In the modern day literature world, very few authors have managed to write books that tell the readers about the different historical events that happened in the past decades, this is because most of them have concentrated on writing science fictions novels and imaginative novels about the future. Born more than 58 years ago, Jung Chang is one of the literature writers who managed to bring out the historical events that happened in the ancient China and how it has shaped the social, economic and political status of the nation and the entire world; this is through one of her bestselling book Wild Swans. The irony of this is that, despite her achievements worldwide her book was banned in the native country china because the topic that she covered.The purpose of this essay paper is to try and explain the reasons as to why the author wrote this work and for what audience was it written for. It will explain how does the author characterize the warlord era and it will address issues of politics, law and order, and the economy.
In addition to that it will give the author view on the Kuomintang rule and if this characterization is fair or unfair? One of the main characters works for the CCP and actively supports the Revolution, the paper will give a personal opinion about her decisions and if it makes sense that she would support change in China through communist revolution. The Cultural Revolution is graphically depicted in the work; an opinion will be given on the characterization; if her characterization is generally accurate. The last issue that the paper will address will be to give a personal view about the Cultural Revolution in Mao's China.For a long time, women have played a pivotal role in the determining the course of most activities; in the book the author has used three women to show the generational change that happened in ancient china and the change in the socio-economic and political setting of the nation.
The setting of the book is the beginning of the 20th Century and during this period there was no equality between men and women; women were supposed to be submissive and obedient to their husband. It is not only in marriages where the men had an upper hand, education wise also men were given top most priority over women; for instance Yang Ru-Shan was one of the most educated and ambitious members of the society as compared to his age mates.Another notable thing about this period is that marriages were not based on love but it was more like a business transaction, most marriages were arranged and the parties involved were not required to give an opinion on what they wanted. Wealth distribution among the people is also another notable thing, the rich were extremely rich and the poor lived in abject poverty.
From the brief explanation given, it can be said that the reason as to why the author wrote this book was to try and educate the modern literature lovers on the ugly events that happened in the ancient China and the impact that they had on the society. In addition to that it can be said that the author brought out different themes like the theme of love and marriage and power and politics in the first part of the book.In most ancient society, there was constant struggle of power between the elite members of the society; during this period most leaders were warlords and the author has brought this clearly in the book. In those days, warlords were the most powerful and influential members of the society, they could get anything they wanted even if it was against the law or morally wrong. It is also at this point that the ugly side of men is bought into focus; male have been portrayed as egoistic and self centered.
Because of his desire to gain easy wealth and prestige in the society, Yang Ru-Shan marries off his daughter Yu-fang to the then powerful warlord General Xue. This is despite the fact that he clearly knew that the General was already married and the General only took his daughter not as a wife but as a concubine. Most of the activities during that period both on socially, economically or politically were controlled by the warlords who enjoyed lavish life while the rest of the people lived in abject poverty.In the book, there were two different rules; the first was the warlord rule under the stewardship of General Xue while the other was the Kuomintang rule; the Kuomintang rule after the end of the Second World War after the Japanese were forced out of the Manchuria region. Just like any young leadership, the Kuomintang rule began on a friendly note as people were treated fairly and were given access to basic amenities, this however was only to win the trust of the people and make them forget about the cruelty of General Xue.
According to the author the Kuomintang administration was no better than the warlord's leadership since in both cases the leaders were more self centered and focused more on accumulating wealth at the expense of the people who lived a poor life.In any nation, if the people are oppressed and denied their democratic rights by the leadership of the moment then there comes a time when they will have to stand up and fight for their rights. In the book Wild Swans, women were the ones who denied their rights and privileges and they were required to abide by what their masters said. It is for this reason that when De-hong got a chance to work with one of the cells operating in Jinzhou, she did not turn it down. It can be said that her decision to participate in the revolution was to fight for the rights of the women, most of who had been abused by the different regimes that came into power as well as close male relatives.
She did this with the hope that one day women will have equal rights as to those of their male counterparts both socially, economically and politically. Another reason as to why she chose to participate in the communist revolution is because of the way the communists were treating people; they encouraged the peasant farmers to sell their food products to the less fortunate starving members of the community. This made them feel appreciated for the first time in many years.From the book, the author has used the communist revolution platform to show the different treatment that women and the poor members of the community were subjected to under the previous regimes and how things were gradually improving as more and more women joined the communist revolution. At the beginning of this paper, it was mentioned that one of the themes that the author tried to bring out is that of love of marriage, the paper stated that there was a time when women and young men were forbidden from dating and all marriages were arranged by parents and other elders, this meant that love was not a determinant when it came to marriage but it is the wealth of the grooms parents that determined the wife he will get. This outdated concept was overcame by time during the revolution when De-hong fell in love with one of the most educated young men at that time Wang Shou-yu; this was despite the fact that most people who belonged to the old school of thought were against their relationship.
The Cultural Revolution in Mao's China was one of the best things to happen to the people of china; according to the author this revolution bought about a sane government where people had rights and privileges as compared to the previous administrations. It is also during this period that the nation experienced rapid economic growth. It is therefore safe to conclude that the communist and the Cultural Revolution shaped the face of the modern day China.