|Chinese 3352 Chinese culture and society through modern literature
STUDY GUIDE / ASSIGNMENT I
1. What are the important concepts that Confucius proposed for government? How should a government function?
2. What are the substantial contents of RITES and BENEVOLENCE?
3. Who is the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty?
4. Who is Sun Yatsen?
5. What is the literary revolution/Pai-hua movement? Who proposed it and participated in it? And New Youth?
6. What is the May Fourth Movement? What is its significance?
PREFACE TO CALL TO ARMS & THE TRUE STORY OF AH Q
1. What is LU Xun’s famous metaphor of “iron house”? What are the implications of this metaphor to Chinese intellectuals ?
2. Please evaluate the “means of winning a psychological victory” that Ah Q used frequently when he was defeated. Your analyses may be from the perspectives of an ordinary person like Ah Q, and of the Chinese government in relation to foreign countries.
3. Analyze the people’s attitudes to the revolutionaries, their participation to the 1911 Revolution and to the execution parade of Ah Q (e.g. p. 91; pp. 98-112, )
4. Why “The True Story of Ah Q” has a great impact on modern Chinese literature and New literary movement ? (In relation to the Western influence on Lu Xun, May Fourth movement, the responsibility of Chinese intellectuals, the literary significance of the writing.)
KONG I-CHI & THE NEW YEAR’S SACRIFICE
1. Who/What killed Kong Yi ji? And provide your supporting arguments.
2. What are “the profound questions of human existence” raised by Xianglin Sao? Why did the narrator feel guilty for his answers to the question? What are the implications of this plot?
Readings 2 and 3 (L. Lee & M. ANDERSON)
1. Evaluate Mao’s comment on Lu Xun.
2. Compare three narrators in Ah Q, Kong yi-chi, the New Year’s sacrifice. Compare their roles and functions in the stories. What is special to Lu Xun’s narration in the three stories that we read?
3. Please analyze the two themes in Lu Xun’s novels: the victimization of the peasants and the role of the intellectual in Chinese society. What is Lu Xun’s attitude to theses two themes. (Ref. M. Anderson: p37)
4. In what ways is Lu Xun a modern writer (his significant contributions to the modern Chinese literature)? Analyze Lu Xun's writings in terms of purpose, content, and style. Your argument needs to be supported by evidence from the stories by Lu Xun.
5. Lu Xun is well known for the techniques of symbolism, narrative, and sarcasm/irony in his
fictional writing. Please make comments on and provide examples of each of the techniques from the three stories we read.
Reading 4 (R. Chow, Modernity and Narration in feminine Detail)
1. Compare and analyze Xiang-Lin Sao, Rui-chueh, Ming-feng, and Qin, in the aspects of social/family status, education, their value and rebellion to tradition and rules, their personalities, etc. Can you think of the reasons why they are different? In what ways are they victimized?
1. Please analyze the nature of filial piety. Your argument should be based on the evidence from Family.
2. What does Family symbolize? In what way does it operate politically and economically? What is wrong with this structure?
Chinese 3352 Chinese culture and society through modern literature
STUDY GUIDE / ASSIGNMENTS (II)
Chinese Historical background
1. What happened in the following time listed below?
2. What is the main idea of Mao Zedong's talk at the conference on literature and arts in Yan'an
Rickshaw Boy and Tea House
1. Analysis the characteristics of Hsiang tsu.
1). his relationships between Hu Niu, and Hsiao Futsu.
2). his relationship of Ruan Ming.
3). In what way the world encourages/ punishes dishonesty, corruption, and crook?
How did Hsiang Tzu degrade himself? Who is responsible for his degradation?. What attitude does Lao She have toward the protagonists in his novel (Rickshaw Boy)and play (Tea House)?
2. Please analyze and compare the attitude and behavior of people towards the executions in the final chapters of The True Story of Ah Q and Rickshaw Boy.
3. Both Lu Xun and Lao She are well-known for their description and analyses on the weakness of “Chinese national character” (Lee, L.) and “indignation over the Chinese crowd syndrome” (Wang, D.). Please make comparisons on this topic. Your analysis and argument should be supported by the evidence from the novels, e.g. True story of Ah Q and Rickshaw Boy, by Lu Xun and Lao She respectively.