Dramatic Conflicts Under Different Models Of Societies Analysis

Pages: 6 (1494 words) Published: March 19, 2018


Analysis of Dramatic Conflicts Under Different Models of Societies
Ever since Hu Shi introduced Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House to China and wrote his first play The Main Event in Life in 1919, Chinese culture and society started to accept modern spoken drama and it marked as the beginning that Chinese modern spoken dram became one of the alternatives to the traditional Chinese drama. However, although the history of Chinese modern spoken drama is not too long, the changes in the historical contexts and societies in China over the past 100 years have created distinct characteristics in plays of certain periods of time. Therefore, under different historical backgrounds, the models of the society differ. For example, the play The Main Event in Life...

Written in 1919, the play reflects the period of time when China was in transition from traditional feudalism society to the modern age. In this very short one-act play, Hu Shi tried to create conflicts between the main character Tian Yamei who was educated with modern values and her parents who were considered as “masters” in a family under the traditional Chinese patriarchal society on the issue of arranged marriage. Under the model of traditional Chinese patriarchal family and society, children’s marriages are supposed to be decided by their parents rather than choosing by themselves. However, educated in the modern age, Tian Yamei refuses to accept the arranged marriage by her mother and decides to pursue her own happiness by choosing a Japanese-educated man as her lover. In the play, Hu Shi depicts a very clear hierarchical order under traditional Chinese patriarchal family as Mrs. Tian says: “I don’t care what he thinks. My own daughter is not going to get married to someone if I don’t agree to it” (Hu Shi, 1919). Therefore, in order to fight against with her mother’s traditional and superstitious ideas on arranged marriage and exert her own will of pursing happiness, Tian Yamei decides to look for support from her father Mr....

In the play, the main conflicts are not traditional values versus modern ideologies, but the commitment to collective socialist dreams versus personal interests. For example, as one of the main characters in the play, Lin Yusheng is constantly struggling with the conflicts. Lin wants to pursue his own happiness with his fiancée in Shanghai, while his classmate in college, Xiao Jiye, another main character, insists that he should go back to the frontier to build socialist China dreams collectively at the expense of his personal comfort and happiness. Moreover, Xia Qianru, one of the main female characters in the paly, is also involved in constant conflicts between fulfilling his wish by staying in Shanghai with him and going to the remote frontier building a utopian socialist state. Yet, another character, Xiao Jiye, is considered as the ideal figure in socialist China, where “he believes that personal happiness is intimately related to hard work and struggle, without which happiness cannot exist” (Chen, 2013). The constant conflicts in the play under this rapidly changing society is always the will to fulfill personal comforts and the courage to and passion to build the nation collectively. Therefore, at the end of the drama, the author reaffirms the value of sacrificing personal interests to fulfill the goal of building socialist dreams...
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