Reading the Modern Chinese Short Story

By Marston Anderson; Cyril Birch et al. | Go to book overview

6
POLITICAL INTEGRATION IN RU ZHIJUAN'S "LILIES"

Robert E. Hegel

CRITICS all remark on the emotional power and the restrained didacticism of Ru Zhijuan "Baihehua" ( Lilies, 1958).1 The story is rather brief, has only two (according to most Chinese readers) main charac­v ters, neither of which has any extraordinary characteristics or talents, and consists of just a few events, all of them common enough in wartime. Yet through those events ordinary characters become heroic, overcoming strictures imposed by culture, gender, physical limitations--even by death itself. It is ostensibly a story of ideological integration, of transcendence of political marginality, of freeing the self from isolation, from the past, even from concern for self altogether. The story is carefully wrought in structure and dense with symbols having highly emotional associations. These features, together with the subtle manipulation of its first-person narrator, produce a seemingly artless work that engaged--and eased--some of the deepest political anxieties of its original audience. Since the political climate has changed dramatically over the last thirty years, making some of its original message irrelevant to its readers in other political periods, I will deal with this characteristic briefly at the end of the essay, as a historical artifact. First, we should observe how the Maoist theory of contradictions informs the structure of this brief tale.

At least in his philosophical writings, Mao Zedong ( 1893-1976) advocated utilization of the dialectical approach to understanding reality. Like Lenin, Stalin, and other Marxist writers, Mao saw change as the product of contradictions within an entity or phenomenon, specifically in the alternation of relative dominance of those aspects or elements that define any contradiction. Even though the existence of each aspect is a condition of the existence of the other and identified by its

-92-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Reading the Modern Chinese Short Story
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 214

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.