Critical Essay on “Divine Debauchery” | The Nonconformist Master Jifan

Mo Yan in his story of Divine Debauchery portrays Master Jifan as a person who challenges all the value system accepted by many people as asserted by Yinde (125). He depicts a characteristic of a nonconformist when he believes that material things are external and temporary. Master Jifan had a view of illusion on beautiful women, social status as well as wealth where he considered that people who are after such material things would one day be disappointed in life. He did not care much about material gains, but he had a value that was quite different from the traditional culture of Confucius value system (Yinde, 125).

Furthermore, Master Jifan had six concubines but most of the night, he used to sleep alone. He also treated his concubine kids as his children, a value that differed much from the Confucius value system (Yinde, 128). In the traditional culture system, Master Jifan differed greatly with people’s goal of a life of having heirs and establishing a big family. Yinde (129) posit that in Chinese tradition, raising children of one’s concubine was a taboo and upon discovery of such affair, guards would drive out the concubine from home away from the people.

In consideration of these values, Master Jifan is a Taoist person. He had this character due to the fact he believed that a person may spend a longer part of life searching for material wealth but one day everything would be gone (Yinde, 130). Master Jifan compared how the life of a human being is short just like when a person steps on an ant. Therefore, human beings like ants, do not know when, why and how they will exit the world. In conclusion, Master Jifan did not try things the very hard way but he chose to lead a natural life as a nonconformist.


Work cited
Yinde, Zhang. “The Fiction Of Living Beings.” China Perspectives 2010.3 (2010): 124-132. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 May 2015.

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