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Zhang Ailing's experimental stories and the reader's participation in her short stories and novellas Teichert, Evelyne 1987

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ZHANG AILING*S EXPERIMENTAL STORIES AND THE READER'S PARTICIPATION IN HER SHORT STORIES AND NOVELLAS By Evelyne Teichert B.A. The University of Victoria 1985  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f Asian Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  The University of British Columbia December, 1987 ® Evelyne Teichert, 1987  In  presenting  degree freely  at  this  the  available  copying  of  publication  or of  in  partial  fulfilment  of  the  University  of  British  Columbia,  I  agree  for  this  department  thesis  reference  thesis by  this  for  his  and  scholarly  or  thesis  study.  for  her  I  purposes  financial  gain  of  rQ^<3L4<.  T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f British 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V 6 T 1Y3 •ate  g  w  S^LQlic^  Columbia  "r^fgn-  shall  that  agree  may  representatives.  permission.  Department  further  requirements  It not  be is  that  the  Library  permission  granted  by  understood be  for  allowed  an  advanced  shall for  the that  without  head  make  it  extensive of  my  copying  or  my  written  ABSTRACT  T h i s t h e s i s i s an i n - d e p t h "Lust  and R e s t r i c t i o n s "  Waves" 1921 at  a n a l y s i s of three  Cvffitrf&&>  and  ), "Flowers and  Pistils  ^b^jfyt  "Happy Reunion"  Shanghai born Chinese author Zhang A i l i n g .  the s t r u c t u r e of these s h o r t  from her i n the  e a r l i e r short s t o r i e s ,  s t o r i e s and  1940s, i n t h e i r s t r u c t u r a l and  These three not  preface  Pistils  fashion.  F l o a t i n g on  t h e i r s i m i l a r s t r u c t u r a l and them " e x p e r i m e n t a l "  is—the  short The  calling  b r i n g i n g the reader  linear  thereby  place  that  "experiment."  story Because of  a l l three  of  same as "modernists", to  stories.  character's  stories,  minds, the  the almost i n v i s i b i l i t y  to the c h a r a c t e r ' s c l o s e to the  earlier  them i n the  the second  three major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the experimental  large subordinated  look  differ  s t o r i e s by Zhang A i l i n g  author i n t r o d u c e s  which r e a l l y means the  d i s t o r t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e and  reflect  t h a t they  n a r r a t i v e approach, I c a l l e d  n a r r a t i v e happening i n the  the  a n a l y s i s takes a  discovers  the Waves" an  d i s t i n g u i s h them from her e a r l i e r The  w r i t t e n by  n a r r a t i v e approach and  of the a n t h o l o g y Sense of Loss by  "Flowers and  )  the  participation.  s t o r i e s are the only  develop i n a l i n e a r  The  F l o a t i n g on  t h a t i s those she wrote ten years  a g r e a t e r demand upon the reader's  do  l a t e r short s t o r i e s  that  chronological  of a n a r r a t o r  p r e s e n c e — a l l have the e f f e c t  c h a r a c t e r s ' s u b j e c t i v e thoughts  the c h a r a c t e r s ' s t a t e of mind i n the  s t o r i e s ' present  depending on the frequency of the switches between the between the past happening i n the c h a r a c t e r s ' minds and  times,  of  and  time, that i s  the s t o r i e s  - iii -  present time.  The reader's participation in these three stories is  largely due to the narrative structure while in some of Zhang Ailing's lienar stories, as examined in this paper, i t is based on the stories' content. The political changes in China, and the author's move away from the mainland could account for her increasingly pessimistic outlook on l i f e reflected in the disjointed structures  of the "experimental" stories.  - iv -  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ANALYSIS  Introduction  1.  •  The Reader's P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Zhang A i l i n g ' s  1  Linear  Stories  14  2.  "Lust  and A b s t i n e n c e " :  3.  "Flowers and P i s t i l s  An Anxious Mind.  40  F l o a t i n g i n the Waves:  A Mind at Rest....  F l o a t i n g i n the Waves:  N a r r a t i v e and  64  Appendix to Chapter 3 "Flowers and P i s t i l s Story  4.  "Happy Reunion":  90  A Conversation  96  Conclusion  122  Bibliography  131  Glossary  133  1  ANALYSIS  Introduction  Ever s i n c e the started  to  publish  1921 S h a n g h a i b o r n w r i t e r her  short  w o r k h a s been i n t r o d u c e d C h i n e s e * and l a t e r Chinese F i c t i o n 1980). of  in E n g l i s h (see  by C . T . H s i a ,  1983.  stories  one m o v i e Flowers" various  script) ( J§$J^  in  the  1947). , Well versed  slight three  Sense of  seven s t o r i e s  ^|')  a  n  translated  it  and A b s t i n e n c e "  ^See f o r example Xiang, May 1 9 4 4 ) .  22,  her  in of  Modern  , 5  collection  ) published  anthology  almost  (^ty$C one of  (among  in them  the  all  of  them  in  ) i n Da J i a , stories  first  1956) and one y e a r  later,  with  (^i^flS^ft  )•  The  into Chinese (^j  latest  as 1944 ( " Y i n B a o y a n B r i n g s  " S o Much H a t e "  M a t e s " i n The R e p o r t e r ,  "Lust  in this  published  d  her  jf&"^L^  Loss (  i n E n g l i s h she p u b l i s h e d  modifications, stories  o f t e n quoted A H i s t o r y  1950s and as e a r l y  example  age of  by C h i n e s e c r i t i c s  b e e n much s a i d a b o u t  ^y^S^J^jj^t  magazines ( f o r  English ("Stale  the  the  the  )  1961 and Unwelcome Muse by E d w a r d G u n n ,  not  and n o v e l l a s  Zhang A i l i n g w r o t e  i n magazines at  and a n a l y z e d f i r s t  There h a s , however,  short  stories  ^L_1§r  (  Zhang A i l i n g  $c  ),  " F l o w e r s and  " D i s c u s s i n g Zhang A i l i n g ' s  Fiction"  in  Pistils  by Xun Yu i n Wan  In h i s a r t i c l e "About Xun Yu's ' D i s c u s s i n g Zhang A i l i n g ' s f i c t i o n " Tang Wenbiao r e f u t e s C.T. Hsia's statement that no s e r i o u s r e s e a r c h was done on Zhang A i l i n g ' s work d u r i n g the years she was popular i n Shanghai (1942-1945). Tang l i s t s a number of s e r i o u s a r t i c l e s he found by "randomly l e a f i n g " through magazines p u b l i s h e d during those y e a r s . ( I n Tang Wenbiao, Zhang A i l i n g Y a n j i u ( R e s e a r c h i n g Zhang A i l i n g ) , p. 1 0 8 ) . C.T. Hsia made the statement i n h i s p r e f a c e to Shui J i n g ' s Zhang A i l i n g de Xiaoshuo Y i s h u (The A r t of Zhang A i l i n g ' s F i c t i o n , p. 3 ) . 1  2  floating  on the Waves" (  ( v j ^ l j|_J ^ f . ^ L (except  \^-4\L±  ) are p u b l i s h e d  f o r "Flowers and  the c o l l e c t i o n ) and  )2 and  "Happy Reunion"  i n Sense of Loss f o r the f i r s t  P i s t i l s " which has  have up to now  not  i t s very f i r s t  time  appearance i n  a t t r a c t e d a l o t of a t t e n t i o n .  Zhang A i l i n g w r i t e s i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n to the book, e x p r e s s i n g obvious  fondness f o r the three  together  her  stories:  A c t u a l l y the three recent works were a l s o a l l w r i t t e n i n the 1950s but have r e p e a t e d l y undergone major r e v i s i o n s . After "Happy Reunion" and "Lust and A b s t i n e n c e " were p u b l i s h e d , I added and changed them a g a i n i n many p l a c e s . While making the l a s t major changes i n "Flowers and P i s t i l s F l o a t i n g on the Waves" 1 r e f e r r e d to the methods of s o c i a l l i t e r a t u r e . The subject matter i s more s c a t t e r e d than the recent s t o r i e s ; i t was an experiment. These three s t o r i e s a l l pleased me with the r e s u l t that I was w i l l i n g to change them r e p e a t e d l y over the y e a r s , and when I c a l l them to mind 1 only t h i n k about the happy s u r p r i s e of i n i t i a l l y g e t t i n g the m a t e r i a l and the course of r e w r i t i n g them, and do not f e e l at a l l the t h i r t y years that have passed i n between.3  Compared to her Collected  earlier  s t o r i e s of Zhang A i l i n g  Outlook (95c./^ "experimental" distinct  short s t o r i e s and (  and w i l l  (Chapter  to show why  2  Hereafter  3  " S e n s e of L o s s " ,  i n The and  Zhang's  appear  f o r the purpose of t h i s paper be so c a l l e d conventional  paper i s to focus on a l l three s t o r i e s  furthermore  xJxlt^L/'^)  )) a l l three of the s t o r i e s mentioned  from her e a r l i e r ,  earlier stories  n o v e l l a s (compiled  stories.  The  "Flowers and p.  8.  participation  ' s c a t t e r e d ' m a t e r i a l i n the three  Pistils".  this  i n a comparative approach to her  I) i n terms of the reader's the  purpose of  as  and  stories  3  suits  the  theme of  each.  (Chapters I I ,  Zhang A i l i n g ' s experimental demand f o r the  reader's  s t o r i e s are c h a r a c t e r i z e d  i n the  characters'  catches the moving thoughts of  together a story  and I V ) .  c o l l a b o r a t i o n i n that  n a r r a t i v e happening mostly narrative  III,  chronologically  the  distorted.  the  reader has to follow  minds and thereby,  i n jumps between v a r i o u s  'scattered.  a deeper  or l i s t e n e r )  w i l l with each repeated enjoyment  These three  s t o r i e s are  in its  has  enjoyment  rich  basic  plot  to get  reading  workings.  of  imagery.^*  the  It  i n these s t o r i e s Chapter I ,  involved  (or viewing  This  story,  but present  the  the  description  is  or l i s t e n i n g )  the kind of  more p a s s i v e  i n which a b i t the  techniques  r e a d e r , who can s i t  however,  of  plot).  that  commentary,  of  reader's few I w i l l  the  reader grasp  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n and participation introduce  demanded from  stories  imagery and symbols  back and i n d u l g e  some new  i n order to both  collaboration is  The atmosphere  find  p a r t i c i p a t o n the  the  (except f o r the  more a c t i v e  reader  c l o s e l y with the piece and  and savour her d e t a i l e d  can be s a i d ,  is  reader as part of various  piece  from any p i e c e of art the  needs to b r i n g to Zhang A i l i n g ' s l i n e a r s t o r i e s , the  the  has  hence the  a  ••  1  In order to get (or viewer  times,  to  as  characters,  only s t o r i e s which do not have a l i n e a r development material  by a g r e a t e r  is  through  spooned  i n pure a e s t h e t i c enjoyment.  to  in the  the the In her  ^The author has been commended on as " b o a s t [ i n g ] the r i c h e s t imagery of any contemporary Chinese w r i t e r " ( H s i a , A H i s t o r y , p. 295. See a l s o Stephen Cheng's d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s of Zhang's techniques i n h i s a r t i c l e "Themes and Techniques i n E i l e e n Chang's S t o r i e s " , p p . 180-89, Xun Y u ' s a r t i c l e and Shui J i n g ' s study of Zhang's use of the imagery of m i r r o r s . (The A r t , pp. 129).  4  conventional  stories  (that  is  minimum reader c o n t r i b u t i o n ) omniscient the  t o embed the "Waiting",  it  standing  whose f u n c t i o n i s  stories  through t h e i r thoughts less active  i n front  of  atmosphere  present i n t o which  thoughts  the  characters  about the present  and the  i n d e s c r i b i n g a c h a r a c t e r or an  and only does so when the moment,  up i n h i s / h e r  to  the comparison of "Happy Reunion" w i t h  In the e x p e r i m e n t a l  atmosphere  The n a r r a t o r i s  (See  and  are p r o v i d e d by an  reader and p r o v i d e an e x t e r i o r  Chapter I V ) .  atmosphere,  the  to the  characters.  provide this  brings  these techniques  n a r r a t o r (more or l e s s v i s i b l e )  characters  past.  i n those with a l i n e a r development  or speech.  that  is  the  character,  In other words,  r a t h e r than  the n a r r a t i v e , the n a r r a t o r now lags one step behind  action. In the  there  is  three  a r e d u c t i o n i n the use  noticeable stories. earlier  order i n which the  of  stories  symbolism and imagery and hence a  departure from the a u t h o r ' s The f i r s t  story,  support the s e n s a t i o n  techniques  r e c u r r i n g symbols  to p o i n t to the  These symbols  of  and i n e f f e c t  reflecting  In the  story,  her d e s i r e  most of  lights  f i n a l meaning of  earlier  and g l a s s  the s t o r y .  in They  on stage to an  embedding her i n t o  the n a r r a t i v e  f o r f i n a n c i a l and emotional  "Flowers and P i s t i l s " ,  the  from around the world g i v e s a sense of  Luozhen's m o b i l i t y and her independent  these  are p a r t l y p r o v i d e d by the n a r r a t o r  and p a r t l y by J i a z h i ' s own o b s e r v a t i o n s ,  countries  i n her  of J i a z h i ' s move away from a l i f e  existence in real l i f e .  second  used  "Lust and Abstinence" c o n t a i n s  l i t e r a r y d e v i c e s such as  v a r i o u s shapes and s i z e s  appear i n Sense of L o s s ,  mind.  frequent space,  security.  mention of they  suggest  "Happy Reunion", the  third  5  s t o r y , appears a sense  barren, with h a r d l y any  of the environment the c h a r a c t e r s are s i t u a t e d  of t h e i r i n n e r l i v e s . through  The  presence,  The  n a r r a t o r here  h i s task i s to merely  "stage d i r e c t i o n s " .  their dulled  t h e i r thoughts, as i n a i s subordinated  dramatic  i l l u m i n a t e t h e i r thoughts  reflects  and  a life  p r o v i d e some  mood-creating  the u n e v e n t f u l l i v e s  s t a t e s of mind a f t e r  themselves,  to the c h a r a c t e r s '  T h i s absence of adorning,  comments around the a c t i o n , l e a d and  i n , as an e x t e n s i o n  c h a r a c t e r s p r o v i d e t h i s atmosphere  t h e i r words and mostly  performance.  brief  comments by the n a r r a t o r to convey  of ups  the c h a r a c t e r s and  downs.  T h i s b r i n g s us to the s t r u c t u r e of the s t o r i e s which, when analyzed from an e x t e r n a l p o i n t of view, provides an a d d i t i o n a l "atmosphere."  story-meaning.  meaning.  than  Due  i n accordance  to the temporal  i n the l i n e a r  with the demands of the  interdependent.  s t o r i e s and  In order to understand  t h e r e f o r e detachable  stories.  what i s meant by  We  that govern  differentiate  t i m e - a c t i o n which i s accompanied by d i a l o g u e s and present moment,5 and i n the form  final i s more  from  the  s t r u c t u r e and meaning, are  need to d e f i n e the v a r i o u s times  each of the experimental  temporal  s w i t c h e s , the s t r u c t u r e here  C o n t e x t u a l l y , however, the two,  s w i t c h e s " we  of  I t does t h i s by the p a r t i c u l a r arrangement of the  changes i n each n a r r a t i v e  apparent  sense  "temporal the s t r u c t u r e of  between a present  thoughts  about t h a t  v a r i o u s pasts which occur i n the c h a r a c t e r s ' minds  of memories complete with d i a l o g u e s , and  the thoughts  the  5 l t should be noted t h a t the "present time" i s a c t u a l l y a "present p a s t time" or a " h i s t o r i c a l p r e s e n t " because although the a c t i o n i n the s t o r y happens f o r the c h a r a c t e r s i n the p r e s e n t , the n a r r a t i v e (as t r a n s l a t e d i n t o E n g l i s h ) appears i n the past tense.  6  characters  had at  that  time  (flashbacks).  