Analyses of Love in a Fallen City and the Golden Cangue

2298 words 10 pages
A Woman’s Position in the Family:
Analyses of Love in a Fallen City and The Golden Cangue

For the bulk of the mid- to late-20th Century, Eileen Chang’s name and literary prowess fell into obscurity as a result of events related to the Cultural Revolution and her own reclusion. In C.T. Hsia’s A History of Modern Chinese Fiction, he praised Chang for her use of "rich imagery" and "profound exploration of human nature.” In his book, he also claimed Chang to be “the best and most important writer” of mid-twentieth century China. Hsia’s remarks and Ang Lee’s film adaptation of her novella, Lust, Caution, have helped to bring Chang’s name back onto the literary scene. Two of her most well-known and highly praised novellas are
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Her first marriage was an arranged marriage that was to the benefit of her family, but for her second marriage she wants it to be for herself. She is seeking stability in her life and she does not think Liuyuan is apt to fill that void. As much as she is attracted to him, she cannot see past his playboy charm. Her defenses and words show how she is strong-willed and determined to make right what went wrong in her life. Throughout the novel, Fan Liuyuan expresses his love to Liusu. He claims she is a “real Chinese woman” and continues on to say, “Real Chinese women are the world’s most beautiful women. They’re never out of fashion.” (Chang, 135) Liuyuan loves Liusu and thinks of her as the ideal Chinese woman, yet he worries that she is part of the trap of Chinese culture that wants him only for a convenient marriage. Therefore, he tries to take her away from China to Hong Kong the colony; he even considers taking her to Malaysia and Africa, to primitive lands. By attempting to remove her from her native home, he is essentially taking away her power over him. He wants to force her into the spiritual love that he wants, undermining her position as a strong woman. In the end, the marriage does go through, but only because the war forced the two of them together. The two people both have selfish tendencies and neither could have been together in any other situation: Hong Kong’s defeat had brought Liusu

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