Analysis Of The Short Story Folding Beijing, By Hao Jingong
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“Money can’t buy happiness.” “Money isn’t everything, its just paper.” Anyone who has ever grown up without money and lamented about it has heard these kinds of phrases many times. In looking around our culture and society today it would be hard to say those statements are true. While everyone has problems, rich and poor alike, having money gives you access to more solutions to those problems. The short story “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingang shows that while money may not be able to buy happiness outright, it does give access to comfort and contentment.
In the story “Folding Beijing” we see three different class sets and how each of them live. It opens following Lao Dao though his home of Third Space describing the ratty nature of his clothing as he sees people at food stalls before the change in Space. Lao Dao thinks to himself about how he has been skipping breakfast to save money stating; “He used to spend about a hundred each day on this meal, which translated to three thousand for the month” (89). Even this amount of sacrifice only leads to meager savings as he continues with, “If he could stick to his plan for a whole year, he’d be able to save enough to afford two months of tuition for Tangtang’s kindergarten” (90). The importance of, and his desperation for, money is shown again when he is telling Peng Li of his mission. When Peng Li comments on Lao Dao’s hiding in trash for twenty-four hours, Lao Dao replies with “For two hundred thousand yuan...Even hiding for