The Desire to Change the Subservient Role of Women in Old Chinese Society
Chinese women stayed in an unequal status with men in old Chinese Society. Shen Congwen’s “Xiao Xiao” and Ding ling’s “When I Was in Xia Village” are two stories about village women’s lives during modern time in China. The stories in both of these works present an important traditional Chinese belief that it is profitable to raise geese than to raise daughter. In “Xiao Xiao”, she is a twelve-year-old girl who is married with a two-year-old husband, Chunguan, and as his caretaker in her youth. While “When I was in Xia Village” is a period when narrator spends his/her time in Xia village and make friends with a village girl Zhenzhen. She is sent to Japan to spy Japanese government after she is raped by Japanese soldiers. When she goes back village due to her disease, people look down upon her and laugh at her. Finally she runs away from Xiao Dabao’s propose and seeks for a fresh life in city. Xiaoxiao and Zhenzhen have something in common that they are both independent-minded woman; also they are from village and ever desired to live in city to find new life and to have education; they live under the tradition of gender discrimination in old China. While their experiences are different, and, at the end, Zhenzhen is seeking for her new life in another place, yet we see Xiaoxiao and her husband’s family is still within traditions in their small village. In men’s world, women are like a tool which they can use to make their life good, but we see some of women have desire to change their subservient role to become independent in Chinese society.
Xiaoxiao and Zhenzhen are independent-minded women compared to other women at that time in Chinese society. They are not afraid of break down the present life and live in their owns. When Xiaoxiao’s grandpa and other relatives make joke on her about figuring out her should become a coed when she grows up. Then she has thinking that how coeds’...
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