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In Ha Jin’s Waiting , Manna and Lin are able to convince themselves they are in love, even though their infatuation comes from nothing more than having a few things in common. The attraction they have for each other is more social than it is intimate. Yet they both are oblivious to this and are now trapped in a loveless marriage, one that Lin had been trying to prevent. The desire they feel for each other is a result of the content they feel from rebelling against the social norms of communist China during the 1960s. They both desire to experience something that’s risky and different from what they normally do. There’s nothing unique about this desire but Lin and Manna fall victim to the euphoria of this desire and become convinced that they’re both suitable for each other. But once the moment of joy and excitement has passed, both characters are forced to put their choices and lives in perspective. The transition Lin and Manna’s relationship goes through is the result of the exhilaration of their defiance slowly beginning to fade and reality coming into perspective. Ha Jin illustrates how both Manna and Lin are often subject to irrational thinking and delusional fixation in order to escape the society they find lifeless.
Lin and Manna’s never reach an intimate relationship because they’re both infatuated with the idea of each other rather than the actual person. Admiration is not love. Manna see’s Lin as being nothing more than a man she can build a future with while Lin see’s Manna as a woman he can be able to present to the public. Their relationship is never able to leave this stage of vanity. Even early on in the book, Lin shows his obsession with appearances after being in a loveless marriage with his current wif...

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...elfish and ungenerous person. Manna calling Lin this, refers to his unwillingness to bribe his way through his divorce from Shuyu (Jin 174). Manna resents Lin because she feels he is not willing to do whatever it takes for them to be together. It can be argued that Manna said this as a result of the pain she was in during labor, but this comment represents Manna’s subconsciousness or at the very least a thought that has crossed her mind more than once. As Lin and Manna become more realistic with their life decisions, the more their relationship begins to deteriorate.
Lin and Manna both made a series of choices that led them into an unwanted situation. Both were too caught up in the excitement behind the risk they were taking, to actually realize that they both want more in a relationship. Once there was no risk to take, their relationship becomes hollow.
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