Story of Xiao Xiao

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“Child Bridge” System
My topic will be the “child bridge” system and the traditional rural life in China toward to the story “Xiao Xiao” by Sheng Congwen. The story is mainly about a young girl, Xiao Xiao who enters into the child bridge system with no choice and facing the struggle between the modern and traditional Chinese culture. Child bridge system was an unfair system that use to against women and was very common in rural China. It was an arranged marriage which daughter in the poor family would sell to a rich family for economic support. The daughter would marry with a male member of the rich family who was younger than themselves as the wife and a labor. There is no love between the couple. In rural China, women’s life was very simple. They just want to have a husband and a good care. Women’s duty of getting married is to give birth of the family. The activities of the new wife was cleaning, laundry, washing clothes, cooking and take care of her little husband.

In the story of “Xiao Xiao”, Sheng Congwen gives an image of how people in rural China looks like. For women, they have no power at all and are dependent on men a lot. For example, when Xiao Xiao found out that she had feeling toward to Motley Mutt, she is fear and she asked her husband to stay closer her which she would feel more comfortable. From this point, we may know how men are important to women. Even a little boy, women would also feel safe beside him. Also women in rural China contain the characteristics of innocence, naiveté, hard-working, kind, traditional and uneducated. Xiao Xiao is a good representation of the women with those characteristics. Even Xiao Xiao’s life filled with tragedy but she still keeps her part of innocent and kind. In the other hand, men in rural China sees rough, vulgar and lack of education. We may see that from the way Motley Mutt has speech with Xiao Xiao and the way he seduces Xiao Xiao. People in rural China are disconnecting...
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