Wild Swans

446 Words2 Pages
Wild Swans

Wild Swans Is a novel expressing the history and tradition of the Chinese culture through the eyes of one, Jung Chang. Jung Chang tells the story of a struggling China dealing with communism through three generations of women: her grandmother, her mother, and herself . Through her grandmother the traditional China is brought forth, and the reader is made aware of what it was like living in an older China. Her mother’s life introduces us to communism and how it began and spread throughout China. Jung Chang’s life displays what it was like living in a more recent China. Her family goes through many hardships as a result of communism, the Great Leap Forward, and The Cultural Revolution. The first major change in China was the establishment of communism.

Communism began, originally, in China as an underground organization run by a man named Mao Zedong.

They had different ideologies than the traditional Chinese and the nationalists. They were against the Kuomintang, and began to grow and slowly fight it in order to take over China. The communists wanted to end all injustices against both women and peasants. Communists wanted to call forth a land reform to give peasants the land they deserved. Their way of life was very hard at times. They wanted to change any injustices towards the women, however in return made their lives a lot more difficult. They were not given any special treatment , and were not allowed to be “favored by their husbands, or anyone else, even if sick or pregnant.” They had to do everything themselves unless they had a position in the party. Slowly but surely the communists won the battle and brought forth a new communist China. In the late 1950’2 Mao Zedong brought into effect the “Great Leap Forward.”

This was a program which called for major steel production. Mao Zedong wanted to make China a “first-class modern power”(221). Mao wanted the steel production of the country to double in only one year, as he called on the whole population to help. All other work and schooling stopped. There was a new quota for each unit to produce.

Children would search the streets for anything that they could melt down to make steel. School mates would compete with each other to see who could bring in more. Home cooking was no longer allowed, all pots and pans were to be melted down, along with all other house hold items of any use.

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