Chinese Literature Analysis: “The True Story of Ah Q” and “The Golden Cangue”

The True Story of Ah Q

The True Story of Ah Q is written by Lu Xun and it is about the life of a man who turns his defeats into his spiritual victories claiming superiority over the others. He bullies the ones who are inferior to him while fears the superior ones. Throughout his life, he attacks women, initiates fights with others, steals, and is basically a loser. However, his stupidities and indignities lead him to self-deception and self-talk that eventually results in his self-claimed ‘spiritual victory’ over all the others weaker than him to oppress them.
Ah Q is defeated by the strong and powerful throughout his life which makes him less confident and a loser. He takes on different things to cope with his image and turns out giving negative impressions. In order to cover up his inability to defeat the powerful, he started torturing and being cruel to the ones who are inferior to him. He often has quarreled with the villagers who hit his head to the walls several times by the end of it (Xun 3).
He begins self-deception and self-talk which motivates him and encourages them to proclaim a moral superiority over his enemies. He starts believing that everyone who stands against him is morally inferior and he always tells himself in his mind that he has already won. In a fight, whenever he lost, he said that the opponent is like a son and thus he is morally superior for being the older one (Xun 4).

The psychological state of Ah Q represents the Chinese national character of that time in a negative impression. The negative impression was usually given for the Chinese to change themselves. As Ah Q was a loser and on that basis, he started doing cruel things, he was representing the negative human characteristics that were at that time identified as the natural elements of the Chinese character.
The Chinese national character was stereotyped for being a cruel, unkind, suppressive, tyrant, and oppressive. Even though the psychological state of Ah Q was due to the surroundings in which he lived and the need to regain his confidence in society, it symbolized the Chinese national character very much.

 

The Golden Cangue

The Golden Cangue is written by Eileen Chang explaining the conditions of women in China in the 1920s. It depicts the life of a woman Ch’i-ch’iao who has been married to a wealthy man who is old and a cripple. It has been clear that this marriage is not for love and the story overall gives the impression that love, death, and destiny are not the only elements in life. It gives a very unique and original picture of the Chinese society of that time and explains how life can be when greed and frustration take over.
She has been living in a tough life with a man she doesn’t love and has to bear with her in-laws and also has children. As a woman, she is frustrated and upset with her life and fantasies about her life without these hardships. The story gives a view of how wealth is just not everything and love also matters. But at the same time, love can make a person cruel too such Ch’i-ch’io loved her money and forbidden lover so much that she comprises on her children’s happiness.

The character also has many psychological aspects. The story has been written to define the psychological state of the woman in China under the harsh conditions that they lived in. They were young and married to older people, cripples, or those they didn’t love. This made the women frustrated and more desperate to fix their lives. The main character of this story is also psychologically disturbed and thus she takes money as her biggest weapon and in order to achieve what she truly wants she destroys the happiness of her own children.
The story shows and proves how terrible experiences in life can often turn the tables and people tend to do to others what unfairness has been done to them. This is exactly what happened in the story and this is a part of the human psychology that unintentionally you go for revenge for what unjust has been happening to you.
Ch’i-ch’iao does the same as she is a victim of the social environment and then eventually when she gets the power she starts victimizing others which gives her satisfaction. To a great extent, her past experience is responsible for her behavior in the present and her way of handling everything around her.

 

Work Cited
Xun Lu. The True Story of Ah Q. China: Cheng & Tsui, 1990. Print.

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