The interdependence  of  s t r u c t u r e and meaning i n "Lust and Abstinence" i s marked by the q u i c k switches back and f o r t h between the present p r o v i d e the  i m p r e s s i o n of  few hours of still,  the main c h a r a c t e r ' s  the a f t e r n o o n  almost  a l l actions  intense concentration.  i n the present Jiazhi  rest  as she  is  time i n the  story  few a c t i o n s  are mentioned,  extended  thus  increasing  a c t i o n and s t o r y development)  i n the four c h a r a c t e r s '  the  n a r r a t o r , as  the  characters tense.  i s maintained that  to the s i t u a t i o n at not on time,  limited  i l l u s i o n of  present  action  contrasted  minds r e p r e s e n t s  thoughts  If  she had to keep w a i t i n g  p.  23).6  On r a r e o c c a s i o n s  ^ A l l page i n d i c a t i o n s Sense of L o s s .  of  like this, the  (that is  the  almost  dull,  past.  the  characters  due  however, the  the  s a i d the Chinese are  circles,  i t was even worse. closed",  seem to appear i n the  the e x p e r i m e n t a l  of  in  the 6tores would a l l be  thoughts  time  through the v o i c e  stories,  is  only a  stretched  their current  years  ("It  reached o f f i c i a l  of  The present  with the dynamic  are those of  that p a r t i c u l a r t i m e .  but once they  Luozhen's mind  t h i n k i n g are themselves presented  Throughout the the  the  present  on the boat.  w i t h i n these switches are f i l t e r e d  t h i r d person and past illusion  static  the  compared to the more e x c i t i n g  The thoughts  to  stand  over a p e r i o d of more than ten days,  absence of  lives  During  time seems to  the  a l l responsibilities  In "Happy Reunion" the  sedentary  action;  i n v a r i o u s pasts r e f l e c t  and ease.  thoughts  anxious mind.  In "Flowers and P i s t i l s "  relinquishes  This helps  performs are r e c o r d e d , g i v i n g a sense of  a c t i o n but more e x t e n s i v e a c t i o n at  and the p a s t .  stories  refer  to  form of  a  7  "stream of  consciousness,"  illogical,  ungrammatical, mainly a s s o c i a t i v e  In the f i r s t as she enters  that  is  s t o r y f o r example, a coffeeshop  if  the  we understand t h i s patterns  reader f o l l o w s  term to be "the  of human thought."^  Jiazhi's  and notes v a r i o u s t h i n g s  observations  around the shop.  Or  when she t h i n k s about a happy memory, the sentences appear d i s j o i n t e d without  connecting  characters'  conjunctions  thoughts,  however,  (See  are presented  whereby the " ' n a r r a t e d ' accounts and p r i o r words of  tense" the  f o r the  "and 'monologue'  p . 44).  The bulk of  by " n a r r a t e d monolgue"  i n d i r e c t features  conveys  g r a d u a l l y disappears  voice  of  from the f i r s t  s t o r y to the  c h a r a c t e r s and i n t e n s i f y i n g the  temporal switches i n the  the  second s t o r y and i s  A b s t i n e n c e " the  past  third,  and the present  of one time on the o t h e r .  between the n a r r a t o r ' s e x t e r n a l v o i c e  person  almost  and present  course works w e l l  i n the t h i r d  story.  interrelated,  other c h a r a c t e r s and the  The Nature of N a r r a t i v e , p .  ^Chatman, Story and D i s c o u r s e , p .  interaction  203.  the  imagery and symbols) and  kept i g n o r a n t up to a c e r t a i n p o i n t of J i a z h i ' s r e a l  and K e l l o g ,  the  The i n t e r a c t i o n loosens up i n  are c l o s e l y  f o r the p l o t ;  a l s o an  ( d e s c r i b i n g the environment,  story.  absent  is  i n terms of  There i s a t i g h t  the moments by use of first  atmosphere  there  cannot understand J i a z h i ' s present without her memories of  'Scholes  - third  the sense of hearing the very  the n a r r a t o r c r e a t i n g the  s e p a r a t i o n between the past  cause and e f f e c t s  of  the  character.  As the independent  increasing  Chapter I ,  In "Lust and the  the p a s t .  This  reader are  identity.  177.  reader  As t h i s  8  story involves spies and a plotted assasination, the narrator does not explain the situation, nor any of Jiazhi's thoughts, making i t appear incongruous at f i r s t .  Clarity develops gradually when Jiazhi has a moment  to herself in the present time and thinks about the past.  The past in  "Flowers and P i s t i l s " contains passages which could exist as separate entities from the present time, but the various pasts are a l l related to the present in that they explain Luozhen's presence on the boat and more importantly give a picture of Luozhen's character. In the third story both times (past and present) could theoretically stand by themselves but the present time would amount to a very shallow story as there is virtually no action and the characters do not t e l l each other very much. The past provides the necessary depth to the story and explains much of the characters' present situation. It appears that also in terms of success, or at least in keeping the reader's interest, the three experimental stories decrease in appeal in the order they appear in the collection.  Zhang Ailing is successful at  constructing stories which have their emphasis on narrated monologue, but while the reader is kept in suspense by the gradual disclosure of information in the f i r s t story and intrigued by the jumps between the various times in the second story, in the third story, besides perhaps enjoying the thought patterns, the reader is in danger of falling asleep over the slow pace and the dullness of the characters' lives, which even their several pasts i s not able to enliven very much. The reader i s not compelled to feel any sympathy for the characters but remains indifferent to their chatter and their 'hard lives'.  As far as these three stories  9  are concerned, Zhang Ailing seems at her best on the middlepath between the conventional and the experimental.  On the one hand, she makes use of  her talent in creating a mood around the characters, which reflects their inner lives or which forebodes what l i f e has in store for them, and on the other hand she uses the structure of the narrative to represent the characters' state of mind. It has been commented that Zhang Ailing writes mostly about variations on the theme of love and marriage. of her experimental  stories.  9  This is only partly true  As a l l of them portray a relatively short  period of a character's or some characters' lives cut from the overall span of their fictional existence (slice of l i f e ) , love and marriage, or relationships between men and women appear in each story in various forms, but only the f i r s t story deals with love as the central theme.  Jiazhi  sleeps with a 'traitor' to her country in order to gain his trust so that her group can trap and k i l l him, but in the process she falls in love with him and saves his l i f e .  The nature of her relationship with Mr. Yi and  the other men of her group points to the fact that she sacrifices her l i f e (and her body) for a cause she intellectually supports when emotionally she wants a secure l i f e with a house and a family.  In the second and  third story, mentions of relationships between men and women are part of the plot but are only there to point to a meaning beyond these passages. Luozhen's thoughts about Fanny visiting the captain on the boat at night, and her thoughts about Mr. Kali teasing her, reflect her personality (and  9  Tang, Researching, p. 178; Cheng, "Themes and Techniques", p. 173.  10  in  particular  her  i d e a of  The t h r e e women i n to  a stale  her  memory,  i n Peking  not  be s a i d  marriage  i n her  in  the  disjointed  her  v i e w of  while  has  structure  of  into  stories,  pessimistic  by t h e outlook  The d i f f e r e n c e  on l i f e ,  may be i n t h e  changes  the  Scholes  and R o b e r t K e l l o g  characters  developmental "the  the  to  as i t  observation  was d u r i n g  there of  is  of  and t h e  the p l o t ,  i n The N a t u r e o f  traits  to  does  is  not  are a t t e n u a t e d  to  impart  of  the  feel  that  aroused  the  author's  arms".  experimental c o n n e c t i o n of  the e x t e r n a l  In  the  anthology  to  the  Narrative  and  interpret  years  the  two  in  attempt  "calling  characterization.  love  behaviour,  i m p r e s s i o n of  last  It  participating  turbulent  that to  human  of  loss  the s t o r y .  her emphasis  reader  a stronger  undergo i n r e l a t i o n  personal  of  introduction the  to  author's  the  t h e man  b e t w e e n a man  r e a d e r may a l s o  stating without first  about  themes of  a sense  as t h e  literature,  dynamics  interest  A sensitive  resigned  two o l d e r women's  has used t h e  conveying  i n the  and c h r o n o l o g i c a l  character's  her  love.  s p o u s e — M r s . Wu  a relationship  central  stories  between the  stories  of  about  married,  from t h e i r  between t h e s e x e s ,  she n o t e s  by s o c i a l  unhappily  t o show t h e  of  for  minds.  she was i n f l u e n c e d action  is  shifted  society  Although  forms  Zhang A i l i n g  stories  characters  Chinese  revolution.  the event  a story  t h e s t o r y M r s . Xun t e l l s  the  relationships  stories the  than develop  separated  the n a r r a t i v e  earlier  the  experimental directly  that  of  (one of  in  because  can t h u s  in particular  Xun—or  The r e p e t i t i o n  and a woman) a p p e a r s of  rather  "Happy R e u n i o n " a r e e i t h e r  relationship—Mrs.  and Y u a n m e i — . following  "love")  action.  distinguish the  so as t o  the  Robert  between  developmental clarify  his  11  progress  along  a plot  chronological,  . . . the c h a r a c t e r ' s  make more s i g n i f i c a n t p l o t which has  l i n e which has  the gradual  a temporal b a s i s .  an e t h i c a l personal  b a s i s " , i n "the  traits  are r a m i f i e d so as  s h i f t s worked i n the c h a r a c t e r during This l a t t e r k i n d of p l o t t i n g  characterization i s highly mimetic."*  Zhang A i l i n g ' s  0  s t o r i e s , are of the  kind.  as d i s c u s s e d  of these  three has,  n a r r a t i v e elements such as p l o t , commentary and all  three  of them give  the reader  mind" of the c h a r a c t e r s , i n the character  study  takes  place.  emphasis i s on c h a r a c t e r travels  through  The let  Kellog  stories  directly  l e s s a c t i o n and  by  t h e i r own  rearrangement) are  the  f a t e s " * * and  the emphasis on  characteristics  century," w r i t e Scholes  i n n a r r a t i v e became dominated by  time as i t never  . . . p l o t s began to be developed which were based  rearranging  time so that the r e s o l u t i o n became not  a c t i o n as s t a s i s  p u z z l e were a l l f i n a l l y  i n p l a c e and  Booth, The  R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n ,  p.7.  time  and had  on  so much s t a s i s  of i l l u m i n a t i o n , when the missing  169.  **Wa yne  the  of the modern  been before  10 p.  more  t u r n i n g of the n a r r a t i v e , the effacement of the author " t o  "plotting  temporal jigsaw  i n t o the.  r e v e a l i n g the c h a r a c t e r ' s mind as i t  "With the coming of the t w e n t i e t h  concluded  while  Rather than p l a c i n g emphasis on p l o t ,  study  the c h a r a c t e r s work out  story.  two  b e f o r e , more  time.  inward  (chronological  last  and  latter  d e s c r i p t i o n s , and  the sense of " p e e r i n g  a  and  short s t o r i e s  n o v e l l a s , most e s p e c i a l l y her experimental While the f i r s t  to  of  pieces of  the  the p i c t u r e t h e r e f o r e  12  complete".12  i  n  such 6 t o r i e s  the reader, by the f a c t  of not being g i v e n  n a r r a t o r i a l e v a l u a t i o n and by f o l l o w i n g the movements of the c h a r a c t e r s ' thoughts as i t d i s t o r t s challenged  the temporal sequence  into active p a r t i c i p a t i o n .  of cause and e f f e c t , i s  The nature of the n a r r a t i v e i s such  t h a t the r e a d e r , i n order to f i n d a p a r t i c u l a r event i n the s t o r y ,  cannot  open the book at any page and f o l l o w a l i n e of "what happens a f t e r what" to f i n d  the event, but has to have the whole n a r r a t i v e  what p o i n t which  c h a r a c t e r t h i n k s about what.  mind by the end of h i s r e a d i n g j o i n s  i n mind to know at  It i s the reader who  in his  together a s t o r y of a n a r r a t i v e i n  "disorder". As Zhang A i l i n g  i s s a i d not to have commented much on which  l i t e r a r y works have i n f l u e n c e d any s p e c i f i c work. Somerset  is,  i s , however, s a i d  to look f o r  to have read S t e l l a  Benson,  Maugham, Aldous Huxley, modern western p l a y s and E n g l i s h p o p u l a r  literature H.G.  She  her w r i t i n g , i t i s d i f f i c u l t  western  and  to have been aware of such w r i t e r s as Chekhov, T o l s t o y ,  W e l l s , K a f k a , Joyce and B r e c h t . ^  In her e x p e r i m e n t a l s t o r i e s t h e r e  however, a c l e a r break away from the i n f l u e n c e of the Chinese  classical  t r a d i t i o n found i n her e a r l i e r  techniques are concerned toward  l 2  ( I w i l l mention  s t o r i e s as f a r as the w r i t i n g more about  these i n Chapter  an e x p l o r a t i o n of more modern techniques found i n western  I)  literary  T h e Nature, p.235.  l^Shu-ning S c i b a n mentions that Zhang "never s e r i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d any of them [nor] commented on any western l i t e r a r y w r i t i n g t e c h n i q u e s " and t h a t t h e r e f o r e "to t r a c e who or which works have i n f l u e n c e d her w r i t i n g i s j u s t l i k e s e a r c h i n g f o r a needle i n a h a y s t a c k . " See "Chang E i l e e n ' s Love i n the F a l l e n C i t y , p.52.  13  works.  C . T . H s i a mentions  uninfluenced  by the l e f t i s t  "just  as  [Zhang A i l i n g ] i s  absolutely  modes of Chinese f i c t i o n , she i s  little  tempted to f o l l o w the d a z z l i n g f a s h i o n of p resen t-d a y western pursue,  f o r example, stream of consciousness  moral c o n c e r n s " * stream of shall  and although we have noted that i t  consciousness  stories  For now we turn to a s t r u c t u r a l and n o v e l l a s  A History,  of  weightier  exactly  we have seen (and  I I I and IV) t h a t ,  overview of her  at a  literary collected  and the r e a d e r ' s r o l e i n some of her e a r l i e r  stories.  Hsia,  not  she a c t u a l l y toyed with some of the more recent  techniques.  1 4  is  she uses i n her three s t o r i e s ,  e x p l o r e i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l i n Chapters I I ,  l a t e r date,  short  4  to the n e g l e c t  fiction—to  p.397.  14  CHAPTER 1  The Readers P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Zhang A i l i n g ' s Linear Stories  Zhang A i l i n g ' s short s t o r i e s groups of v a r i o u s k i n d s . classes:  "Those i n which an impersonal f o r c e  attempts  (omniscient  into  three  narrator,  categories concealed  w i l l . "15  or her  this  paper to group her s t o r i e s  a p p e a r i n g i n the structure,  three a n t h o l o g i e s )  a classification  is  the  technique  intelligence)*^ . 1  i n r e l a t i o n to the  I would l i k e ,  (that  stories'  f o r the purpose of  twenty-five  stories  i n t o four groups a c c o r d i n g to  which i n some cases i s  related  The  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an overt n a r r a t o r who addresses  i m p l i e d reader w i t h h i s but  may not c l o s e i t  first  branch,  own v o i c e  and i n t r o d u c e s  the  and who d i s a p p e a r s w i t h i n t h i s  the s t o r i e s  two branches.  