China is and always will be a land seen as mysterious to those with roots in Western culture. And in its own way, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie is what can happen when Western and Far Eastern culture interact. Outside of the cultural revolution, headed by Mao Zedong, which makes the whole novel possible, and was a push back against Western involvement in China, the novel includes many other ideas of cultural interaction. However, it also prominently provides complex emotions and changes within the characters who are followed throughout the novel. In fact, one passage in particular reveals much character change and development in the narrator of the story (who will simply be known as narrator for the entirety of this essay), and it occurs on the pages of 166 to 169. The passage is a daydream of the narrator’s after having taken a beating by a band of hooligans and potential suitors of the Little Seamstress. In it, readers can see the narrator develop to the same sort of manhood as Luo: the satisfaction of changing something and reaching independence. However, after reaching this stage, he also realizes the drawbacks to having done so, causing him to feel remorse for his actions. This is achieved by the narrator’s expression of hidden desires he developed over time and what lustful feelings and desperation accompany them.
Mao Zedong, “the Great Helmsman of China’s Revolution” (Sijie 6), first launched his re-education process in 1968. He strived to limit education by prohibiting literature and sending “‘young intellectuals’” such as the narrator to the countryside. Through this re-education process, the narrator travels to the mountain of the Phoenix of the Sky, where he evolves into one of Mao’s subjects. The narrator works arduously under Mao’s communal model in the fields and acknowledges his “infinitesimal” (17) chances of escaping the mountain and the re-education process: “three in a thousand.” Later, while laboring in a coal mine, the narrator experiences “visions… difficulty breathing… [and] fear” (30-31). Mao’s
Once the novel comes to an end, we notice clearly the way Wang Lung changed. In the beginning of the novel we learned many ancient Chinese traditions by observing Wang Lung as a simple peasant, but as he becomes a wealthy landowner his life collapses. This rapid change of social class makes it difficult for anyone who intends to keep their traditional values until their death. This fantastic novel by Pearl S. Buck reminds us that we can never forget our traditional values, because if that happens your life will collapse just the way Wang Lung unfortunately
As China faced new international pressures and the change to a communist society, gender relations transformed women from servants of men to full independent workers, who finally became soldiers of the communist state. In Jung Chang’s novel, Wild Swans, the three women – grandmother Yu-Fang, mother Bao-Qin and daughter Jung Chang – exemplify the expected gender roles of each generation. I will argue that Confucian society presented few economic opportunities for women to support
The best part of a long, hard-working day is when you finally get to lay in your bed, close your eyes and let your imagination run free. As you sleep your mind takes you to another place far away from the real world. You begin to dream. Over the night, you may have several dreams. In the morning, you may wake up and wonder what your dreams were suppose to mean for you and your life. By analyzing your dream, it "gives a true picture of the 'subjective state'-how we really feel about ourselves-which the conscious mind cannot or will not give" (Wietz 289). In order to find the meaning of a dream, you have to pick out the most important symbols and define them. But you may be wondering what exactly is a symbol?
