The Field Of Life And Death Analysis

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In “The Field of Life and Death”, Xiao Hong uses the characters’ suffering and symbolism to demonstrate the breaking of traditional male and female roles. As Howard Goldblatt mentions in the translator’s introduction, “the villages’ fatalistic attitudes and repeated mention of the four distresses (birth, old age, sickness, and death) are unquestionable” (xiii), Xiao Hong represents these distresses with the main female characters without reservation in the process of childbirth, aging, disease, and death. Through childbirth, men shrink from responsibility 1. Childbirth and responsibly 2. Old Age and 3. Death and control 4. Disease and greed
One of the most gruesome scenes of childbirth in The Field of Life and Death happens in Chapter 6, Days of Punishment, when Fifth Sister’s elder sister gives birth. “The naked woman could no longer even crawl, unable to manage a final burst of effort in this life-and-death moment. Though it was getting light …show more content…

The relationships defined in The Field of Life and Death were not intimate as the traditional values implied. Moreover, the relationship between mother and children is not as intimate as implied by traditional value. Considering Golden Bough and her mother’s relation, as the narrator indicates “she loved her daughter, but when the girl ruined some vegetables, she directed her love toward the vegetables” We cannot deny that Golden Bough’s mother cares her daughter, but not as much as other material things like vegetables and money (in Chapter 14, Golden Bough earned quite a few money in the city, her mother encourages her to go back immediately in order to earn even more without caring what she is doing). Motherhood is hardly seen in this novella. Hitherto, the portrayal of these female characters has deconstructed the traditional male-centered

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