s t o r y he story.  "Ashes of Descending I n c e n s e ,  16  205.  "Themes and Techniques", p .  189.  the  "tells"  In the  First  ) and "Ashes of Descending Incense,  *^Unwelcome Muse, p .  their  the  Each group i s  group i s  again s u b d i v i d e d i n t o  to  narrator's voice. first  out  Stephen Cheng grouped  n a r r a t o r and the c e n t r a l  and the n a r r a t o r ' s p o s i t i o n ,  two  protagonist  a c c o r d i n g to t h e i r n a r r a t i v e  While these two readers grouped her s t o r i e s content  into  into  i n the environment a c t s  and those i n which an a c t i v e  d i r e c t l y to impose h i s  stories  have been c l a s s i f i e d  Edward Gunn grouped her s t o r i e s  an i n d i v i d u a l ' s f a n t a s i e s ,  her  and n o v e l l a s  Brazier" Second  15  Brazier  (  r£j  % ^ "XJj^^  ) are enveloped  by the presence  of such  a n a r r a t o r , appearing i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n and i n the c l o s i n g paragraph of the s t o r y .  To the second  ($L%\£fLi)  and "So Much Hate" ( j | ,)y \tt—  concluded  ).  They are i n t r o d u c e d but not  by the n a r r a t o r o u t s i d e the s t o r y .  most of her s t o r i e s . character  branch of t h i s group belong "Jasmine T e a "  The o m n i s c i e n t  To the second  group belong  (and c o v e r t ) n a r r a t o r embeds the  i n t o the atmosphere of a s t o r y by e i t h e r a) f r a m i n g  the s t o r y  w i t h s i m i l a r a c t i o n s or comments at the beginning and the end of the s t o r y ("Blockade"  (Jvf^jJL ) > "The  Fallen City  (  £  l e n g t h s to suggest { %  .  (-^j^S^fflL  S u t r a " (lt£>  or by  b) p r o v i d i n g p r e l u d e s of v a r i o u s  (13'^),  "Happy Matrimony"  ).  ), "Glazed T i l e s "  ), " G e n e s i s "  The t h i r d  group c o n s i s t s  ) and "The Heart  structure.  To the f i r s t  begin at the end of the s t o r y and  back to the past to e x p l a i n how that end came to be.  (3£i>)fl ) and "The I n t e r l o c k i n g R i n g s "  branch are the three " e x p e r i m e n t a l " s t o r i e s . distorted  ),  of s t o r i e s which i n c l u d e  are "Red Roses and White Roses" ( Flower"  ),  ), "The Y o u t h f u l  i&  (  belong s t o r i e s whose n a r r a t i v e  then r e v e r t  ("Waiting" \ \  (  a n a c h r o n i c s as part of the o v e r a l l n a r r a t i v e branch  ), "Love i n the  A Xiao's Antumnal Lament" ( J t ^ f c y & ^h^\\%>  " S t a l e Mates" C £ x g ^ ^ Years"  (^J$L*i&  Cangue"  the g e n e r a l mood or atmosphere of the s t o r y  '), " L i n g e r i n g Love"  " I n d i a n Summer:  )  Golden  throughout  These  ),"A Withered  (^t jl, j f ; ).  In the second  T h e i r chronology i s  the n a r r a t i v e and thereby p l a c e s a g r e a t e r demand  on the reader to p i e c e the s t o r y t o g e t h e r i n h i s mind.  The f o u r t h group  stands somewhat apart as  I t i n c l u d e s on the  a  " m i s c e l l a n e o u s " category.  16  one  hand the movie s c r i p t "t^dJ&^fat  )»  a  s  t  o  r  "The  y  Courting  game l i k e  a Battlefield"  developed c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y without (other than  any  i n t e r f e r i n g or atmosphere-creating  narrator  the  cinematographic i n s t r u c t i o n s ) , and  on the other hand s t o r i e s whose  n a r r a t o r i s part of the s t o r y .  In " Y i n Baoyan B r i n g s  ^JS^^}^^^j(Ci'^lt^i  n a r r a t o r r e p o r t s the s t o r y the main  character own with  )  i s i n the process  t h e  of t e l l i n g  memories of that c h a r a c t e r .  The  her with  flashbacks  main c h a r a c t e r addresses  the name A i l i n g which could make us assume that the  event although  t h i s does not  n e c e s s a r i l y have to be  thus a s t o r y which i n c o r p o r a t e s  a few  anachrony:  The  beginning  what happened to her Nights  of China"  i n her  there  i n the p a s t .  ( ^ l ^ f e ^ B ^  is s t i l l  story i s a real case.  other and  an  Stephen Cheng maintains  )  i s  n o t  an essay  a story line  environment on her way  s m a l l jumps from i m p r e s s i o n  to  a  story,  1 7  and  This i s  groups: a implied Ailing  that "Days  although  of some impressions  and  the  of nature  and  (the n a r r a t o r n o t i c e s c e r t a i n t h i n g s  home) and  emerged out of these ^.observations).  The  flashbacks  to her  a narrator  of the s t o r y shows Y i n Baoyan t e l l i n g  n a r r a t i v e does seem more l i k e people,  the  elements of the  frame s t o r y (with a long a f t e r w o r d ) a few  its  a few  Flowers"  The  a conclusion  (the poems that  story unrolls chronologically in  impression.  s t r u c t u r a l arrangements of the s t o r i e s  i n these  groups, and  the  absence or presence of the n a r r a t o r ' s v o i c e i n each case support  the  meaning of the s t o r y .  three  17  "Themes and  I will  look at a few  Techniques", p.  189.  s t o r i e s of the f i r s t  final  17  groups.  In the twin s t o r i e s  "Ashes of Descending  "Second B r a z i e r " of the the f i r s t Roger Empton i s symbolized i n the prologue  Incense,  F i r s t " and  group, the d o w n f a l l of both Weilong and  by mention of the incense s l o w l y burning down  and the e p i l o g u e which happens w h i l e the n a r r a t o r t e l l s  the s t o r y to the i m p l i e d reader.  Weilong's incense at the end " w i l l  soon  be burned down," ** s u g g e s t i n g her s p i r i t u a l death with her marriage to 1  George.  Roger Empton commits s u i c i d e at the end of the story,, the incense  on the b r a z i e r t h e r e f o r e i s a l r e a d y e x t i n c t ".  by the end of h i s n a r r a t i v e .  . . a t the same time Roger Empton's incense has g r a d u a l l y cooled o f f .  The  incense has burned down.  cooled o f f . " *  i  9  n  The f i r e  i s extinct  a d d i t i o n to the symbolic  element of incense  down, the prelude of the n a r r a t o r and Clementine sex-education  and the ashes have  talking  burning  about  foreshadows the motif of g o s s i p i n the s t o r y ( t h e n a r r a t o r  records the s t o r y Clementine  t o l d h e r ) , the very t h i n g Roger i s harmed  by.  f u n c t i o n s to e x p l a i n S u s i e ' s  A l s o , Clementine's  inexplicable "all  role  r o l e i n the s t o r y .  the beauty  [of f a l l i n g  Both f e e l  t h a t , once informed  i n love] has been d e s t r o y e d " ^ .  of the incense i n both s t o r i e s  about sex  The symbol  creates less n a r r a t o r i a l distance:  reader knows that he i s about to read a 'sad' s t o r y herself  otherwise  f e e l s the s t o r y i s sad and l e t s  "Jasmine Tea", a s t o r y of the second  because the n a r r a t o r  the reader know about t h i s .  branch,  18  Z h a n g , The C o l l e c t e d S t o r i e s , p. 339^  1 9  Ibid.,  p. 382.  2 0  Ibid.,  pp. 341, 360.  the  Zhang adopts  the same  In  18  technique f o r the beginning of the s t o r y .  The n a r r a t o r o f f e r s the  (female) i m p l i e d reader a hot cup of t e a which t a s t e s b i t t e r but has an a t t r a c t i v e aroma a t the same time.  These c o n t r a s t i n g s e n s a t i o n s  foreshadow the main c h a r a c t e r ' s indulgence i n h i s b i t t e r n e s s .  "He has  been wronged by the world, h i s v a n i t y l i e s  i n h i s desperate  t h a t the world owes him h i s f a n t a s i e s . " *  Chuanqing i s a c h a r a c t e r  2  insistence  p h y s i c a l l y and m e n t a l l y locked i n t o a p o s i t i o n from which he can see no way o u t . The s t o r y ends with the statement s u g g e s t i n g that h i s l i f e w i l l  "he could not e s c a p e "  go on i n the manner t o l d  2 2  i n the s t o r y .  The  n a r r a t o r does t h e r e f o r e not c l o s e i n h i s / h e r own v o i c e but leaves i t open, conveying  thereby a sense  of Chuanqing's l o n e l i n e s s .  The "embedding"  comments and d e s c r i p t i o n s of a c o v e r t (or e f f a c e d ) n a r r a t o r i n the s t o r i e s of the second  group may, as f o r example i n "The Golden  i d e a of the never-ending generation.  handing  The author uses  down of b i t t e r n e s s  Cangue" suggest the  from g e n e r a t i o n t o  the image of the moon to support the  atmosphere of the gloomy human s i t u a t i o n . Shanghai t h i r t y years ago on a moonlit night of moons i s apt to be t i n g e d w i t h sadness.  . . . the best  The moon of t h i r t y years ago has gone down long s i n c e , and the people of t h i r t y years ago are dead, but the s t o r y of t h i r t y years ago i s not yet e n d e d — c a n have no ending." -^ 2  In "Fengsuo", another  s t o r y of t h i s branch,  the s i m i l a r words and d e t a i l s  at the beginning and the end s i g n a l the t r a n s i t i o n i n t o and out of the  2  *Gunn, Unwelcome Muse, p. 228.  2 2  Z h a n g , The C o l l e c t e d S t o r i e s , p. 278.  3 j o s e p h S.M. Lau, C.T. H s i a , and Leo Ou-Fan Lee, eds., Chinese S t o r i e s and N o v e l l a s (Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s : New Y o r k ) , pp. 530, 559. 2  19  p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e of the c h a r a c t e r s , that i s , the c o n t r a s t between the dreary r o u t i n e of everyday  life  and  i n d u l g e i n d u r i n g the blockade.  the f a n t a s i e s the two main c h a r a c t e r s  Stories  i n the second  group have p r e l u d e s of v a r y i n g l e n g t h and  branch  spoken words ("The  afterwards  Heart  S u t r a " ) , the n a r r a t o r  As an example of a s t o r y from  the t h i r d  Summer") or  immediately  p r o v i d e s lengthy s i t u a t i o n a l e x p l i c a t i o n s and  descriptions.  this  even though some of them seem to  s t a r t with d e s c r i p t i o n s of the c h a r a c t e r s ' a c t i o n s ("Indian their  of  character  group, i n  "Red  and White Roses" the s t r u c t u r e of the s t o r y , by the s y s t e m a t i c i n t r o d u c t i o n of Chenbao's l i f e retreats  ten years  d e s i r e to p r o j e c t of  the f i r s t  reader from  i n the present  i n t o the p a s t , r e f l e c t s  time before the  Chenbao's o r d e r l y mind and h i s  the appearance of a r e s p o n s i b l e c i t i z e n .  part of the s t o r y . a d o p t s an i r o n i c the beginning  of the three  i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n ; i t i s , however, s i g n i f i c a n t  stories  of t h i s group, that i s , i n both the f i r s t  the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c anachronics  give a d i r e c t  s i t u a t i o n and  language  tone, i n d i c a t i n g  stories  and  to the We  2 4  experimental that i n a l l the  the second  branch,  i m p r e s s i o n of the c h a r a c t e r s '  t h i s e i t h e r p r i o r to the past  branch) or i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y with the past (the e x p e r i m e n t a l second  The  t h a t Chenbao's judgements are f a u l t y .  have a l r e a d y d e a l t with the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  minds i n t h e i r present  narrative  (first  s t o r i e s i n the  branch).  In  h i s study of "The  I n t e r l o c k i n g R i n g s " Tang Wenbiao s t a t e s that the  t e c h n i q u e of w r i t i n g a s h o r t summary at the beginning of t h i s story and i n  24  B r o w n , " E i l e e n Chang's Red  Rose and White Rose", p.  78.  20  fact one  the  of the  novels, its  summaries a c t i n g as  interludes  before each new  t r a d i t i o n a l ^ Xf)technique  of s t o r y t e l l i n g  i n which each chapter i s headed by a couplet  content. 5 2  recalled  A t r a d i t i o n a l influence  i n her use first  of the  opening and  branch of the  i n Chinese  g i v i n g the  gist  the  "similar,  i n some ways to prologues and  of  on Zhang A i l i n g ' s s t o r i e s i s a l s o c l o s i n g paragraphs i n the  group and  first  second group, paragraphs which epilogues  of the n a r r a t i v e proper."26  The  are  [ i n t r a d i t i o n a l hua-ben  ) s t o r i e s ] to convey c e r t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n i n t e g r a l part  " r i n g " , reminds  r e l a t e d t o , but  influence  of the  not  an  Classic  Chinese novels on Zhang A i l i n g ' s work i n terms of language, p h y s i c a l descriptions characters the  Red  of c h a r a c t e r s ,  has  s e t t i n g and  been shown to be very strong  Chamber.  the C.T.  the  portrayal  of  mostly r e l a t e d to Dream of  t e c h n i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s we  between the author's c o n v e n t i o n a l the  and  and  27  Despite some of the  that  objects,  characters  and  have noted to e x i s t  experimental s t o r i e s , we  can  assert  i n both s t o r y types remain very Chinese as a r e s u l t of  author's in-depth knowledge of many of the Hsia's f o l l o w i n g  comment thus a p p l i e s  Chinese  classics.  2 8  to both of Zhang A i l i n g ' s s t o r y  types:  2  ^ T a n g , R e s e a r c h i n g , p.  2 6  A d k i n s , "The  76.  Short S t o r i e s of Chang A i - l i n g , " p.  S e e H s i a , A H i s t o r y , p. 396 F a l l e n C i t y " , p. 55. 2 7  2 8  See, for a l i s t  and  7.  S c i b a n , " E i l e e n Chang's Love i n the  of these, Sciban's T h e s i s ,  p.  53.  21  The c h a r a c t e r s i n Romances [an e a r l i e r and s h o r t e r e d i t i o n of The C o l l e c t e d S t o r i e s ] are s o l i d l y and i n some i n s t a n c e s f r i g h t e n i n g l y Chinese; they are t h e r e f o r e s o l i d l y and frighteningly real. While she i s p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h the world of her contemporaries, her study of Chinese f i c t i o n has l e d her t o s t r e s s the s t r o n g p e r s i s t e n c e of t r a d i t i o n a l s e n s i b i l i t y even i n an a p p a r e n t l y uprooted and cosmopolitan set. S e n s i b i l i t y e v o l v e s s l o w l y , o l d manners d i e hard even d u r i n g a p e r i o d of unprecedented t e c h n o l o g i c a l and economical change.29  Furthermore, Chinese for  the combination  literary  works and her indebtness " t o Freud and western  the p s y c h o l o g i c a l  stories"-^ result study.  of the author's thorough knowledge of both  s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and m e t a p h o r i c a l enrichment  novelists of her  i n s t o r i e s which have t h e i r emphasis on c h a r a c t e r  "Many modern heroes win our a l l e g i a n c e  s e n s i b i l i t i e s w i l l not be denied, or because  because  they l i v e  their life  aesthetic to the  hilt,  7  or  simply because  certainly is  "little  they are v i c t i m s of t h e i r  t r u e of her s h o r t s t o r i e s and n o v e l l a s . effort  to engage our f e e l i n g s  strongly  more c h a r a c t e r s on the b a s i s of t h e i r moral Instead the value of ' s e n s i b i l i t y ' has those c h a r a c t e r s who, sympathetic; the of  In these s t o r i e s f o r or a g a i n s t one  or i n t e l l e c t u a l  . . ., have a h i g h l y developed  ' v i l l a i n s ' a r e those who  29risia, The H i s t o r y , p.  This i s there or  traits.  been placed at the core of t h i n g s ;  such c h a r a c t e r s are Cao Q i q i a o i n "The  3 0  surroundings."31  sensibility  are i n s e n s i t i v e . " - ^  are Examples  Golden Cangue", Roger Empton i n  397.  