How Does Yiyun Li Present the Theme of Capitalism in "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers"?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 627
  • Published : January 29, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
In A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, Yiyun Li depicted many different lives of the people in last decade’s China, still under the reign of Communism. With Communism, comes Capitalism, two contradictory political systems, once threatened the world of a nuclear World War. The clash of communism and capitalism was delicately presented in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, as the newly liberated modern China and its people were greatly influenced by the West. Throughout Yiyun Li’s collection of short stories, Capitalism was constantly mentioned and presented, a constant factor that influences all the character’s life and choices. The two most common themes in the stories that associate to Capitalism are immigration and freedom. In Princess of Nebraska, Sasha immigrates to America in pursuit of a better life. In Son, Han immigrated to America to escape China’s communism rules. Mr. Shi follows his daughter to America and discovers the joy of America’s in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. In all these cases, freedom has become a symbol for America, a country of Capitalism. What all the characters have in common is the wish to pursuit freedom, the American dream. Mr. Shi and Madame from the title story, both from an oppressive country, constantly mention, “America is a good country”. Mr. Shi undergoes the change from being a man disgraced of his job, restricted from talking about his job and hiding secrecies from his family, to “A new person, a rocket scientist, a good conversationalist, a loving father, a happy man.” Mr. Shi’s daughter states similarly, “If you grew up in a language hat you never used to express your feelings, it would be easier to take up another language and talk more in the new language. It makes you a new person.” Both Mr. Shi and his daughter feel that America has given them a new identity, because it has given them the freedom to become what they want to. Likewise, in the story Princess of Nebraska, Sasha and Boshen both immigrate to America for...
tracking img