Wild Swans By Jung Chang

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Jung Chang’s Wild Swans combines a first person narrative and real historical events to create a story that is both compelling and informative. Though the author tells different tales in the three parts of the book, the themes of violence, oppression, and abuse of power remain static throughout. In retelling stories from three generations, Chang depicts the hardships faced by citizens of opposite genders and different ages in twentieth-century Communist China. Through the author’s vivid details, the reader gets a look into how women were perceived and mistreated in society. Chang, her mother, and her grandmother all accepted subservient roles in the household. What is interesting to consider is how traditional values held up during the reign of the Communist party. Throughout the novel, the reader sees the female characters struggling to uphold conventional ideals while simultaneously adjusting to new responsibilities brought forth by the party and attempting to establish their power as women. It is worth considering whether the party alone was responsible for not doing away with the old traditions and expectations for females, or if society as a whole perpetuated these values through their actions and treatment of one another. This essay will seek to make sense of that question through critical analysis of the novel. Women were restricted from having an opinion or ever expressing their feelings in the home. If they broke these unspoken rules, the result was usually a

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