Analyzing Waiting by Ha Jin

889 words 4 pages
Communist China uses propaganda and force to hide the truth from the public, as well as controlling them in a sense. Ha Jin writes Waiting and in this book he comments and portrays communist China in great detail. Waiting’s main character, Lin Kong, is commonly criticized as indecisive and unable to love. In an interview published in Asia Week in 1999, Ha Jin comments on Lin’s inability to love:

allegorically…sum up a sort of internal psychological damage to the Chinese… the Revolution was to disable people so they can’t love others… so that psychological energy, sexual energy or creative energy could be focused on the revolutionary cause.

After a successful revolution, China retains a strict code of laws, that if broken, the
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Lin is portraying the changing China looking back at the old China, visiting Shuyu every year, and striving for the new China, pursuing a relationship with Manna. Every year Lin goes back to Shuyu and hopes to divorce her but she always backs down, as how old China or the rural part of China is reluctant to change to the new China. New China is depicted by Manna and her experiences, which are hectic and enduring. When they finally marry, Manna and Lin are bombarded with problems. “…I’m afraid she doesn’t have many years left. Heaven knows why her condition deteriorated so rapidly.” (288) reveals Manna’s heart problems which symbolizes the instability and weakness of some of the new traditions to China, represented by Lin and Manna’s marriage. “For some reason he was overwhelmed by the peaceful scene, and his throat tightened.” (301), Lin visits Shuyu during a holiday and finds his ex-wife and daughter was living a peaceful life with or without him. This scene shows that some older traditions are much more stable and calm. The quote by Ha Jin in the 1999 interview shows how he sees China and the new faction in power. The communist party in China tries to manipulate the public into accepting and obeying their laws and policies. Through law, propaganda, and forceful action the party accomplishes most of their goals. However, has this seemingly stern base that they have accomplished stable enough to avoid corruption and bring


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