Analyzing Waiting By Ha Jin
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Communist China uses propaganda and force to hide the truth from the public, as well as controlling them in a sense. Ha Jin writes Waiting and in this book he comments and portrays communist China in great detail. WaitingÐ²Ð‚™s main character, Lin Kong, is commonly criticized as indecisive and unable to love. In an interview published in Asia Week in 1999, Ha Jin comments on LinÐ²Ð‚™s inability to love:
allegoricallyÐ²Ð‚¦sum up a sort of internal psychological damage to the ChineseÐ²Ð‚¦ the Revolution was to disable people so they canÐ²Ð‚™t love othersÐ²Ð‚¦
so that psychological energy, sexual energy or creative energy could be focused on the revolutionary cause.
After a successful revolution, China retains a strict code of laws, that if broken, the consequences may be too severe. Ha Jin depicts this strict code of laws through the military hospital that Lin works at. EveryoneÐ²Ð‚™s lifestyles must be the true and fair, any exceptions are dealt with severely. In the novel Lin falls in love with a fellow colleague, Manna Wu. LinÐ²Ð‚™s marriage, however, stops any serious relationship from forming. This is probably not because of moral values but more of law, where adultery is intolerable. Ran Su, LinÐ²Ð‚™s supervisor, warns Lin of this Ð²Ð‚ÑšMy friend, I understand that your marriage was arrangedÐ²Ð‚¦ but I want to warn youÐ²Ð‚¦ your relationship with Manna Wu may affect your futureÐ²Ð‚¦youÐ²Ð‚™re heading toward trouble.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (58-9) Ð²Ð‚ÑšÐ²Ð‚¦so that psychological energy, sexual energy or creative energy could be focused on the revolutionary causeÐ²Ð‚Ñœ Ha Jin states at an interview about his book Waiting. This is revealed in the book by the Ð²Ð‚ÑšworshipÐ²Ð‚Ñœ of chairman Mao Zedong. Ð²Ð‚ÑšÐ²Ð‚¦the bride and the groom pay tribute to the Party and Chairman MaoÐ²Ð‚¦the couple bowed to the banners and the portrait[of Mao Zedong]Ð²Ð‚¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (239) depicts the long expected wedding of Lin and Manna and how it starts by Ð²Ð‚ÑšworshippingÐ²Ð‚Ñœ the party. In a typical wedding, we donÐ²Ð‚™t see much of this Ð²Ð‚ÑšworshippingÐ²Ð‚Ñœ the faction or party in power. This only shows how serious communist ChinaÐ²Ð‚™s sphere of influence has affected the general populace.
Like many countries, China desires any domestic problems to stay silent to the outside world and to do so China utilizes propaganda. Other than to conceal the truth Chinese propaganda may be used to mold the minds of the citizens. At a meeting between Manna and LinÐ²Ð‚™s cousin, Liang Meng, Liang shows Manna a book he recently finished. Ð²Ð‚ÑšThey were all illustrations of a battle in which the Vietcong wiped out the American invadersÐ²Ð‚¦Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (115-6) points out how Chinese propaganda only glorifies the achievements and not the failures and defeats of the Chinese and other oriental nation. Ð²Ð‚ÑšThey are for a childrenÐ²Ð‚™s book.Ð²Ð‚Ñœ(116) states how that, not only adults, but children are also being targeted by propaganda. Propaganda is highly useful, but the strong-minded may not submit easily to the idea of the partyÐ²Ð‚™s superiority. When this happens, Chinese officials may resort to force. What makes people curious of the outside world and makes them