Ibid.  3 l B o o t h , The R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n , p. 32Booth on V i r g i n i a Woolf's F i c t i o n , p. 143.  132.  'novel of s e n s i b i l i t y ' i n The R h e t o r i c of  22  "Ashes of Descending Incense, F i r s t their  surroundings.  B r a z i e r " and o t h e r s , as v i c t i m s of  Mrs. X i i n " W a i t i n g "  s e n s i b i l i t y we r e c o g n i z e  has our sympathy because of her  through the many i n s i d e views we have of her  ( w h i l e the i n s i d e views of the other c h a r a c t e r s are p u r p o s e l y make them l e s s s e n s i t i v e ) .  withheld to  As a ' v i l l a i n ' we can f o r example s i n g l e out  George i n "Ashes of Descending Incense, Second B r a z i e r " f o r h i s l a c k of sensitivity  toward Weilong.  Having looked  at a s t r u c t u r a l overview of Zhang A i l i n g ' s  short  s t o r i e s and n o v e l l a s , and t h e i r u n d e r l y i n g f o c u s , we now turn to the reader's  participation  reader's  c o n t r i b u t i o n may appear both  work.  i n some of them.  Techniques that engender the  i n her l i n e a r and her experimental  The d i f f e r e n c e between the two types, however, i s that Zhang uses  such techniques  as a major s t r u c t u r a l d e v i c e i n the l a t t e r  stories,  d e v i c e s which i n turn c o n t r i b u t e to the meaning of the s t o r y , whereas her earlier has  s t o r i e s may only c o n t a i n f r a c t i o n s of such t e c h n i q u e s .  f o r example used the technique  of f l a s h b a c k  The author  i n "The Golden Cangue"  ( Q i q i a o remembers her younger days i n her f a t h e r ' s sesame o i l shop). T h i s f l a s h b a c k i s tagged by the n a r r a t o r , i n d i c a t i n g  to the reader  that  Q i q i a o i s t h i n k i n g about the p a s t . ("The t h i n g s of the past came back again" ), 3 3  in t  n  e  experimental  stories  there are no such  the c h a r a c t e r ' s p e r c e p t i o n of something i n the present springboard  3 3  to a memory i n the p a s t .  indications,  time may act as a  In "Lust and A b s t i n e n c e " f o r  Z h a n g , The C o l l e c t e d S t o r i e s , p. 168.  23  example, J i a z h i  sits  i n the c o f f e e house w a i t i n g f o r Mr. Y i .  man o b s e r v i n g her a c r o s s  the t a b l e who probably  t r i e s to make out whether  she  i s an a c t r e s s .  had  a c t u a l l y performed i n p l a y s " ( p . 24). The reader's  consist  The n a r r a t i v e jumps without  a t a g to her memory "She c o n t r i b u t i o n can  i n s u p p l y i n g a p i e c e of i n f o r m a t i o n which was l e f t  In "Lust and A b s t i n e n c e "  She sees the  f o r example J i a z h i h a i l s a pedicab  unmentioned. ( p . 21), the  n a r r a t i v e d i v e r t s to her thoughts and a short f l a s h b a c k , and on the next page the i n f o r m a t i o n i s given that she has been s i t t i n g while  t h i n k i n g about the p a s t ' ( " I t took a while  concession." reader's  (p. 2 2 ) .  w a i t i n g f o r the pedicab  to a r r i v e .  has to rearrange  a c t u a l and i m p l i e d event contribution  by the s i d e of the s t r e e t  the s e q u e n t i a l i n f o r m a t i o n a f t e r the  of mounting.the c a b . ^ 3  The reader's  from such temporal i n d i c a t i o n s  ("Happy Reunion", p. 99) or "When the movie  e n d e d " ^ which make c l e a r that the n a r r a t i v e has skipped 3  (unimportant) a c t i o n i n the s t o r y and which the reader as he/she reads  i n the  When the above i n f o r m a t i o n i s f i n a l l y  i n t h i s example i s d i f f e r e n t  as " A f t e r the d i n n e r "  to d r i v e to the p u b l i c  She i s not mentioned e n t e r i n g the pedicab,  mind she could have been s t a n d i n g  g i v e n , the reader  i n the pedicab  over an  therefore f i l l s i n  along.  /*In the second s t o r y , "Flowers and P i s t i l s " there i s a s i m i l a r example: the reader does not r e c e i v e the s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n that the boat, which Luozhen has boarded as the s t o r y opens, has s t a r t e d i t s journey. I t i s only toward the end of the n a r r a t i v e that we l e a r n the boat has been s a i l i n g f o r a w h i l e " T h i s boat took t e n days from Hong Kong to Japan t u r n i n g l e f t and t u r n i n g r i g h t , . . ." (p. 7 6 ) . These examples show t h a t i n these s t o r i e s the c h a r a c t e r s ' thoughts t y p i c a l l y p r e v a i l over the o u t s i d e a c t i o n . 3  3 5  " S o Much Hate," The Sense of Loss, p. 118.  24  In some of Zhang A i l i n g ' s l i n e a r s t o r i e s , the demand f o r the reader's contribution as  i s built  i n t o the p l o t of the s t o r y and can be as c h a l l e n g i n g  f i n d i n g one's way i n an anachronic n a r r a t i v e .  These can be s u p p l y i n g  a  c r u c i a l a c t i o n p u r p o s e l y obscured or omitted from the s t o r y and e v a l u a t i n g the main c h a r a c t e r ' s B r a z i e r " ) , entering  personality  ("Ashes of Descending Incense, Second  the mind of a d i s t u r b e d  f o l l o w i n g a double l i n e  character  ("Jasmine Tea") or  of a c t i o n ("So Much H a t e " ) .  In "Ashes of Descending Incense, Second B r a z i e r " the reader has t o e v a l u a t e Roger Empton's p s y c h o l o g i c a l not)  and the a t t i t u d e of h i s b r i d e ,  sexual  attack  health  ( i s he a sexual  p e r v e r t or  Susie M i t c h e l l ( i s she the v i c t i m of a  or not, i s she genuine i n her love  f o r Roger, or i s she  c a l c u l a t i n g , e s p e c i a l l y on the evening of the second day when she f a i l s t o tell  him about her a c t i v i t i e s  eventually  r u i n him).  information the n a r r a t o r accusations  day, the outcome of which  Throughout the s t o r y  about Roger Empton's p e r s o n a l i t y  i n the form of comments by  of the people around him almost l e g i t i m a t e . about Roger's a c t i o n s  at c r u c i a l moments to b r i n g  will  the reader i s g i v e n  and thoughts i n Roger's mind both of which could  however, enough i n f o r m a t i o n revealed  on that  make the  At the same time,  and thoughts are  the reader onto h i s s i d e and  understand that he i s a s e n s i b l e man i n the midst of a h y s t e r i c a l crowd. His  personality  Is d e s c r i b e d  as a b i t r e s t r a i n e d  "He was an Englishman and always f e l t unless  i t was a b s o l u t e l y  and o v e r l y  that any r e v e l a t i o n of f e e l i n g s ,  n e c e s s a r y , was s u p e r f l u o u s .  genuine, f l e s h and blood l i f e .  law a b i d i n g .  Unfortunately  He was a f r a i d of  people were a l i v e but the  25  less  t h i s was  mentioned  the b e t t e r "  (p. 3 4 5 ) . ^  H i s r e p u t a t i o n as a  3  c o r r e c t and u p r i g h t person g i v e s r i s e to a l l kinds of s p e c u l a t i o n s a f t e r a f r i g h t e n e d S u s i e has woken up the men's dormitory i n the middle of the n i g h t . "The  more they pose f o r high morals, the more u n d i s c i p l i n e d  personal l i v e s  is.  I always  felt  that Empton was  probably become a p e r v e r t " (p. 357).  His own  their  too d i s c i p l i n e d ,  he'll  p a s s i o n a t e thoughts  about  h i s f u t u r e wife on the morning of h i s wedding could give h i n t s of a not i n complete  c o n t r o l of h i m s e l f , thoughts, however, which f o r a man  l o v e are only to be expected  and would not arouse any  always  to love her so u n c o n t r o l l a b l y .  was  . . .  When they were together he  was  a f r a i d he would do some f o o l i s h u n - E n g l i s h t h i n g , maybe c r y , or  k i s s her hands and her f e e t " doubt  in  s u s p i c i o n i n the  reader i f the i n c i d e n t w i t h Susie were not to take p l a c e . "He pitiful  man  (p. 350).  The  reader n e v e r t h e l e s s , does not  the main c h a r a c t e r ' s p s y c h o l o g i c a l h e a l t h ; Roger's r e a c t i o n s to a l l  the events happening s e n s i b l e person.  The  d u r i n g these few days correspond reader understands  does not want to l i s t e n  to those of a  h i s ' s e l f i s h ' f e e l i n g s when he  to other people's problems on h i s wedding  day  ( S u s i e ' s s i s t e r M i l l i c e n t ' s and Mrs. M i t c h e l l ' s ) ; he wants other people to be e x c i t e d and happy.  E v e n t u a l l y the reader knows Roger i s the only  s e n s i b l e person, and not a s e x u a l p e r v e r t , amidst a gossip-hungry small-minded  people, because  sense of what happened. k i s s e d her f a c e . was  "He  we  f o l l o w h i s thoughts  as he t r i e s  to make  took the p i c t u r e frame i n both hands and  Between them was  only the i c e - c o l d g l a s s pane.  not the g l a s s , h i s burning l i p s were s e p a r a t i n g them. . . .  A 1 1 page i n d i c a t i o n s of the s t o r i e s i n t h i s Collected Stories. 36  crowd of  No, i t But  then,  chapter r e f e r to The  26  was  he not r i g h t ?  back to bed,  No,  no,  i t s t r u c k him  there was  something  else  l i k e a t h u n d e r b o l t , he  a c t u a l l y M i l l i c e n t ' s husband was  a very normal man!"  Susie (he w o r r i e s about  when he went  realized  that the reader gets an i n s i d e view of h i s mind and cares about  . . .  something:  (p. 361).  The  sees that he  her w e l l - b e i n g when she  fact  really  runs o f f on  t h e i r wedding n i g h t ) shows that he would not t h i n k of harming her.  The  reader hopes that e v e r y t h i n g w i l l work out f o r Roger i f he and Susie can only leave on t h e i r honeymoon t o Hawaii, all  the t h i n g s that have happened behind h i s back ever s i n c e she A few  the second relatives cannot  Roger i s too shocked  evening  by the news Dean Bach b r i n g s him  (Mrs. M i t c h e l l and her daughters  and h i s c o l l e g u e s to spread the  e x p l a i n the huge misunderstanding  repeatedly reponding  ran o f f .  times the reader wants to poke Roger to help him s t r a i g h t e n  the s i t u a t i o n .  his  even though Roger does not know  b i d d i n g Dean Bach goodbye at the end to h i s v i s i t o r ' s  only a l l y .  Now  attempts  isolated  he f e e l s  taken p l a c e .  of the v i s i t  he  By  without  to c l e a r the s i t u a t i o n , he has  from everybody,  on  went to a l l t h e i r  'awful news') t h a t that has  out  he becomes confused  lost  and  o v e r l y s e n s i t i v e to human touch i n h i s f e a r of appearing s u s p i c i o u s , which in  f a c t makes him more so.  On  top of that  r e p u t a t i o n as an o v e r l y s e x u a l man revenge  f o r previous d i s p u t e s ) .  (women f e e l a t t r a c t e d , men  "She  was  a c t u a l l y was  He  their  f e a r s the a t t a c k s on him as much  walking behind Roger, when he suddenly  hand were t a p p i n g twice on h i s s h o u l d e r . whole body shuddered.  take  By that time, however, the reader i s  a l r e a d y f i r m l y on Roger Empton's s i d e and as he does.  some people are e x p l o i t i n g h i s  He was  turned h i s head around  not her hand but the moss green  felt  as i f a  f i l l e d with disgust, h i s to look and  saw  s c a r f wound around  that i t her neck  27  t h a t was 377).  fluttering  i n the wind and  h i t t i n g h i s shoulder a few  (p.  When a few moments l a t e r D o l i n d a does put her hand on h i s s h o u l d e r  "because she has  difficulty  t h i n k s i t i s her s c a r f .  walking  on her h i g h h e e l s i n the dark"  he  As soon as he r e a l i z e s the t r u t h he hastens  p l a c e her hand on another woman's shoulder to g i v e D o l i n d a the she  times"  to  "support"  needs. Two  s i d e s of Susie M i t c h e l l ' s p e r s o n a l i t y appear:  c o q u e t t i s h toward Roger, and  d e c i s i v e and  her when she  These a t t i t u d e s  f e e l s wronged.  i n charge  childlike  of the events  around  seem n a t u r a l f o r the  person  she i s d e s c r i b e d to be but appear i n c o h e r e n t i n the sequence of s t o r y ' s events.  Why  school?  to  get i n touch with a lawyer  (She went to see both the Dean and to f i l e  Does she not  the Headmaster to ask  f o r d i v o r c e , and  realize  Does she go back with Roger the second  evening  and  Her a c t i o n s and  s a i d with a s m a l l v o i c e 'Hawaii'  ("Susie  for  leaned  her but  him of her  that a f t e r n o o n , to the bedroom where Susie packs her c l o t h e s  the up-coming honeymoon t r i p  inconsistent. last  the  . . ." (p. 305)),  when Roger r e t u r n s from d o w n s t a i r s , where Dean Bach t o l d activities  the whole  because her love f o r him i s  comments seem to p o i n t to her genuineness  head on h i s arm  got  them  the s e r i o u s n e s s of her a c t i o n s ?  s t r o n g e r than her f e a r of h i s 'animal nature'? narrator's  the  does she not t e l l Roger what happened that a f t e r n o o n  at  campus g o s s i p i n g ) .  and  to Hawaii,  her a c t i o n s seem  Roger at t h a t p o i n t knows about a l l the a c t i v i t i e s of  twenty-four  hours, and w h i l e he n a t u r a l l y  is filled  with anger,  the she  i n n o c e n t l y b e l i e v e s t h a t he wants to k i s s her j u s t as he d i d before he left  the room.  In l i g h t  of h i s knowledge of her a c t i o n s d u r i n g that  day,  28  her  c o q u e t t i s h a t t i t u d e now seems l u d i c r o u s . "She i n c l i n e d  her head  s l i g h t l y , to the s i d e , yawned, almost c l o s i n g her blue e y e l i d s and s a i d : 'I want to go to bed. Now you can k i s s me, but only once!" (p. Susie's t r a n s f o r m a t i o n g i v e s the sense of a s i n i s t e r  372).  conspiracy  that  seems t o have taken place between mother and daughter t h a t a f t e r n o o n , the event  omitted  behaviour.  from the s t o r y and the r e s u l t of which i s Susie's  Has her mother manipulated  her to go back w i t h Roger t o , with  the news, and the e f f e c t s of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s r e a c h i n g him, d e s t r o y him? Mrs.  Mitchell  The r e a l  strange  'villain'  d u r i n g that day e v e n t u a l l y i n the s t o r y thus i s  (she i s not a f a r c r y from Cao Q i q i a o i n "The Golden  Cangue"), r e s t r i c t i n g  any n a t u r a l s e x u a l a c t i v i t y  around her by keeping  her daughters o v e r l y s h e l t e r e d and uninformed about the r e a l i t i e s Mrs.  Mitchell  of sex.  i s e l u s i v e : on the o u t s i d e she appears f r i e n d l y and  s u p p o r t i v e of her daughter's marriage though a b i t mysterious wishes Roger good l u c k , comments which u n s e t t l e him).  (twice she  Her extremely  s h e l t e r i n g presence toward her daughters i s only h i n t e d at by other c h a r a c t e r s , but none of them r e v e a l ( M i l l i c e n t ) or know of (Roger Empton) the extent  of her s t r i c t  devastating effects. he  to  only Roger and the reader  Whereas at the beginning  i s a ' f o o l ' marrying  i n t o what deadly  education,  see the  of the s t o r y Roger t h i n k s  such a young and naive woman, he does not know  t r a p he has p l a c e d h i m s e l f .  Already  before he i s married  Susie he i s caught i n the atmosphere of madness that surrounds the  t h r e e women.  