War as an influential force in The Jade Peony
The Jade Peony is a novel that concentrated on the life of early Chinese immigrants by describing a series of stories happened in a four-kid family. The novel told the reminiscences of three children’s child life in that family, therefore it was divided into three parts according to the different characters. But apart from the family routine portrayed in the novel, it can be clearly seen in the whole book that war, as another implied clue, played an important role in the development of the story. In the first place, as an overall background, Chinese civil war between Kuomintang (the party leaded by Chiang Kai-shek) and The Communist Party (the party leaded by Mao Tse-tung) caused the first Chinese Immigration Waves to Canada. From 1890 to 1920, thousands of famers, workers, or lower class people came to Canada due to various kinds of complex reasons such as flood, drought, natural disasters, shortage of food, to name just a few. But civil war is an undeniable driving force to people who ran away from their hometown in South China. Afterwards, in the late 1920s, it was this group of early immigrants who made up the first residents in Vancouver Chinatown. That is why people in the novel, especially the adults like Poh-Poh, Mrs. Lim, and stepmother, had the same background, personal value and culture concept. What’s more, after Second World War broke out. War as an influential force in the novel appears more obviously. Even in Miss Doyle’s English class, she also would like to illustrate her central theme----bravery, with examples from her brother, who was a fire marshal whose main job is to put out fires caused by the bombing and save lives. Although there were no direct descriptions about war where China fought the Japanese invaders, it can be seen from Chinatown people’s daily life that people showed high attention about the aggressive war happened in China. As Jook-Liang said “Wong and I stayed late to catch the...
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