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Unformatted text preview: WILD SWANS BOOK SUMMARY 2/28/08 Th 1pm discussion Chapter 1- “Three Inch Golden Lilies”—Concubine to a Warlord General (1909-1933) Character List • Yang Ru-shan- Jung’s great-grandfather- gave her grandmother (his daughter) up as a concubine to General Xue to gain social status and wealth • Jung’s great-grandmother- “Number Two Girl”- no name because of being a girl; treated extremely badly by her husband; eventually moved out of the house away from her husband • Yang Yu-fang- Jung’s grandmother- very beautiful woman who was given as a concubine to warlord general Xue; eventually marries a nice man, Dr. Xia when the general dies; lives a hard life due to foot binding that was imposed on her as a child • General Xue Zhi-heng- powerful man in county of Lulong, Jung’s grandfather; given Jung’s grandmother as a sort of trade for power, wealth and prestige; was crazy about grandmother, showered her in presents and gave her a house • Bao Qin- Jung’s mother; brave, impetuous young girl; joined the communist underground at age fifteen Important Points • grandmother becomes a concubine to Warlord General Xue o important concept- had bound feet- considered beautiful in China foot binding would rule over grandmother’s entire life o Yang engineered encounters with the general to give daughter away o Xue bought her a house, but left her for six years to live by herself o gives birth to Jung’s mother and if forced to go to live at Xue’s main house o sees Xue on his deathbed but runs away to escape living a life of slavery under Xue’s wife Chapter 2- “Even Plain Cold Water is Sweet”—My Grandmother Marries a Manchu Doctor Character List • Dr. Xia- wealthy, prominent doctor who took care of grandmother after she had a nervous breakdown; the two fell in love and got married despite huge disapproval from Dr. Xia’s family • Eldest son of Dr. Xia- most against marriage between Dr. Xia and grandmother; shot and killed himself when Dr. Xia refused to call of marriage • Big Old Lee- tough coachman that took care of mother; well versed with the forest and living off of the land Important Points • grandmother returns home a free woman, but her father still treats her badly o she is seen as bad luck for losing husband o things have changed- father has social power, even two concubines • Dr. Xia treats grandmother for nervous breakdown o the two fall in love and plan to be married o extreme opposition from family father is marrying a concubine they will lose power to a woman much younger than them o entire family except for one son (De-gui) stages a formal intervention, but Dr. Xia refuses o oldest son shoots himself in the stomach and dies o Dr. Xia to feel guilty for the rest of his life • mother and grandmother have to deal with scorn from the family • Dr. Xia decides to give up everything and move to Jinzhou with mother and grandmother o lived a poor life by the river o Dr. Xia started from the bottom as a doctorDr....
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- Spring '07
- Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao, Bao Qin- Jung