandfather, the Venerable Master Kao. Towards the end of the novel, Chueh-hsin takes his last harsh blow from the Confucian dictates of his family, when his wife dies during childbirth, as a result of being forced away beyond the safety and comfort of the town and home, because of superstitious values of children being born in a household where a death had recently occurred. When this event occurs, Chueh-hsin realizes that he has made a mistake that is entirely irrevocable and that he himself is largely to blame for in adhering to the values and restrictions of the family. Upon realizing this, he decides to strike back in his own way, against the family, by helping his youngest brother, Chueh-hui, escape at the end of the novel.