Originally, Liang’s “parents were deeply involved in all the excitement of working to transform China into a great Socialist country” (4). Over a serious of unfortunate events, though, he became the child of a “Rightist’s cap” mother and a “Reactionary Capitalist stinking intellectuals” father (9, 51). Impacted by the shattering of his family and horrific bloodshed created by fighting, Liang Heng began to question the Cultural Revolution. He claimed that his “family had scarified so much… but it had given [them] nothing in return” (148). Liang Heng presents his shift in ideology to demonstrate that most Chinese were no longer in support of a Communist nation. His “troubles were common enough and anyone could see there was a discrepancy between the glorious words of the newspapers and [their] painful reality (232). Even Liang Heng’s father, after many years of devotion, found that he could no longer defend the Party’s policies after he experienced the ill-treatment of the peasants in the country
These two tragic deaths, both filled with dramatic irony, reveal Zhang Yimou’s critique of communist collectivist culture and the class structure and power in revolutionary China. Communist collectivist culture may produce benefits such as communal kitchens and giving poor townspeople a sense of hope. However, the class antagonisms between revolutionaries and counterrevolutions produces an environment where no one challenges authority and where blind patriotism sometimes morphs into hysteria like
In this novel Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson It talks about a little nine-year-old girl Theo, and her mother Rae who are living together and are a very poor and un-wealthy family. Theo is not your typical child during her spare time, she likes to be alone and curl up to a good book if not she is always daydreaming about unrealistic things. Even if Theo tried making friends they wouldn’t last long since she always moved schools and switched apartments. Her mother was a smoker and waisted all their money on clothing and expensive accessories. There was nothing about Theo’s life that was normal no loving parents to come to after school, no clean clothes, and no toys so she made up her own fantasy. The perfect functioning family she had 2 loving
The Sun of the Revolution by Liang Heng, is intriguing and vivid, and gives us a complex and compelling perspective on Chines culture during a confusing time period. We get the opportunity to learn the story of a young man with a promising future, but an unpleasant childhood. Liang Heng was exposed to every aspect of the Cultural Revolution in China, and shares his experiences with us, since the book is written from Liang perspective, we do not have a biased opinion from an elite member in the Chinese society nor the poor we get an honest opinion from the People’s Republic of China. Liang only had the fortunate opportunity of expressing these events due his relationship with his wife, An American woman whom helps him write the book. When
In Jan Wong’s entrancing expose Red China Blues, she details her plight to take part in a system of “harmony and perfection” (12) that was Maoist China. Wong discloses her trials and tribulations over a course of three decades that sees her searching for her roots and her transformation of ideologies that span over two distinctive forms of Communist governments. This tale is so enticing in due part to the events the author encountered that radically changed her very existence and more importantly, her personal quest for self-discovery.
Hung’s first foray into the history behind China’s rise centers on the massive influx of American silver into 17th and 18th century China and how it fueled a commercial revolution. He talks about the revisionist image of pre-capitalist China as simply agrarian, and states that this
Depending on the experience, many dreams are believed to encompass the true meaning of our desires. I believe that the dreams that occur may actually be an representation of different areas of our lives. These factors could vary from your own perceptions, to how you want to better benefit yourself as a individual. Each particular form of imagery within a dream has a certain amount of significance. Being most prevalent in my dreams, for example, was the overabundance of superhero like qualities that the characters possessed. With a direct correlation, this aspect reflects to who i strive to be. Although i may not be able to teleport in the later future, i still strive for the qualities of a hero. Furthermore, my dream was able
What Dreams May Come is a movie about life, loss, death, afterlife and rebirth. The film explores the emotions evoked by a variety of characters when they are faced with coping with tragedy and death. It also delves into the manifestations of heaven and the variety of forms heaven takes in the minds of different people.
The 1991 Chinese film Raise the Red Lantern, directed by Zhang Yimou, demonstrates power relations within the household in 1920’s upper class Chinese society and uses them to challenge the dominant patriarchal ideologies through a critique of Chinese social culture while also reinforcing the idea that tradition is ultimately the most powerful and thus the relations of power in the household. By culture I am referring to Raymond William’s definition of culture as lived cultures and signifying practices. Lived cultures being the particular way of life held by a particular group of people that can be seen in literature and holiday practices. And signifying practices as meaning-making practices such as music, poetry and T.V. dramas (Williams R, 1983). The particular definition of ‘ideologies’ I’ll be using is the masking, distortion or concealment of particular ideas and images of reality, giving a ‘false consciousness’ or a blind acceptance of notions (Storey J, 2015). The underlying theme of the movie Raise the Red Lantern and this essay is politics. Specifically the social politics within the household and how tradition dominates these relations. In 20th century China, Sun Yat-sen tried to change Chinese government to become more westernised, however eventually failed. Because of, this feudalism was introduced to China, both landholding and tax liability was increased in every area, (Deng K, 2013). Meaning the poor were even poorer and that families would have to sell or
Mao Dun, or rather his true name Shen Dehong, was a 20th century novelist and later the Minister of Culture of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1965. He is considered one of the most well-known and celebrated left-wing realist writers of modern China and is best known for two of his stories, Ziya and Spring Silkworms, the latter which will be referenced throughout this essay. Spring Silkworms tells the story of an elderly man named Old Tong Bao, his family, and his village as they prepare for the coming silk worm season. Throughout the story, we are able to get a sense of the desperation and turmoil that Old Tong Bao’s village is experiencing. From learning about the debt that his family has, how they had to sacrifice food in