Love In A Fallen City Analysis

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The Significance of Female Figures in Love in a Fallen City
"In 1918, Lu Xun asserted that whenever the country seemed on the verge of collapse, Chinese men would thrust their women forward as sacrificial victims to obscure their own cowardice and helplessness in the face of the onslaught of aggressors and rebels" (Louie 15). Eileen Chang critiques the social status of females during the transitional period before the modern era in China throughout her novella Love in a Fallen City. Eileen Chang was influenced by the New Culture Movement in China, which promoted gender equality and education. Also, Eileen Chang 's mother who was a "self-possessed, westward-learning" (Zhang xi) female, enormously impacted her philosophy thoughts. Through the
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Finally, Liusu is able to marry the man she loves, and gains her social status back. Fan Liuyuan recites a poem from the Book of Songs in the novella, "Death, life, separation, with thee there is happiness; thy hand in mind, we will grow old together" (Zhang 149). As Fan Liuyuan interprets, "even there are many difficulties in life we still insist on saying I love you forever" (Louie 39). Many critics have mentioned that Fan Liuyuan lives in Britain most of the time, he is unlikely able to recite the classic poem like this. "However, as a playboy it makes sense that he has memorized these phrases associated with everlasting love and weddings in order to ingratiate himself with women" (Louie 22). Even though, he wins Liusu 's heart, and is able to find his perfect match. In the novella, the narrator says that "Hong Kong 's defeat had brought Liusu victory. But in this unreasonable world, who can distinguish cause from effect? Who knows which is which? Did a great city fall so that she could be vindicated" (Zhang 167)? The fall of Hong Kong gives this couple some spaces to live together, to have an ordinary life. As the poem from the Book of Song says, humans are not able to control all the events, "but through natural turns of events and against all expectations" (Louie 23), the couple holds each other 's hands and gets married. Chang gives the story rather a happy ending, Fan Liuyuan is able to marry the woman he loves, and Liusu gets remarried, she gains back her social status. However, many scholars question that if wealth and social status are all Liusu desires. She achieves what the society expects of her, but maybe this is not what she desires in her deepest heart. "The disparity between social expectations and hidden personal desires ultimately leads to her frustration, indirectly highlighting the oppressed situation of women in China" (Louie 44). Overall, Liusu gains what society expects of her at the end of the novella, however, that leads to
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