Waiting, By Ha Jin

1859 Words Apr 25th, 2016 8 Pages
In Ha Jin’s novel Waiting, we are introduced to the protagonist Lin Kong a doctor in the ostensibly progressive communist Chinese Army. Lin Kong is agonizingly bound to Shuyu, the peasant wife his parents had arranged for him to marry due to this arrangement, Lin struggles with the cultural appropriations afflicted upon him within his family and love life as models of old are challenged with the new. His arranged marriage has bequeathed him to believe that his relationship with Shuyu is empty considering his lack of love for his wife, furthermore this leads to the ever-prevalent emotional strife and difficult decisions he faces throughout the novel while the Cultural Revolution is manifested. Anthony Gidden’s essay Family from the The Runaway World states that, “There is a global revolution going on in how we think of ourselves and how form ties and connections with others,” that is “advancing unevenly in different regions and cultures, with many resistances (Giddens 52). With this being said, the “Waiting” allows for us to explore Lin Kong’s relationships, marriages and multiple struggles with his identity during this transitory period in his life with the implied reforms that are to come with the Cultural Revolution in China.
In “Waiting”, Lin attempts to divorce Shuyu his peasant wife from the Goose Village, however, due to the supposed tradition within the village women are allowed to refuse their husbands divorce. After eighteen years Lin receives the divorce he’s been…
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