Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Bridge across the Pacific

By Kang Liao | Go to book overview

5
A HISTORIC MIRROR

If the cognitive and educational functions are the primary value of Pearl Buck's literary works, as I have emphasized in my discussion, then critics may challenge the purpose of reading Pearl Buck for learning about China and East- West cultural issues with these questions: "Why must we read her instead of Chinese writers? Are her books in any way more valuable than the books of her contemporary Chinese writers? Even though she opened the eyes of Americans and other Westerners to what the majority of Chinese people are really like, what is the significance of her description of the Chinese peasants' life to the Chinese readers themselves?" What most American critics do not know and most Chinese critics are reluctant to admit is that Pearl Buck's novels are indeed more valuable than those of her contemporary Chinese writers in at least one sense--- her novels serve as a historic mirror that reflects the Chinese peasants' life more truthfully than do the mirrors held by the other writers, because theirs are tinted red with communist ideologies.

If we break the barrier of national pride and the traditional classification by nationality, it will not be hard to see that Pearl Buck's literary creation indicated a new direction for Chinese writers, who, consciously or unconsciously, followed her lead. When we examine the Chinese novels, which have a history of at least six centuries if we regard Shih Nai-an Shui Hu Zhuan ( All Men Are Brothers) as the beginning, we find no novels were written about the life of ordinary Chinese peasants and farmers. In discussing the significance of Lu Hsun's literary works in the history of Chinese literature, Hsujee Huang made a statement which I translate into English as follows:

For thousands of years in ancient agricultural China, the position of peasants was the lowest, and therefore, they were never portrayed in classical Chinese literature except some poems which pitied them. Although Shui Hu Zhuan is about the peasants' uprisings, yet the genuine peasants who are engaged in agricultural work are very few in the novel. . . . It was not until after the May Fourth New Culture movement that Chinese peasants

-121-

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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
Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Bridge across the Pacific
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions to the Study of World Literature ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - A Paradoxical Enigma 1
  • Notes 15
  • 2 - A Neglected Laureate 17
  • Notes 44
  • 3 - A Single-Handed Crusader 47
  • Notes 82
  • 4 - A Multicultural Mediator 83
  • Notes 118
  • 5 - A Historic Mirror 121
  • Notes 137
  • Index 173
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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
/ 184

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.