The family's personal encounters with the destructive nature of the traditional family have forced them to think in modern ways so they will not follow the same destructive path that they've seen so many before them get lost on. In this new age struggle for happiness within the Kao family a cultural barrier is constructed between the modern youth and the traditional adults with Chueh-hsin teeter tottering on the edge, lost between them both. While the traditional family seems to be cracking and falling apart much like an iceberg in warm ocean waters, the bond between Chueh-min, Chueh-hui, Chin and their friends becomes as strong as the ocean itself.
While traditional Confucianism plays a large role in the problems faced by the Kao family, it is the combination of both Confucianism and modernization that brings the family to its knees. Chueh-hsin is a huge factor in the novel for many reasons. It is because of him that his little brothers Chueh-min and Chueh-hui realize how unfair the old system of arranged marriage was. They witnessed their older brother Chueh-hsin go along with tradition and release a lake of tears over... [continues]
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