china essay - Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, by...

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Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China , by Jung Chang chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese women, and in the process provides a wealth of information that is unlikely to be found in history books. The “three daughters” are the author’s grandmother, a woman of traditional China, the author’s mother, a communist revolutionary, and the author herself, a child of the revolution who now lives and writes in exile, her works banned in her native country. The first part of Wild Swans focuses on the harsh life of Jung Chang’s grandmother, Yu- fang, who grew up in a small town in Northeastern China where bound feet were still considered an essential element in securing a good marriage. At the age of fifteen, her father, hoping to advance his economic and social status, arranged for her to become the concubine of a powerful local warlord. Eventually, she bore him a daughter (Jung Chang’s mother) and when he died, she later became the wife of a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Xia. Dr. Xia is one of the book’s most admirable characters. Kind, upright, and principled, he honored Yu-fang by marrying her instead of making her a concubine, in spite of the fact that this decision would cause his entire extended family to rebel against him. To resolve the situation, he gave up his family wealth and business and moved to another city, where he and his new wife lived in extreme poverty until he was eventually able to establish his practice there. Although Dr. Xia was a master practitioner of Chinese medicine, he rarely took any medicine himself. Instead, he sustained his health through practicing qigong, abstaining from tobacco and alcohol, and improving his character through spiritual practice.
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This note was uploaded on 05/19/2011 for the course CHEM 51615 taught by Professor Fatima during the Spring '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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china essay - Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, by...

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