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Black Bristle, White Bristle

Black Bristle, White Bristle - This story reeks with irony...

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Due Date: September 6, 2010 Multi-cultural China Professor Lin Inoh Choe Make-up Reading & Reflection Black Bristles, White Bristles At first glance, it seems as if the premise of the story lies in the disparity between the powerful and the outcasts of society. Four villagers, poor and lacking in social status, are given a chance to redeem their downtrodden luck and vy for the chance to go to prison for a high ranking official (the towns head). Genbao does not get his lucky break and walks home dejected. However, people assume he is the townhead’s benefactor, and Genbao is treated with respect. Genbao begs the “winner” of the prison lottery and is given a chance to reverse the fortune of two people. The life-changing opportunity does not come to fruition. Genbao finds out that the towns head no longer needs a “benefactor”. The promising future that looked so bright disappears with the new news. He doesn’t have the courage to tell the expectant crowd and continues on his path to the Butcher.
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Unformatted text preview: This story reeks with irony. Despite the seemingly favorable outcome that is guaranteed, only the outcasts have any motivation to do time in order to gain favor. Most of the poor status individuals have been hampered by circumstances outside of their control (i.e the lame brick layer) or by a lifestyle not rewarded by society. To elevate one’s social status, a person must relinquish control of his life and serve time for the high-status official. The decision to serve time, though, still requires the choice to serve time. Ironically, the one time in his life Genbao attempts to control his life, he loses it at the end. He is helpless as he was before and the ending reinforces his lack of courage and will to face the stark reality. Life is unfair. The idea of justice is twisted by a system that prioritizes rank status over actual crime. From the beginning, the story sets up the idea of life not governed by justice, but by luck, chance and artificial status....
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