Wild Swans -The three daughters of China, is a wonderful book written by Jung Chang. The book describes the lives of three people: the narrator, her mother and her grandmother. The three grew up at different times in China, that is, pre-communist, revolutionary and communism periods. The book examines the love, hope and hopelessness that the narrator and her family experienced during their lives (Chang 8). The following essay examines the main theme of the book. The essay also discusses the weakness and flaw of the work.
The main theme of the book is cruelty and injustice in China as a result of cultural communism. The author recounts human suffering which was brought about by Cultural Revolution. She describes how people’s rights were being violated. For instance, the author provides accounts of foot-binding practices.
The author says that her grandmother always looked disappointed due top unkind treatment that she received from Bing. Her grandmother led a miserable life and she suffered murderous pains in silence. The author felt much pain when she was told about her grandmother’s last days by Xiao-Hong and Xiao-Hei. She distressed by the fact that the doctors did not attend to her sick grandmother.
The doctors said that they could not do anything about her condition. They asked the family members not to come anymore and thus, she lay in bed desperately as she waited for her death. At the time of her death, the author’s grandmother talked about Cultural Revolution. She said that she was denounced by her neighbors and she started experiencing pain ever since (Lu 20-24).
The author’s mother was detained and thus separated from the rest of the family members. She was allowed to come home only once a month. Each time she came home, she taught Chang revolutionary songs with an aim of cheering her up. The songs were full of hope and victory.
The author recounts how Cultural Revolution made them to live in fear. They endured poverty and human hostility. Chang’s mother was not allowed to spend much time with her husband following Cultural Revolution. Her rank made her to travel on foot despite the fact that she was pregnant. Her mother was also exposed to grueling military training and this in turn caused her to suffer a miscarriage (Lu 20-24).
The author too was a victim of Cultural Revolution in China. The revolution started when she was a child. She was thus exposed to brutal actions at a tender age. The author recounts how her father was exposed to torture until he met his death (Lu 20-24).
The book “Three daughters of China” has minor flaws and weaknesses. The author was not much concerned about her father’s childhood. However, she blamed herself for not looking after her sick grandmother while in hospital. This represents uneven character representations (Chang 256).
“How could the revolution be good?” The author was angered by the fact that Cultural Revolution brought about human suffering. She hated the revolution and anguished because she had no power over it. Cultural Revolution caused her father and mother to suffer physically and mentally. The author also led a miserable life following the Cultural Revolution. Even though times have changed, the author hopes that justice and prosperity will be achieved one day.
Chang, Jung. Wild swans: three daughters of China. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003.
Lu, Xing. Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: the impact on Chinese thought, culture, and communication. South Carolina: Univ of South Carolina Press, 2004.