Wild Swans, by Jung Chang Essay

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Wild Swans, by Jung Chang

The Chinese people have experienced rapid change, in government and culture in the 20th century. Although the common people seemed to have risen up against oppression from the ruling class, liberty and equality often remains out of their grasp. For centuries the dynastic cycle has dominated the culture and collective consciousness of the Chinese people. This process is characterized by unification, followed by prosperity and success, followed by corruption and instability, and finally rebellion and overthrow. This gives way to a new dynasty that was said to have received the mandate of heaven. This cycle, in some ways, ended with the fall of the Qing dynasty. This marked the end of over 2000 years of
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She was born to parents whose marriage had been arranged, they were probably never in love, neither before, nor after the wedding. Yu-fang's mother was not even given a name, and her husband was 6 years younger than her and only a boy of fourteen at the time of their marriage. She was expected to help raise her husband which was expected of a Chinese bride. Yu-fang's feet were bound when she was the age of two. This was done by her own mother, and was an extremely painful process. Jung Chang said, "My Grandmother screamed in agony and begged her to stop. Her mother had to stick a cloth into her mouth to gag her. My grandmother passed out repeatedly from the pain." (24) This painful tradition is one of the worst examples mistreatment of women that was considered a necessity. Yu- fang was born in 1909. This was near the end of the Manchu Empire, which had been ruling the nation for over 260 years. This was also a time when threat of Japanese invasion was a constant reality in the region of Manchuria, which is where Yixian, the family's hometown, was located. Yu-fang became a concubine to an official to the Metropolitan Police of the Warlord government of Peking. Her father arranged for Yu-fang and General Xue to meet (making it seem accidental to preserve his family honor) and received a considerable
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