Spring Silkworms Analysis

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One of the features of the novella as a literary form as Professor Warren Cariou points out, “It is most often concerned with personal and emotional development rather than with the larger social sphere. The novella generally retains something of the unity of impression that is a hallmark of the short story, but it also contains more highly developed characterization and more luxuriant description” (835). In Spring Silkworms, Mao Dun also uses this form to make his characters fully developed and the story more luxuriant described. As an author, Mao Dun was powerfully connected with the realism or even naturalism style. Especially in Spring Silkworms story, there is something in particular about the way he shows the logic of financial tragedy…show more content…
It occurs when the peasant Old Tong Bao is sitting on a rock by the canal recalling about his past. As he is thinking of his past, “A small oil-burning riverboat came puffing up pompously from beyond the silk filature … Hatred burned in Old Tong Bao’s eyes.” (Mao 59). As the boat passed through, Old Tong Bao was filled with anger since it disturbs the peaceful of the water and green countryside. Meanwhile, he is thinking about the “foreign devils” that have taken money away from hardworking Chinese peasants. The boat in this scene represents for the modernity because it is one of modern machinery and the peasant Old Tong Bao represents for tradition, he has nothing but hatred towards the foreign evils. The symbolic reflections are also expressed to show the helpless, struggle and how vulnerable the local people could be when encountering against machinery, “the peaceful water was agitated … The waves tossed [the peasant] and his little craft up and down like a seesaw” (Mao 59). In this case, the peasant in his craft is being bothered and threw around by the boat like the tradition is being saddened and threw around by modernized Western influences. Those influences in China are descripted fully through the explanations on how and when the foreign evils introduce the foreign goods into the market and the numbers of machinery boats
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