He y e l l s at M i l l i c e n t : "Even though I am a most normal man  you would manage t o d r i v e me t o madness!" ( p . 349). S u s i e thus  proves to be completely  innocent  but manipulated  by her  29  mother.  Her  malleability  i s evoked i n the symbolic  undergoes d u r i n g t h e i r wedding. coming towards him.  transformations  In the church Roger sees her  when she passed a y e l l o w - g o l d e n ablaze."  (p. 352).  window, she and  f a s t e r and  be more malignant.  integrity, especially at n i g h t and  young woman who f o r her The  are more l i k e l y  just  social  Nobody q u e s t i o n s  the men's  to take p i t y to f i n d  Susie's  on a  out  dormitory  beautiful  the r e a l  reasons  behaviour. e l u s i v e , unspoken element of sex appears i n the s t o r y here the c h a r a c t e r s l i k e  some i n v i s i b l e  element of wind i n the form of f a n s , c l o t h e s f l u t t e r i n g the impression  intangible  threat.  "What were you  of gusts "Mrs.  and M i l l i c e n t  u t t e r e d these words, a gust M i t c h e l l d i d not  of wind supports  Mitchell  wipe h i s mouth, he answered"  Mrs.  i n the  i n Hong Kong, the gossip tends  seems o b v i o u s l y shaken, than  there i n a hush, surrounding The  and  her h a i r seemed to be  s i n c e she happened to walk i n t o  the students  changed  changed to b l u e ;  Because of the d e l i c a t e s u b j e c t of sex  environment of a white middle c l a s s l i v i n g to spread  slowly  "When she walked past a r o s e - r e d window she  to r o s e - r e d ; when she walked past a blue window, she  she  the impression  sat down next  t a l k i n g about?"  to him  and  presence.  i n the wind or of  an  asked  slowly:  Roger took the napkin  'About her husband.'  As  soon as he  to  had  of dark wind seemed to blow through the room,  talk for a while."  In the s t o r y "Jasmine Tea"  (p.350).  the reader's  p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s a l s o that of  e v a l u a t i n g a c h a r a c t e r ' s p e r s o n a l i t y , i n t h i s case  that of the secondary  c h a r a c t e r ; but, more i m p o r t a n t l y , i t i n v o l v e s e n t e r i n g the main c h a r a c t e r ' s mind and  and  f o l l o w i n g a n a r r a t i v e ' w h i c h , f o r the most part  30  f o c u s e s on the thoughts of an i n t r o v e r t e d  adolescent.  There i s no  q u e s t i o n about the p e r s o n a l i t y of the main c h a r a c t e r , Nie Chuanqing.  All  i n d i c a t i o n s f o r the reader to understand h i s o u t l o o k on l i f e — d i s t o r t e d his  resultant  narrative.  b i t t e r n e s s about h i s unhappy f a m i l y  The  life—are  repeated d i s c o u r a g i n g comments by h i s f a t h e r  by  g i v e n i n the and  stepmother have made him a p h y s i c a l l y and m e n t a l l y immature teenager. I n d i c a t i o n s about h i s s i t u a t i o n are g i v e n both by the n a r r a t o r and Chuanqing had  h i m s e l f , he knows how  t h i n g s stand with him.  He reasons:  "He  l i v e d w i t h h i s f a t h e r f o r twenty years and had a l r e a d y been made i n t o  a mental c r i p p l e  so that  even i f h i s f a t h e r gave him freedom, he could not  escape" (p. 264). The  reader f o l l o w s Chuanqing's  the present a c t i o n .  He t h i n k s about  thoughts i n passages placed  between  the present (the more he i d o l i z e s h i s  t e a c h e r Yan Z i y e , the more he hates h i s daughter Yan Danzhu) and about a h y p o t h e t i c a l past which  leads i n t o a h y p o t h e t i c a l present (he imagines  that  i f h i s deceased mother, Feng B i l u o had m a r r i e d Yan Z i y e , h i s whole  life  would  have been d i f f e r e n t . )  He r e c o n s t r u c t s  the past through the  b i t s and p i e c e s of i n f o r m a t i o n he has gathered about h i s l a t e mother and ruminates about i t so many times that c e r t a i n passages momentarily become the p r e s e n t l o s i n g  t h e i r apearance of imagined p a s t .  example i s e x a c t l y  the moment which would have been so d e c i s i v e f o r h i s  mother's  One  such p a r t i c u l a r  f u t u r e and u l t i m a t e l y h i s e x i s t e n c e .  The Yans found somebody to act as a matchmaker. Biluo's mother d i d not say a n y t h i n g . But a former concubine of her g r a n d f a t h e r , s i t t i n g at the s i d e smoking opium, g i g g l e d and chipped i n : ' I t i s much to e a r l y to t a l k about that now!' The matchmaker s a i d : 'But Miss B i l u o i s not so young anymore—' The o l d concubine s a i d : ' I am not t a l k i n g about her age! No  31  matter how good the Yan's from Changshu a r e , they're s t i l l a merchant f a m i l y . If t h e i r young master was a s c h o l a r who got on and they came to propose marriage a f t e r two or three more g e n e r a t i o n s , then we might have something to d i s c u s s . But now . . . i t i s much too e a r l y ! ' The matchmaker saw that n o t h i n g c o u l d be done about i t and went back to the Yan's. (p. 262).  These d e c i s i o n s were made b e f o r e Chuanqing's time, but the c o n v e r s a t i o n g i v e s the i m p r e s s i o n of him The  reader has  classmate,  as an  onlooker.  to e v a l u a t e the p e r s o n a l i t y of Yan Danzhu, h i s  to see whether she  i s as k i n d and  friendly  as she appears  on  the s u r f a c e , or whether she i s s a t i s f y i n g her v a n i t y by t r y i n g to win Chuanqing f o r h e r s e l f , her s c h o o l . . The b e l i e v e she has  to have him  court her l i k e  so many other boys do i n  n a r r a t i v e p r o v i d e s i n s t a n c e s which c o u l d make the selfish  reasons  i n showing him  reader  friendship.  She s a i d s m i l i n g : 'The day before y e s t e r d a y I t o l d you about the l e t t e r Dequan wrote me, p l e a s e f o r g e t about i t . Pretend 1 never t o l d you.' Chuanqing asked: 'Why?' Danzhu s a i d : 'Why? . . . But i t ' s obvious! I should not t e l l people these things. I'm too c h i l d l i k e , I can't keep anything to myself!' Chuanqing leaned forward p r e s s i n g both arms on h i s knees, he smiled. Danzhu a l s o leaned forward and moved c l o s e r toward him. She asked i n a s e r i o u s v o i c e : 'Chuanqing, you d i d not misunderstand my meaning, d i d you? I f I'm t e l l i n g you t h i s i t i s not to brag about i t - I have to t e l l to people, because some t h i n g s are too p a i n f u l to keep i n s i d e . . . ' (p. 254-255).  Even though she  t e l l s him  she i s not bragging about her p o p u l a r i t y a t  s c h o o l , her very i n s i s t e n c e  that he not misunderstand  r e v e a l that she a c t u a l l y is_ t r y i n g to make him contrast  her i n t e n t i o n could  jealous.  In the  sharp  between both c h a r a c t e r s her p e r s o n a l i t y seems o v e r l y outgoing  compassionate,  but, from  the s t o r y ' s p o i n t of view, r e a s o n a b l e .  Her  and  32 openness  s e t s o f f Chuanqing's  suffering  to s i m u l t a n e o u s l y i n c r e a s e h i s  p a i n by the r e a l i z a t i o n of h i s unhappiness and h i s j e a l o u s y and to give a sense of h i s d i s t o r t e d view.  For example,  f a m i l y she l i v e s  to h i s abusive and unhealthy f a m i l y  surroundings.  i n , compared  Imagining h i m s e l f  i n her p o s i t i o n he t h i n k s , "A c h i l d  lived  i n a f a m i l y with l o v e , no matter how  would  still  be f u l l  266-267).  (pp. off  unstable t h e i r  that  l i v e s were,  of s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e and c o m p a s s i o n — a s w e l l as be  v i g o r o u s , e n t e r p r i s i n g and courageous. Danzhu's q u a l i t i e s  he i s aware of the harmonious  He probably would have a l l of  and those that she d i d not have he would have t o o "  The n a r r a t o r  Chuanqing's d i s t o r t e d  clearly  presents one image of her and  view a g a i n s t  it.  "Her l i v e l y  sets  face and the  golden c o l o u r of her s k i n were s e t o f f by the white gauze of her j a c k e t , like  some g l i s t e n i n g  amber-coloured wine i n a g l a s s .  eyes she d i d not merely evoke an a e s t h e t i c f e e l i n g Chuanqing's s i c k l y  But i n Chuanqing's  of p u r i t y "  (p. 2 6 4 ) .  appearance as an e x t e r i o r i z a t i o n of h i s inner pain i s  even more obvious w i t h the i m p r e s s i o n of her h e a l t h around him. p h y s i c a l appearance s i g n a l s h i s f e e l i n g s i n c l i n e d h i s head lower and lower u n t i l 258).  of inadequacy.  His  "Chuanqing  i t almost reached the f l o o r " (p.  She wants to draw him out by showering her f r i e n d s h i p on him, but  he wants to reduce her to h i s l e v e l of p a i n .  When he h i t s Danzhu on t h e i r  walk at n i g h t he pushes her head down, f o r c i n g her i n t o a s i m i l a r as h i s own.  "With one hand he grasped her s h o u l d e r , w i t h the other hand he  p r e s s e d her head down with a l l h i s might, as i f he wanted head back i n t o her c h e s t . w o r l d , he wanted point  posture  She should never have been born i n t o  her to go back" (p. 277).  that she l i e s  to press her this  A f t e r he has beaten her to the  crouched on the f l o o r , he runs away and thinks "For  33  that  short  that  they  i n s t a n c e , t h e i r hearts were i n t e r l i n k e d "  have reached the same l e v e l of p a i n , and although  p h y s i c a l l y hurt, i n r e a l i t y take  (p. 278).  He f e e l s  she i s  the d i f f e r e n c e between them remains, he cannot  away her happiness. Again the reader  i s inclined  to want to poke the main c h a r a c t e r to  h e l p him s t r a i g h t e n out the s i t u a t i o n .  The reader  feels  that Chuanqing's  l o t would be e a s i e r to endure i f only he would c o n f i d e i n somebody.  Yan  Danzhu o f f e r s to help him c l e a r up t h i n g s between him and her f a t h e r , but h i s mental s t a t e has worsened to the p o i n t that he can see no other outlook  than h i s own, he has l o s t  Danzhu?  T e l l Yan Ziye?  Chuanqing only f e l t  D i d he s t i l l  she asked:  home?' Chuanqing laughed f l a t l y :  Yan  "'Tell  remember Feng B i l u o ? ' . . .  the pent up i n j u s t i c e he could not get o f f h i s c h e s t .  Danzhu drew c l o s e r a g a i n ,  people's b u s i n e s s ! ' "  a l l sense of p e r s p e c t i v e .  (p.  'Chuanqing, do you have t r o u b l e at  'You're too fond  of minding  other  272).  Danzhu thus turns out to be genuine i n her a t t i t u d e toward  Chuanqing, she r e a l l y wants to be h i s f r i e n d . amount of v a n i t y i n her ( i n h i s d e s p e r a t i o n understand him, he t e l l s  Even i f there  to f i n d  her that he loves her.  i s a small  someone to love and  Thereupon she thinks  "Even t h i s e c c e n t r i c person loved h e r — t h i s s a t i s f i e d her v a n i t y .  Danzhu  was  a good woman, but a f t e r a l l she was a woman." (pp. 276-277)), i t does  not  outweigh her s i n c e r e e f f o r t s t o i n c l u d e Chuanqing i n the group.  ability very  Her  t o make f r i e n d s g i v e s her the s l a c k to t r y to help Chuanqing, the  t h i n g that makes him angry.  need to i n f u s e him w i t h "brushing  In h i s anger he mistakes her genuine  some of her o v e r f l o w i n g  happiness to be that of  . . . bread crumbs from the t a b l e t o feed the dog" because she  34  "has  too much of i t " (p.  273).  "So Much Hate" i s a l i n e a r s t o r y u n r o l l i n g on two l i n e s of a c t i o n . The  l i n e of the o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n , r e p r e s e n t e d  M i s t e r Yu) and the Amah i n the X i a household,  by J i a y i n ' s  f a t h e r (Old  runs p a r a l l e l  to the l i n e of  the younger g e n e r a t i o n , that of J i a y i n and X i a Zongyu, and sometimes meets it.  The a c t i o n s of the o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n ' s  l i n e happen behind  the younger g e n e r a t i o n and t h e r e f o r e behind technique  i s c o n s i s t e n t l y used throughout  theme of the g e n e r a t i o n city  their  the back of  l i n e of a c t i o n .  the n a r r a t i v e and p o i n t s to the  c l a s h (as w e l l as to the c l a s h of country  d w e l l e r s ) i n the s t o r y .  This  The two l i n e s  converge each time  versus  Jiayin's  f a t h e r meets Zongyu, h i s opposite member i n the younger g e n e r a t i o n . meet and i n t e r a c t attitude  three times  the s t o r y .  Zongyu changes from p o l i t e n e s s on t h e i r  meeting, to r e s t r a i n e d impatience  visits  Zongyu's  toward the o l d man changes markedly, while Old Yu himself stays  the same throughout first  i n the n a r r a t i v e , each time  They  on the second  (Old M i s t e r Yu  Zongyu e a r l y i n the morning to borrow some money) and to open anger  on the t h i r d  meeting.  Zongyu on that o c c a s i o n expels him from the f a c t o r y  for  the t r u s t  of the Company, and never wants to see him  breaking  p r i v a t e l y again due to h i s i n d i s c r e e t and o v e r l y f a m i l i a r  attitude  toward  him. The  c h a r a c t e r s ' " t r u e i d e n t i t y " i n t h i s s t o r y i s c l e a r from the  beginning, although  the reader  i s q u i c k l y on the s i d e of the younger g e n e r a t i o n and  he can understand  reader wants the happiness attitude  why the o l d e r people  act the way they do, the  of the couple and completely  of the o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n .  because, as mentioned above, they  Both these  r e j e c t s the  c h a r a c t e r s are d i s a g r e e a b l e  stay the same throughout  the s t o r y ( f l a t  35  characters)  i n t h e i r extreme frame of minds.  narrow-mined, gossipy  and  man  h i s daughter's l i f e  wants to organize  of opportunism and  greed.  The  s u s p i c i o u s woman from the c o u n t r y s i d e ,  He  out  f i n d s himself  of " g o o d w i l l "  completely  r o l e , p a r t l y because of h i s s t a t u s as f a t h e r and because he has insensitivity  toward h i s daughter.  is w i l l i n g  forgiveness remarried,  On  arrived  from the  these two  country  apparently  Actions  divorced  because a l l the  reader  w e l l matched people to a happy  next day,  and  and  in this  l o o k i n g up  having has  wants i s to b r i n g  union.  3 7  back ( f o r example Susie  the Dean and  The  shows no  who  refuge  the  of f a b r i c  the  landlady  the  s t o r y repeated  The  n a r r a t i v e goes back i n time, u n r o l l i n g the p a r t i c u l a r moment from a  different  with  perspective.  on h i s daughter) have the  in  i n the  the V i c e - p r e s i d e n t  s t o r y J i a y i n ' s f a t h e r g i v i n g the piece  so that she would spy  young  her mother and  "Ashes of Descending Incense, Second B r a z i e r " t a k i n g dormitory  partly  two  toward h i s wife  that happen behind a c h a r a c t e r ' s  student's  in his  to h i s  attitudes (Jiayin  v i o l e n t outbursts side),  a l s o out  of emotions (round c h a r a c t e r s ) .  f a t h e r f o r having  Zongyu has  hand, the  as a  the o l d  justified  s e n i o r , and  the other  to excuse t h e i r v o l a t i l e  towards her and  but  become s e n i l e , a f a c t which a l s o c o n t r i b u t e s  people are both seen i n v a r i o u s kinds reader  Amah i s presented  the "unknowing" c h a r a c t e r  While s t o r i e s , however, may  later  to  same time i n  i n the n a r r a t i v e .  