Character Analysis: To Live By Yu Hua

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“I was closest with Chunsheng. He would always be next me, pulling my arm asking, ‘Do you think we 'll be killed?’ ‘I don 't know’ I 'd reply. As he asked me this my heart would feel wave after wave of pain”(64). Chunsheng and Fugui are two characters from the book To Live with a very complicated relationship. In the beginning of the book they are two very close friend who were stuck in a horrible war together but later on their unforeseen conflict will appear and cause a ripple in their relationship leaving them with sadness and regret. Throughout Yu Hua’s book To Live the readers see how these two characters are brought together and torn apart during nationalist and communist China, how their circumstances and statuses change…show more content…
Fugui and Chunsheng’s relationship is important because when the readers see Chunsheng they see the person Fugui could have been if he hadn 't gone home and continued to fight with the liberation army. At first the readers would have thought that if Fugui had done the same thing as Chunsheng him and his family would have had better lives even if he did just become a rower. “He was no longer called Chunsheng-he was called Liberation Liu. When other people saw him they 'd all address him as Magistrate Liu”(169). Chunsheng is now seen as a higher class person whereas Fugui is still considered an average peasant. Fugui gave up the chance to be of a higher position because he missed his family too much. Chunsheng was still a child when he joined the army so when the Liberation army was looking for recruits he joined. He had no wife and children to go back to and he thought that his two war friend had been killed so he decided to stay and fight. Later on when the tables turned once again during the cultural revolution it wasn 't good to stand by being a war hero or a person of power. “‘Fugui everyday they tie me up and beat me’ he[Chunshen] said. As he spoke he stretched out his hands. ‘Feel my hands’... his hands felt as if they had been boiled’ (199). During the cultural revolution people with wealth and power were tortured, beaten and sometimes even killed by the red guard. If Fugui had joined the Liberation army and became a person of power he would be in…show more content…
As To Live continues Chunsheng and Fugui’s statuses in China also continues to change which causes their relationship and how others viewed their relationship to change. During the war they had the same statues; they were both soldiers fighting for their lives. Fugui saw himself as a fatherly figure to Chunsheng while they were at war. “Chunsheng was still a child. On one occasion he was sleeping like a baby when a bomb exploded nearby jolting him awake… ‘Quiet the fuck down! You 're so moist I can 't get any sleep’. As I rushed to pull him back in, bullets were already flying back and forth above our tunnel” (70). This show how Chunsheng is still an immature child, and Fugui pulling him back shows how he feels protective over him. Fugui feels comfort when Chunsheng is with him. He was someone he could rely on and also someone who would rely on Fugui. Neither of them could have gotten through the war, physically or emotionally, without one another. Fugui stopped Chunsheng from acting too rashly and Chunsheng kept them from starving. Fugui need someone to rely during the war because it gave him a purpose for staying alive and that person happened to be Chunsheng. Because of their decisions while the civil war was happening their statuses after the war ended were different. “‘How can you talk like that to Magistrate Liu?’ He [team leader] demanded’(169). This the team leader speaking to Fugui’s wife about how she was speaking to Magistrate Liu aka
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