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Analyzing Waiting By Ha Jin

Essay by   •  January 5, 2011  •  868 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,642 Views

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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 consequences may be too severe. Ha Jin depicts this strict code of laws through the military hospital that Lin works at. Everyone’s lifestyles must be the true and fair, any exceptions are dealt with severely. In the novel Lin falls in love with a fellow colleague, Manna Wu. Lin’s marriage, however, stops any serious relationship from forming. This is probably not because of moral values but more of law, where adultery is intolerable. Ran Su, Lin’s supervisor, warns Lin of this “My friend, I understand that your marriage was arranged… but I want to warn you… your relationship with Manna Wu may affect your future…you’re heading toward trouble.” (58-9) “…so that psychological energy, sexual energy or creative energy could be focused on the revolutionary cause” Ha Jin states at an interview about his book Waiting. This is revealed in the book by the “worship” of chairman Mao Zedong. “…the bride and the groom pay tribute to the Party and Chairman Mao…the couple bowed to the banners and the portrait[of Mao Zedong]вЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (239) depicts the long expected wedding of Lin and Manna and how it starts by “worshipping” the party. In a typical wedding, we don’t see much of this “worshipping” the faction or party in power. This only shows how serious communist China’s sphere of influence has affected the general populace.

Like many countries, China desires any domestic problems to stay silent to the outside world and to do so China utilizes propaganda. Other than to conceal the truth Chinese propaganda may be used to mold the minds of the citizens. At a meeting between Manna and Lin’s cousin, Liang Meng, Liang shows Manna a book he recently finished. “They were all illustrations of a battle in which the Vietcong wiped out the American invadersвЂ¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (115-6) points out how Chinese propaganda only glorifies the achievements and not the failures and defeats of the Chinese and other oriental nation. “They are for a children’s book.”(116) states how that, not only adults, but children are also being targeted by propaganda. Propaganda is highly useful, but the strong-minded may not submit easily to the idea of the party’s superiority. When this happens, Chinese officials may resort to force. What makes people curious of the outside world and makes them

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