have the same f e a t u r e s  I t should be mentioned that i n a short i n t r o d u c t i o n to t h i s s t o r y the author notes that she f a s h i o n e d "So Much Hate" a f t e r popular n o v e l s , s o - c a l l e d "non-books". The c h a r a c t e r s t h e r e f o r e are s i m p l e r , that i s , they have a l e s s s u b t l e i n n e r l i f e and can be more e a s i l y d i v i d e d i n t o 'good' and 'bad' c h a r a c t e r s . That i s the reason why the reader i s so q u i c k l y on the s i d e of the two ' b e a u t i f u l young people' i n h i s hope f o r t h e i r happiness. 3 7  36  with  similar s i g n i f i c a n c e , their proportion  according  to the  Hate" the  r e p e t i t i o n of n a r r a t e d  a c t i o n s without an  irony.  effect  i n "So  restaurant  and  devastating  In the  first  thereby c r e a t i n g  scandal  not  only  of her  to i t and  parallel  thoughts permeate the  father's secret  a l s o i n the  that e v e n t u a l l y w i l l  there  lead  and  i s a sense of c o n t i n u i t y Old Mr.  Yu's  between the a c t i o n s of J i a y i n and  other  covert  Zongyu.  The  temporal r e p e t i t i o n i n the n a r r a t i v e of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r  couple i s not  result  of i t w i l l  f i n a l l y b r i n g him  Zongyu's  to consume t h e i r l o v e , the  reader's  T h i s time the  reader  the matter by  t e l l i n g Zongyu her  a l s o by making her  decide  not  the  can understand her  The  dilemma.  present  Zongyu.  o n l y to c l e a r  r e a l reasons f o r l e a v i n g the  change her mind about d i v o r c e .  are  h i s pushy  to l e a v e Shanghai and  wants to poke the main c h a r a c t e r  happiness even though he  hopes  a t t i t u d e towards d i v o r c e and  f a t h e r that makes her  to meet  separation.  It i s u l t i m a t e l y the f a t h e r ' s presence and  a t t i t u d e , as w e l l as J i a y i n ' s own model of her  Zongyu i n a  a c t i o n takes but  story.  thereby a c c e l e r a t e J i a y i n ' s and  disappointed.  and  b u i l d i n g around  double a c t i o n i s s h o r t e r  f a t h e r ' s many schemes, but  though, i s because the  Zongyu, and  time the  Much Hate" the  moves happen c o n s e c u t i v e l y reason f o r the  i n the  on Roger's r e p u t a t i o n  In "So  shows one  thinking  s t o r y the e f f e c t s of the double a c t i o n are much  repercussions  to h i s death.  The  unaware of the  "So Much  completing  and  a movie t h e a t r e , e q u a l l y unaware of her  more f a r r e a c h i n g ,  tactic  character  Much Hate" J i a y i n spends the evening with  activities.  him  time shows one  In "Second B u r n i n g " Roger Empton spends the day completely  differ,  In both "Second B u r n i n g " and  the knowledge of the second c h a r a c t e r  worrying about Susie, him;  sought.  i n the p l o t may  reader  city  but  wants her  37  It three  i s the demand f o r the reader's  stories  similar  involvement which b r i n g s  c l o s e to the experimental  to "Lust  and A b s t i n e n c e "  stories.  these  "Second B r a z i e r " i s  i n i t s manipulation  of the reader, i n  both cases t h i s i s due to the element of s e c r e c y  involved  In the l i n e a r s t o r y the m a n i p u l a t i o n  by g i v i n g the reader  kinds the  of i n f o r m a t i o n  reader  strong  about the main c h a r a c t e r w i t h o u t , however,  to the p o i n t  ambiguous.  i s achieved  of l e a v i n g the c h a r a c t e r ' s  n a r r a t i v e presence ( t o supply  "adorning"  and A b s t i n e n c e " ,  information narrative  the necessary sense of s e c r e c y  different  with  distorted Abstinence"  by c o n s t r u c t i n g the  t h e r e f o r e i s manipulated at d i f f e r e n t  i n this  thoughts.  i n t o assuming "Jasmine T e a "  the main c h a r a c t e r ' s  stories, thoughts  case can f o l l o w the development of the c h a r a c t e r ' s  This story i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  because i n both the main c h a r a c t e r  To J i a z h i  times.  i n the main  s t o r y which comes c l o s e s t to the experimental  l a r g e p a r t s of the n a r r a t i v e r e p o r t  In  by r e t a r d i n g the d i s c l o s u r e of  but more i m p o r t a n t l y  t r u t h s about the c h a r a c t e r s  the reader  time.  the f l a s h b a c k s ,  mind and the reader  the one^ l i n e a r  i n that  suspense i s achieved  character)  has to supply.  i n such a w a y that i t u n r o l l s f o r the most part  character's  and  personality  p o s s i b l e ambiguity as to the p e r s o n a l i t y of the secondary  "Lust  confusing  comments and e l a b o r a t i o n s  by o m i t t i n g a scene, the events of which the reader  is  real  two  Because the s t o r y i s developed i n a l i n e a r f a s h i o n and has a  around the a c t i o n ) , the n a r r a t i v e achieves (and  i n the p l o t s .  c l o s e to "Lust and t h i n k s about a h y p o t h e t i c a l  the h y p o t h e t i c a l f u t u r e i s of importance, i t determines  whether the man she l o v e s w i l l  be k i l l e d ,  thoughts about the h y p o t h e t i c a l past  t o Chuanging i n "Jasmine Tea"  and present  give him the p o s s i b i l i t y  38  of  imagining what h i s l i f e  Yan Z i y e .  The l a s t  would be have been i f h i s mother had  of the three s t o r i e s we  looked  married  i n t o i s the l e a s t  complex, the l i n e s of a c t i o n of each c h a r a c t e r are c l e a r ; but, because v a r i o u s c h a r a c t e r s do d i f f e r e n t  t h i n g s at very c l o s e i n t e r v a l s  J i a y i n and Zongyu t r y to f i g u r e  out t h e i r f u t u r e , the Amah goes o f f to the  countryside out  Zongyu's w i f e , the o l d man wants to make a concubine  of h i s daughter, who  Shanghai), and  to f e t c h  herself  i n t u r n i s making plans  the reader has to t h i n k along  in particular  (while  on the l i n e  to leave  these v a r i o u s l i n e s of a c t i o n s  of the o l d e r g e n e r a t i o n  behind  the l i n e of  the younger g e n e r a t i o n . As we have noted stories  i n the course  there were moments where  of the d i s c u s s i o n , i n a l l three  the reader wanted  to "poke" the main  c h a r a c t e r to help him or her s t r a i g h t e n out the s i t u a t i o n . phenomenon, however, i s of course  not l i m i t e d  which, as we have seen, the reader  linear  to these  This  three s t o r i e s i n  i s asked to p a r t i c i p a t e .  In "The  Golden Cangue" f o r example, there are a few i n s t a n c e s when the reader wants to i n t e r v e n e to m i t i g a t e Cao Q i q i a o ' s agony. the  T h i s i s , I would assume,  reader  i s manipulated  or her daughter  one of the b a s i c kinds  Changan's  of p a r t i c i p a t i o n  i n t o , one which keeps the reader's  interest.  It  a l s o seems that t h i s k i n d of. p a r t i c i p a t i o n would be more c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a dynamic r a t h e r than  of a s t a t i c p l o t .  most s i m i l a r t o Zhang A i l i n g ' s presence and the dynamism moments.  "Lust and A b s t i n e n c e "  linear stories  being the  i n terms of the n a r r a t o r ' s  of the p l o t , c o u l d i n v o l v e a few of these  When J i a z h i r e a l i z e s  she l o v e s Mr. Y i , the reader  t h e o r e t i c a l l y wish she would t e l l  may  him e v e r y t h i n g about her spying  history  39  and  she would become h i s " r e a l " m i s t r e s s .  because the reader i s always only p a r t l y f o r example, Mr. stories,  Yi's personality.  T h i s , i s not informed  about events  r e c e i v e s an e a r l y o v e r a l l i m p r e s s i o n of the s i t u a t i o n and  experimental  stories  help the c h a r a c t e r s . step behind  The  linear of the  A l s o i n the other  the reader at no p o i n t i s e n t i c e d i n t o wanting to reader i n these s t o r i e s  the a c t i o n and  hand, i t i s the c h a r a c t e r who g r a d u a l l y as the s t o r y  about,  to be able to want to guide  the c h a r a c t e r he i s s i d i n g with i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n .  one  and  When the reader thus, as i n the  c h a r a c t e r s ' p e r s o n a l i t i e s , he i s more l i k e l y  two  so, however,  lags, like  the n a r r a t o r ,  i f there i s to be some kind of h e l p i n g i s h e l p i n g the reader to understand  progresses.  her  40  CHAPTER 2 " L u s t and A b s t i n e n c e " :  Of Zhang A i l i n g ' s  three experimental  bears most s i m i l a r i t i e s symbolism and  s t o r y a sense  The  of mystery.  reflects  thoughts  Her  on e x t e r n a l events,  the approaching  (hypothetical) future.  created  the i n t e r p l a y  of  observe  The  related  the reader would not be able to understand  i n the present time  events  i n t o t h e i r proper  thereby  gradual the  move between the  the past i n her memories, and chronological distortions  are  background i n f o r m a t i o n as to  to the present without  (effect),  order.  The  which  the c o r r e l a t i o n to the present  i n f o r m a t i o n of the past (cause) o f t e n appears  events  the  lies in  of these v a r i o u s times, whereby the memories  the development of the past events  The  and  thoughts  the past p r o v i d e the reader w i t h important  action.  final  distortion  to a p o s i t i o n of c o n t r o l over  of her immediate s u r r o u n d i n g s .  through  l i e s i n the  i n t o the main c h a r a c t e r ' s mind,  change she undergoes from p a s s i v i t y  as she  difference  More i m p o r t a n t l y though, the d i f f e r e n c e  the bulk of the n a r r a t i v e  present  Abstinence"  order the author uses as a t e c h n i c a l device to give the  e n a b l i n g the reader to f o l l o w J i a z h i ' s  events  "Lust and  comments by the omnisicent n a r r a t o r a l l p o i n t to the  the temporal  placing  stories  to her e a r l i e r s t o r i e s i n that i t s imagery,  meaning to form an a r t i s t i c whole. of  An Anxious Mind  after  the  r e q u i r i n g of the reader to p l a c e the " s c a t t e r i n g " of the m a t e r i a l i n t h i s  s t o r y t h e r e f o r e l i e s more i n the d i s t o r t i o n of the c h r o n o l o g i c a l order than i n i t s content. The  present a c t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e takes p l a c e between three o ' c l o c k  41  in  the a f t e r n o o n  d e a l happens: activities  to around midnight of the same day  a man  i s almost a s s a s i n a t e d ,  of a c i t y  f o r some time and  workers i s a r r e s t e d and war  and  the secrecy  kept as i f nothing of  these few  executed.  a road block  were happening or n o t h i n g  r e l a t i n g a s t o r y of i n t r i g u e and  has  characters different  activities.  arrest  of the  i n f e r r e d , reported Mr.  offhand  incidents  realism  r e a l i s m the  inwards, with the minds of  times to r e v e a l t h e i r  These a c t i o n s  gang, are not  pretense i s The  f o r a p l o t of s o c i a l  " l e v e l s of r e a l i t y " a c c o r d i n g  secret  surface  p l o t t e d a s s a s i n a t i o n ; they are  a n a r r a t i v e turned  opened at v a r i o u s  the  atmosphere of  happened.  important, however, f o r the type of p s y c h o l o g i c a l to c o n s t r u c t :  to how  therefore,  that  by another c h a r a c t e r last  few  not  author wants the  a t t i t u d e s on  the  much they know of  developed as a c t i o n s  Y i remembers the events of the  i s , the i n the  s t o r y but  (at the end  hours).  The  of  actions  the  s t o r e ) give a more immediate impression  reported  at a l a t e r date through memory and  a t t i t u d e toward the  s t o r y , that i s , anything  therefore  party  (Mrs.  "yesterday"),  a past  the  the  i n r e l a t i o n to the present  time  narrative  occurs i n form of memories ( J i a z h i i n Hong  Yi telling  and  than  also  that happens p r i o r to where the  opens at the mahjiang t a b l e and Kong) or r e p o r t  the  action.  There i s a d i s t i n c t i o n between a past of the  story  ( f o r example buying  c o i n c i d e with n a r r a t i v e l y d e c i s i v e scenes i n terms of r e v e a l i n g characters'  the  are  the  same time as the  actions  characters  the  blockade and  reader experiences at the r i n g i n the j e w e l l e r y  great  a whole group of underground  a c t i v i t i e s , on the  important  which a  stops  Because of the g e n e r a l  of the spying  hours would be  during  the other  women that Mrs.  o c c u r r i n g w i t h i n the  Liao had  brackets  of  the  a  42  present  a c t i o n - t i m e (Mr. Y i remembers  the events  past p r i o r to the present a c t i o n - t i m e reaches some glimpses and  t o even e a r l i e r  times  of the a f t e r n o o n ) .  back to about two years  ( t h e r e i s mention of J i a z h i  of her e a r l y teens, which must be about f i v e years e a r l i e r  b e g i n n i n g of the past a c t i o n - t i m e of her memories). beyond the boundaries days: to  Jiazhi  The with  as a c h i l d than the  The f u t u r e  extends  of the s t o r y I n a time span of not more than a few  plans to l i v e with her c o u s i n on Yu Yuan S t r e e t f o r a while  see how t h i n g s w i l l  develop; Mr. Y i plans to have the c u r t a i n s i n h i s  home taken down. Before we continue to look i n t o the v a r i o u s times and t h e i r i n t e r r e l a t i o n s we need to d i s t i n g u i s h the p a r t s of the s t o r y which give us s t r u c t u r a l c l u e s . their  The s t o r y has f o u r p a r t s that are determined by  l o c a t i o n s and the a c t i o n s i n the present  p a r t p r o v i d i n g the background decor The  first  and the l a s t  under very s i m i l a r have a framing  circumstances  suspense of what w i l l of  part both  effect.  time  of the n a r r a t i v e ,  take place i n Mr. and Mrs. Y i ' s house (mahjiang  f o l l o w , the l a s t  game) and thus  structurally  part serves to lead i n t o the  part helps to s e t o f f the s e c r e c y  of that a f t e r n o o n , with the ignorance  women at the mahjiang t a b l e i n that r e g a r d . seems f r i v o l o u s and too s e l f  each  toward the denouement of the s t o r y .  Whereas the f i r s t  the spying a c t i v i t i e s  will  important.  of the  T h e i r t a l k i n t h i s part now  "'Mr. Y i , i n v i t e , i n v i t e ! '  The  three women dressed i n b l a c k c l o a k s were g e t t i n g l o u d e r and f i e r c e r , a l l t a l k i n g at the same time"  (p. 4 3 ) .  The second  she makes a p h o n e c a l l i n one coffee-house  part focuses on J i a z h i as  and then d r i v e s t o another to  wait f o r Mr. Y i . T h i s part serves to p r o v i d e the necessary  background  43  that  l e d to her present  third  part which i n c l u d e s  takes place itself. their  s i t u a t i o n as the reader, f o l l o w s  her thoughts.  the climax and the t u r n i n g p o i n t  The  of the s t o r y ,  i n the car on the way to the j e w e l l e r y s t o r e and i n the store  I t shows J i a z h i and Mr. Y i i n i n t e r a c t i o n and r e v e a l s  r e l a t i o n s h i p against  the core of  the background of J i a z h i ' s changing a t t i t u d e  toward Mr. Y i and her m i s s i o n . The not  only  l a s t part  then, v i s u a l l y  separated  thus have the f u n c t i o n s  of i n t r o d u c i n g , p r o v i d i n g  s t o r y i s p a r t l y rendered  thoughts i n the present  i n which the past dialogues,  dialogues  time, and memories i n the form of f l a s h b a c k s  thoughts and commentaries.  with the a p p r o p r i a t e  One such example i s J i a z h i ' s f i r s t  i n the c o f f e e s h o p .  w i l l have to use her b r e a s t s  She t h i n k s  to keep Mr. Y i i n t e r e s t e d .  jumps without i n t r o d u c t i o n i n t o the past  about how she The n a r r a t i o n  ("Two years ago they weren't  way" ( p . 22), and two l i n e s f u r t h e r i n t o another past stung by a needle and immediately saw the d e t e s t a b l e  the n a r r a t o r ' s words, but the i m p r e s s i o n who i s doing the t h i n k i n g  (except  this  ("She seemed to be looks  of these people  . . " ) . A l l her memories and thoughts are rendered i n the t h i r d  s i n g u l a r by a c o v e r t , omniscient n a r r a t o r .  one  The four  background, climax  by d e s c r i p t i o n s of a c t i o n s ,  momentarily becomes present  memory f l a s h while w a i t i n g  .  anymore to do  denouement i n the n a r r a t i v e . The  and  i s not present  and thereby r e v e a l s h i s p o s i t i o n on the events of the day.  parts and  p a r t s , has  the f u n c t i o n mentioned above, but a l s o completes the n a r r a t i o n  through the mind of Mr. Y i now that J i a z h i so,  by the preceding  person  They are thus f i l t e r e d  i s always g i v e n  through  that she i s the  f o r i n the f o u r t h part when Mr. Y i  44  takes o v e r ) , e i t h e r b y an i n t r o d u c t i o n jealous  ( " J i a z h i suspected that Mrs. Ma was  . . ." ( p . 17) or simply because her a c t i o n  suggests  that she i s t h i n k i n g  i n the present  time  ( f o r example, w a i t i n g i n the c o f f e e h o u s e ) .  The n a r r a t o r takes on a separate i d e n t i t y when he comments on something  we  know J i a z h i w i l l not t h i n k because she knows i t a l r e a d y ( " I t was the secret signal"  (p. 20)).  Be i t i n the present or past time, the reader i s  g i v e n the i m p r e s s i o n of f o l l o w i n g J i a z h i ' s  s u b j e c t i v e view.  e n t e r s the f i r s t  c o f f e e s h o p ( p . 20) her thoughts move from  (not  i n the c o f f e e s h o p ) to the s p e c i f i c  many people  When she the g e n e r a l  (the a p r i c o t - r e d  shades of the lamps) and to the g e n e r a l a g a i n (the p l a c e was l a r g e ) g i v i n g long s t r i n g s of short impressions these sentences in  separated by commas.  The syntax i n  support the i m p r e s s i o n of her s u b j e c t i v e thoughts.  the past a c t i o n she i s i n Canton, f o r example, her thoughts  sentence after  to sentence  the performance  without that  the n i g h t , she was s t i l l a double-decker The  When  jump from  connecting c o n j u n c t i o n s ("She was so e x c i t e d  she could not r e l a x ,  not w i l l i n g  they c e l e b r a t e d through  to go home, with two f r i e n d s she took  bus to s i g h t s e e the r i v e r b a n k . . ." (p.  bulk of the n a r r a t i v e  24).  i s , as mentioned, locked i n t o  mind, t a k i n g comparatively more n a r r a t i v e  space  Jiazhi's  than the a c t i o n s s t a t e d  ( l o o k i n g at her watch, t a k i n g the p e d i c a b ) or i m p l i e d ( t h e shooting of the gang).  Thoughts both i n the present and i n the p a s t , are e i t h e r  interpretative Jiazhi  thought"  (wondering  ("This mahjiang  t a b l e was r e a l l y a diamond  ( p . 18)) or h y p o t h e t i c i a l about  whether and when Mr. Y i w i l l  exhibition,  the immediate f u t u r e  come, worrying about  the c o r r e c t  t i m i n g to shoot Mr. Y i ) and the present of that p a r t i c u l a r time ("At the  45  door of t h i s (present,  coffeeshop  there was probably  p. 28) " . . . she l e f t  somebody on the lookout  . . ."  behind her phone number, he must have  taken the chance, . . ." ( p a s t , p. 2 6 ) . T h i s changing back and f o r t h between the v a r i o u s relatively  times r e f l e c t s J i a z h i ' s anxious mind.  r e l a x e d when she waits  i n the coffeeshop  wander o f f i n t o longer  s t r e t c h e s of memory, only  returns  ( t h e c o f f e e gets  to the present  and l e t s her mind  i n t e r r u p t e d by short  c o l d , the man watching her across  the  t a b l e ) and by h y p o t h e t i c a l thoughts about the present  Her  mind i s more a g i t a t e d at the c l i m a c t i c moment j u s t  be a s s a s i n a t e d , the v a r i o u s duration duration.  i n the s t o r y may appear longer The n a r r a t i v e captures  of the t e x t . (pp.  future).  with  Mr. Y i i s to  jostles  In her panic  between  a moment of short  to her than a moment of longer  t h i s atmosphere by s t r e t c h i n g the l e n g t h  The long p e r i o d of time she waits  22-29) and f i l l s  and the f u t u r e .  before  at which p o i n t her thoughts e r r a t i c a l l y  times ( p a s t , p r e s e n t ,  She i s  f o r Mr. Y i f o r example  t h i n k i n g , takes the same amount of pages  (seven) as the "tense moment s t r e t c h i n g i n t o e t e r n i t y " (pp. 31-38) which s t a r t s when they look at the r i n g s and l a s t s him  to the moment when she t e l l s  to l e a v e . The  c l i m a c t i c moment ( J i a z h i ' s  change of mind) b r i n g s  t u r n i n g p o i n t i n the a c t i o n of the s t o r y ( J i a z h i As  tells  about the  Mr. Y i to l e a v e ) .  the unavoidable moment of s h o o t i n g Mr. Y i draws c l o s e r , J i a z h i ' s  mind moves f a s t e r .  Thoughts about the immediate past  f u t u r e f o l l o w each other stairs  c l o s e l y ("When j u s t  and the h y p o t h e t i c a l  now she had come up the  she had been t h i n k i n g t h a t (immediate p a s t ) , when coming down they  r e a l l y would be going  a f t e r an easy prey ( h y p o t h e t i c a l f u t u r e ) . .  4 6  (p. 3 2 ) t o prepare f o r the c l i m a c t i c moment, the point when she s t a r t s to resist  the thoughts about the immediate f u t u r e .  present  and the h y p o t h e t i c a l  sentence.  f u t u r e at that moment appear i n the same  "But because i n a moment there would be gunshots ( f u t u r e ) and  i n f r o n t of her eyes a l l t h i s there  still  (future),  i n her heart  Jiazhi felt  light  increase only  i s misled  (present)  . . ." ( p . 3 4 ) .  by a moment of harmony between h e r s e l f and Mr. Y i .  even more that  This  Although she knew i t would happen t h i s way  she d i d not b e l i e v e i t , because she was r e s i s t i n g  f a c i n g each o t h e r ,  (p. 3 7 ) .  pink was g l i s t e n i n g ( p r e s e n t ) , what was  to lose face over?  i t w i t h a l l her might  "She  Thoughts about the  impression  there were only  the two of them alone under the  c l o s e and r e s t r a i n e d , i t had never been t h i s way" has been supported by the n a r r a t o r  the weight of her mistake.  they were here t o g e t h e r "  e a r l i e r on t o  "At that very moment i t seemed that  (p. 3 6 ) .  The reader,  however, gets an  i n s i d e view i n t o Mr. Y A 's thoughts soon a f t e r J i a z h i ' s impression how p i t i f u l l y one  mistaken she i s .  H i s thoughts, r e v e a l i n g  that  to show  she i s j u s t  woman among many f o r him, are bracketed by her tender i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  of h i s s m i l e .  He was not l o o k i n g at her, the s m i l e on h i s f a c e was a b i t sorrowful. He never imagined that he would have an adventure l i k e t h i s one a f t e r having passed h i s middle age. . . . H i s p r o f i l e was f a c i n g the l i g h t , the beam f a l l i n g on him, h i s e y e l i d s looked l i k e cream coloured moths r e s t i n g on h i s t h i n cheeks, t o her i t was a warm, p i t i f u l e x p r e s s i o n . ( p p . 37-38)  As  a r e s u l t of her thoughts she takes charge of the s i t u a t i o n , b r i n g s  about the t u r n i n g p o i n t  of the s t o r y and u l t i m a t e l y her death.  47  As  a s t o r y with a p l o t  different  of high s e c r e c y , a l l c h a r a c t e r s move on  l e v e l s of r e a l i t i e s  about each o t h e r ' s  separated  true i d e n t i t i e s .  from each other by  misconceptions  They are a l l able to see each other  but do not f u n c t i o n on the same l e v e l  of u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  d e l i b e r a t e l y assume v a r i o u s r o l e s to deceive  other  Some c h a r a c t e r s  c h a r a c t e r s and even  though t h e i r true i d e n t i t y may be r e v e a l e d to someone at some p o i n t i n the story,  they  Jiazhi's her  a l l remain separated  throughout.  Mr. Y i f o r example knows  true i d e n t i t y at the end of the s t o r y but he i s separated  by her death.  The r e s u l t  i s a s t o r y with v a r i o u s l e v e l s  (what one c h a r a c t e r b e l i e v e s to be true does not r e p r e s e n t another than To  c h a r a c t e r ) and i r o n y (one c h a r a c t e r  another  c h a r a c t e r , the reader  i n c l u d e the reader  of the p l o t or l e s s  i n the l i s t  of r e a l i t y  reality for  i s aware he/she knows more  has more knowledge than a c h a r a c t e r . ) i s not s e l f - e v i d e n t , as the i n f o r m a t i o n  i s r e l e a s e d g r a d u a l l y and so even the reader  than  from  e i t h e r knows more  some c h a r a c t e r s .  Which c h a r a c t e r ' s mind i s opened to the reader  at what p a r t i c u l a r  time g i v e s a clue to t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n the s t o r y and t h e i r d i s t a n c e from the s e c r e t a c t i o n s going early  on.  Jiazhi  i s e s t a b l i s h e d as the main c h a r a c t e r  i n the n a r r a t i v e because we see her r e f l e c t i n g  o f t e n than  on the s i t u a t i o n more  the other c h a r a c t e r s (as w e l l as because of the d e t a i l e d  physical description).  Seeing  r e a l l y a diamond e x h i b i t i o n " once at the beginning  a l l the f l a s h i n g  ( p . 18).  r i n g s she t h i n k s "This i s  Mrs. Y i ' s thoughts are d i s c l o s e d  of the n a r r a t i v e to show her v e r s i o n of her  r e l a t i o n s h i p with J i a z h i .  "Somebody i n t r o d u c e d her to t h i s Mrs. Mai who  accompanied her shopping" (p. 16), a v e r s i o n which of course  differs  from  48  Jiazhi's  s i d e of the s t o r y as r e v e a l e d l a t e r .  For a moment a l s o  a t t i t u d e of the women i n b l a c k towards Mrs. Y i i s made c l e a r . poking of  fun they were s t i l l  quite c a r e f u l "  (p. 19).  "While  They respect the wife  the head of I n t e l l i g e n c e and know her weaknesses.  w a t c h f u l of her f r i e n d s and  the  Mrs. Ma  she makes a comment i n the f i r s t  i s the most part which  makes J i a z h i wonder whether Mrs. Ma  c o u l d be s u s p i c i o u s ('"I j u s t know  t h a t Mr.  said.  Y i i s always busy* Mrs.  Ma's  words or was  part  of the s t o r y confirms  Mrs., Ma's affair"  mind. (p.  there a meaning i n Mrs.  ("Judging  these doubts by g i v i n g  ( p . 20).  r e c o g n i z a b l e l e v e l s of r e a l i t y  These move c o n c e n t r i c a l l y  involvement  reader i s i n i t i a t e d  first  and  away from J i a z h i  i n the p l o t  their implied  depending on  ( r e a l i t y ) and how  (ironies).  On  i t ) to understand  amount (how  much she  the f i r s t  t e l l s ) and  her present s i t u a t i o n .  She  level  the  her  t i m i n g (when she  o b v i o u s l y has more  i n f o r m a t i o n than the reader but f o r the understanding  of the p l o t  r e v e a l s a l l the reader needs to know to be on the same l e v e l as  she  herself.  the present a c t i o n the reader f o l l o w s her development step by step as  she makes her assumptions and  is  how  much they know  i n t o J i a z h i ' s development of the past through  memories i n the necessary  Mr.  last  43)).  about J i a z h i ' s  In  The  the reader a view i n t o  from h i s e x p r e s s i o n i t must be h i s  deeply i n v o l v e d they are i n the i n t r i g u e  tells  Was  she o v e r l y s e n s i t i v e ? J i a z h i thought"  There are seven ironies.  Ma  Y i loves h e r ) . i n a sense  the second  The  draws the wrong c o n c l u s i o n s ( t h i n k i n g t h a t  reader at t h i s p o i n t knows more than she does and  on the same l e v e l as the n a r r a t o r .  The  reader and J i a z h i  l e v e l know more than the members of the gang who  on  b e l i e v e she i s  49  a committed underground worker determined to k i l l country. do Mr.  They f i n d  Y i believes Jiazhi  to stay with i n Shanghai.  her husband for. going out with dance g i r l s .  but of course he only knows the e x t e r n a l  inner psychology.  On the t h i r d  level  i s Mrs. Mai who s l e e p s w i t h him out of revenge  s t o r y he knows about the whole p l o t to a s s a s i n a t e it,  to t h e i r  out about her change of mind at a l a t e r date but they  not know she has a c o u s i n  against  a traitor  S t i l l on that  By the end of the  him and J i a z h i ' s r o l e i n  f a c t o r s , he does not know her  same l e v e l , he w i l l  t e l l h i s wife  some  s t o r y that J i a z h i was a member of a s e c r e t  spy r i n g i n Chongqing  and  "Mrs. Mai" had to r e t u r n to  that  she i n turn can t e l l Mrs. Ma that  Hong Kong f o r an urgent matter. p o s i t i o n against Mr.  Zhou F o h a i ,  He w i l l  his superior.  Y i know more than h i s wife  a s t o r y to defend h i s  On a f o u r t h l e v e l J i a z h i and  and the women i n the black  t h a t J i a z h i has come t o Shanghai to s e l l a casual v i s t o r  a l s o invent  at the Y i ' s r e s i d e n c e .  (p. 43)  cloaks  who  think  goods from Hong Kong and l i v e s as They a l s o b e l i e v e that Mr. Y i has  a business meeting that day when i n a c t u a l f a c t he meets J i a z h i i n secret.  A s u b d i v i s i o n on that  l e v e l i s the surname "Wang" Mrs. Y i gives  Jiazhi  ( p . 19).  The nickname g i v e s Mrs. Y i a sense of being  Jiazhi  but an a d d i t i o n a l name on J i a z h i ' s f a l s e i d e n t i t y creates i n  r e a l i t y more d i s t a n c e is  correct  between both c h a r a c t e r s .  i n assuming that J i a z h i  she m i s i n t e r p r e t s  his facial  c l o s e r to  Mrs. Ma on a f i f t h  level  and Mr. Y i are having an a f f a i r , but  expression  as h i s happiness about h i s f i r s t  a f f a i r , whereas the reader (and J i a z h i ) know that he has had s e v e r a l affairs margin.  before.  H i s happiness stems from having escaped death by a narrow  In the f i r s t  part J i a z h i wonders whether Mrs. Ma has avoided  coming over t o Mrs. Y i ' s house the l a s t  few days because she f e e l s  50  jealous.  be  T h i s may  a reason why  than the other women. c h a r a c t e r s who  Mrs. Ma  i s more w a t c h f u l and  In the next and s i x t h l e v e l we may  information.  The  r i n g , but they are seen wavering whether they s u b s t i t u t e d her; she t h i n k s f o r him  have no  ("He  forward  i n that o p i n i o n .  the r i n g ) .  was?" (p. 24), but the l a s t didn't  i n close direct  c l e r k s i n the j e w e l l e r y s t o r e are probably under the  i m p r e s s i o n that Mr. Y i and J i a z h i are a s t r a i g h t  ("She  include a l l  i n the present a c t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e appear  c o n n e c t i o n to the i n t r i g u e but about whose thoughts we  suspicious  The man  (The shopowner  checks  i n the c o f f e e shop observes  c o u l d n ' t make out what kind of person sentence  c o u l d be taken as h i s  seem too much l i k e a d a n c e g i r l , i f she was  or dramas, she d i d n ' t  couple buying a  look f a m i l i a r "  ( p . 42).  she  assumption  acting  i n movies  The w a i t e r i n the  first  c o f f e e s h o p from where J i a z h i makes her p h o n e c a l l i s made to b e l i e v e she i s phoning  her "second  e l d e s t b r o t h e r " (p. 21).  And  seventh l e v e l belong those c h a r a c t e r s , mentioned involved driver,  i n the p l o t the man  who  i n any way.  finally and  to the l a s t  i m p l i e d who  and  are not  Among these are the young pedicab  r e p a i r s h i s b i c y c l e and a l l the people passing J i a z h i  on the s t r e e t  from whom she f e e l s s e p a r a t e d by a pane of g l a s s .  the d i f f e r e n t  l e v e l s may  look something  like  this:  Visually  51  The  schema r e p r e s e n t s  the l e v e l s of r e a l i t y  i n which the c h a r a c t e r s (or  groups of c h a r a c t e r s ) move w i t h i n the context  of the s t o r y .  s t r u c t u r a l p o i n t of view the n a r r a t i v e begins  on the f o u r t h l e v e l , moves  down step by step to the f i r s t and  seventh  level.  l e v e l and then moves up t o the f i f t h ,  The q u e s t i o n needs to be addressed  n a r r a t i v e d i s c l o s e s c l u e s f o r the reader various l e v e l s . or i m p a r t i n g  By m i s l e a d i n g  From a  at what point the  to c l e a r l y see through the  the reader, keeping  the reader  the i n f o r m a t i o n b i t by b i t as the c h a r a c t e r ( s )  through the s t o r y , i r o n y and thereby  sixth  uninformed  proceed  the t e n s i o n of suspense i s  heightened. As  the s t o r y opens, the n a r r a t i v e g i v e s the impression  game of mahjiang Yi's  (supported  by the short view the reader  mind), up to the moment Mr. Y i gives J i a z h i  chin.  The reader  trying  to leave the house to meet o u t s i d e .  the t h i r d three  level).  times:  Whereas J i a z h i  believes Jiazhi  " I f i t d i d not succeed i s preoccupied  with  i n t o the t r a p or not, the reader thoughts r e f e r  the f i r s t  t r a n s i t i o n from the t h i r d  ( T r a n s i t i o n from the f o u r t h to from the n a r r a t o r J i a z h i  thinks  . . ." (pp. 20, 21, 24.)  time s t i l l  believes  fall  these  ". . . i f they had to drag on any  By the time she t h i n k s i t a second time the  n a r r a t i v e has commented on her mysterious s i g n a l " ) g i v i n g the reader  an a f f a i r and  the thought whether Mr. Y i w i l l  to h e r s e l f and Mr. Y i .  l o n g e r , Mrs. Y i would know."  today  has i n t o Mrs.  the s i g n a l with h i s  and Mr. Y i are having  Without any e x p l a n a t i o n  of a simple  phonecall  the n o t i o n of another  ("It was the s e c r e t  l e v e l of r e a l i t y .  l e v e l t o the second i s obscured  e x p l a n a t i o n and slowed down by the momentary f l a s h b a c k .  The  by the lack of When she waits  52 for  him i n the coffeeshop  and t h i n k s "He h i m s e l f was i n the Secret S e r v i c e  and  even though he had not grown s u s p i c i o u s , he was a c r a f t y person  many h i d e o u t s , he must be q u i t e u n p r e d i c t a b l e " (p. 23) and s h o r t l y worries  f o r the t h i r d  no other to  be.  with after  time " I f i t d i d not work out today, there would be  chance", we know she i s somebody d i f f e r e n t The second l e v e l of r e a l i t y  from whom she pretends  i s g r a d u a l l y made c l e a r by the long  s t r e t c h of memory i n which the i n f o r m a t i o n u n r o l l s c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y and j o i n s her present  time.  Beginning  the mind of the reader J i a z h i to  be Mr. Y i ' s m i s t r e s s .  role  i n the i n t r i g u e  from the end of her memory ( p . 2 9 ) i n  i s clearly  the underground worker  The moment she s t a r t s to have doubts about her  ("Although she knew i t would happen t h i s way, i n her  heart  she d i d not b e l i e v e i t , because she was r e s i s t i n g  might  . . ." p. 3 4 ) , she changes to J i a z h i  attached  relationship  has  i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p  of "hunter  r e v e r s e d and played  killed.  and Mr. Y i ? A  and hunted" ( p . 167) i n which the r o l e s i n the end out i n a f a i r game: e i t h e r he or she w i l l get reasons  ( l o v e ) but he thinks he  h i s r e p u t a t i o n at stake and has her k i l l e d . sacrifices  her body to k i l l  r e q u i r e d of her, she i s "completely from being ordered  p a s s i v e " (p. 36). She takes a step  to).  As the main a c t r e s s of her  she i s chosen to a c t out the r o l e of approaching  the Secret I n t e l l i g e n c e S e r v i c e .  Jiazhi  a ' t r a i t o r ' , she a c t s as i s  what to do, to e x p r e s s i n g what she wants (save the l i f e  somebody she has become attached  troupe of  a l l her  the young woman who has become  between J i a z h i  She saves him f o r humanitarian  Jiazhi  of  i twill  t o Mr. Y i .  What then  are  pretending  are i n a primary  Mr. Y i , the head  In t h e i r own group both Mr. Y i and  p o s i t i o n , but they  are s t i l l  subordinated to  53  somebody s t i l l her group and  more i n f l u e n t i a l . the agent Wu,  to Zhou, h i s s u p e r i o r . a much more powerful a c t u a l world  J i a z h i has  Mr. Y i has  to wait  for instructions  to render account  Despite these s i m i l a r i t i e s ,  p o s i t i o n than J i a z h i  from  for his actions  however, Mr. Y i i s i n  because h i s r o l e i s part of the  of the s t o r y whereas she i s j u s t  a student  a c t i n g out a  role. The  reader i n i t i a l l y  i n probably  perceives J i a z h i  the very same way  sexually attractive.  from  Mr. Y i sees her:  a p u r e l y e x t e r n a l aspect, physically  beautiful  Mention of her b r e a s t s occurs on s e v e r a l occasions;  they are the medium she works with to keep Mr. Y i i n t e r e s t e d . underground agent will  blindly  her job i s to make him  run i n t o the t r a p l a i d  to remain detached and  the reasons  She  keeps her  from him  f o r him.  about  At the same time Her  an  so that he she needs  failure  to do so  only the reader has  I t i s only a f t e r  the  from her a c t i o n s how  access  drastic  J i a z h i must  him.  Mr. Y i i s a shrewd man. p r o f e s s i o n a l s e c r e t agent w i t h the background.  who  His physique  suggests  " P r o j e c t e d onto  of h i s t r a d e i n t o h i s d a i l y  When he bought g i f t s  the  elusive  even i n the w a l l s of h i s own the f e r n p r i n t  became dwarfed i n a land of g i a n t s " ( p . 17). skills  her s u f f i c i e n t l y  from him,  of her mind.  change of a c t i o n that Mr. Y i can i n f e r have f e l t  As  change i s what the n a r r a t i v e i s about.  r e a l p e r s o n a l i t y hidden spheres  trust  to make the plan work.  l e a d i n g up to t h i s  i n t o the innermost  and  life,  a man  He has  home merges  of the c u r t a i n he i n c o r p o r a t e d the  i n c o n s p i c u o u s at any  f o r women on p r e v i o u s o c c a s i o n s he "was  s i d e i n attendance, making sure he was  time.  only at the  not n o t i c e d " (p. 38) and  he buys the r i n g f o r J i a z h i he only looks at i t i n her hand ( p .  also when 34)  54  s u g g e s t i n g how l i t t l e authority  he gets i n v o l v e d .  to order a road block, to stop the a c t i v i t i e s  e x p l a i n s h i s a f f a i r with 42).  J i a z h i as r e s u l t i n g  of h i s i n s t i n c t s , h i s l u s t .  students  to save h i s name i n f r o n t  model, Zhou F o h a i .  The greed  mindedness i s apparent wall.  by the  h i m s e l f i n t o b e l i e v i n g he  so s t r a i g h t , but i n the  e x c i t e d " ( p . 30). He k i l l s a group of of h i s s u p e r i o r and personal r o l e  of the Y i ' s and a l s o a c e r t a i n small  i n connection with the c u r t a i n s c o v e r i n g the whole  "Because Zhou Fohai's house had them, they had them too.  i m i t a t i o n French  had  He deludes  "On the s u r f a c e he was s i t t i n g  dark he was a l l emotions, f e e l i n g  in  from h i s power (pp. 38,  i n c o n t r o l of the s i t u a t i o n when i n a c t u a l f a c t h i s emotions get the  b e t t e r of him.  out  of a c i t y , and he  He does not know, however, that he i s being manipulated  basest is  H i s p o s i t i o n g i v e s him the  c u r t a i n s t y l e which reached  the f l o o r had r e c e n t l y come  i n the West but because d u r i n g wartime imported short supply, they used  The  c u r t a i n m a t e r i a l was  a whole b o l t , and then the flower p a t t e r n  still  to be matched, i t was r e a l l y a bold move" ( p . 17). The c u r t a i n  p a t t e r n which p r e v i o u s l y had suggested  h i s unobstrusiveness  and had  p r o v i d e d him with a camouflage even i n h i s own home, reminds him of h i s l a c k of c o n t r o l a f t e r covered  like  the murder attempt.  "They had the whole w a l l  t h a t , could an a s s a s i n be h i d i n g i n i t ? . . . H e would  remember to have them taken down tomorrow" (p. 4 1 ) . J i a z h i ' s e x p e r i e n c e on stage d u r i n g her s c h o o l years has provided h e r w i t h the necessary m i s t r e s s of Mr. Y i . two  different  pretends  skills  to s u c c e s s f u l l y p l a y her r o l e as Mrs. Mai and  In f a c t , she i s so s k i l l e d  r o l e s at the same time.  In f r o n t  that she can hold these of Mr. Y i ' s eyes she  to Mrs. Y i that she has f o r g o t t e n the time f o r an appointment,  55  without  Mr. Y i becoming s u s p i c i o u s that her performance  smooth.  be too  She has moved from a drama group performing " r o u s i n g  patriotic  h i s t o r i c a l p l a y s " (p. 142) t o a c t i n g  patriotic  reasons; t h i s  is  may  more c h a l l e n g i n g now  in real  life  for equally  time, however, t o g e t h e r w i t h n o n - a c t o r s . as she, u n l i k e on stage, has  Her  task  to improvise her part  along some g u i d e l i n e s , c o n s t a n t l y faced w i t h Mr. Y i ' s u n p r e d i c t a b l e responses  and  p a r t l y uninformed  about  the gang's next moves. "She  was  imagining a l l these t h i n g s , although she c l e a r l y knew they had nothing to do with her and She  she was  not  and her f r i e n d s never  drama troupe. of  that  a game.  They s t i l l  to worry about  seem to have l e f t  see the whole procedure  When she t h i n k s about  remembers that Huang L e i " r a i s e d  their f i r s t  fiction body and  and  reality.  29).  involved  who  Even two  years l a t e r  i n the p l o t t i n g .  The  she  i n Shanghai the  t o l d her one  idealistic  between  on the  day  person's  laughing"  f o r the danger  r e a l underground worker i s Wu,  not seen  and  i s t a k i n g advantage of the i d e a l i s m of these young people  take p a r t i n the a c t i o n w i t h z e a l but without J i a z h i knows she  could  sense  i n the movies at a l l where they  Kuang Yumin had  They are too i n e x p e r i e n c e d and  He  moves i n Hong Kong  "'They a l l put the muzzle of the gun  then shoot, i t ' s not at a l l l i k e  untracable.  as a p l a y , i n the  seem to be aware of the d i f f e r e n c e  aim from a great d i s t a n c e . ' (p.  the stage of the  funds, rented a house, borrowed a car and  got the a c t o r ' s costumes ( p . 25)." members of the gang do not  these t h i n g s " (p. 33).  l o s e her l i f e  adequate  i s i n v o l v e d i n a dangerous game, one  or at l e a s t  training. i n which  she  become wounded ( p . 29), but she i s too  v u l n e r a b l e and u l t i m a t e l y too s e l f - c e n t e r e d  f o r the j o b .  p r e c a r i o u s n e s s of the s i t u a t i o n , her thoughts  Compared to the  are not focused enough, she  56  has  become too p e r s o n a l l y i n v o l v e d .  should be cold-blooded  and  c a l c u l a t i n g , her d e s i r e f o r love and  becomes s t r o n g e r than her sense even deludes h e r s e l f  she suddenly  (p.  38).  The  and  the r e f l e c t i o n of her f e e t  thought;  jeweller's attic  her of "a market p l a c e . . .  ( p . 35).  the b r u t a l r e a l i t y  senses.  "The  idyll  from  she may  i n t o a cosy "comfortable  i n the poenies  seems l i k e  distracted" nest"  drawn on the m i r r o r reminds  stories"  (p. 35).  a s t o r y from  Also paying  'A Thousand and  sweetness of the a i r covered  her face  These are a l l images which remind one  a house with a garden,  diamond being the symbolic Subconsciously  transforms  really  One  of the imminent moment from her mind by numbing  (p. 34).  of f a m i l y l i f e ,  her heart jumped, she f e l t  man  Overwhelmed by her emotions she wants to b l o c k  heavy warmth and  a cotton q u i l t "  security  to her group, so s t r o n g that she  i n goodnight  with gold i n g o t s f o r the r i n g  out  of duty  i n t o b e l i e v i n g Mr. Y i l o v e s h e r . "That  l o v e s me,  N i g h t s ' to her  At the c r u c i a l moment, when she  with the purchase  a c t i o n l e a d i n g toward that  he  like  of the of the  life.  want to take the r o l e of h i s w i f e , as she  remember  the c o n v e r s a t i o n of that a f t e r n o o n that pink diamonds "are v a l u a b l e  but have no market" ( p . 34). a r i n g with a v a l u a b l e gem  Mr. Y i had  but he  i s buying J i a z h i  h i g h e r v a l u e than h i s w i f e had wanted. t h a t has  not been w i l l i n g  to be absolved with women.  For him  a red diamond of even  this  " P r e s e n t s had  to buy h i s wife  i s just a routine  to be g i v e n to women,  but i f they were g i v e n too e a r l y , i t could appear as i f he were l o o k i n g down on them" (p. 37). still  When she waits  f o r him  focused on her m i s s i o n she knows she  him and  so lead him  into his trap.  a weak p o i n t i n women" ( p . 2 3 ) ) .  i n the coffeeshop and i s  can count  on that a t t i t u d e i n  ("Moreover, j e w e l l e r y had  always been  57  Jiazhi  thus undergoes a change.  p e r s o n a l i t i e s w i t h i n her, seeking, the  however, one duty-bound and one s e c u r i t y -  i s foreshadowed and supported by v a r i o u s  beginning  before  Her c a r r y i n g these two  i n the n a r r a t i v e and r e v e a l s  her change occurs i n the s t o r y .  elements of b r i g h t n e s s public, external  life  darkness r e p r e s e n t s  devices  She i s a s s o c i a t e d with  on imaginary stages i n the present  her p r i v a t e , p e r s o n a l  disappearing  side that  contrasting  points  she has not been aware  her dark s i d e w i t h the sharp  as the strong  lights  to her  time and the  h e r s e l f i n the course of the n a r r a t i v e .  p u b l i c , b r i g h t s i d e outshines  from  that she had t h i s d u a l i t y  and darkness, whereby the b r i g h t n e s s  of h e r s e l f and d i s c o v e r s  gradually  literary  Her  contrasts  dim and give way to colours  (the green, white and red p i n wheel on the. pedicab at the end of the t h i r d part). Mr.  The l i g h t s  Y i i n Hong Kong and she f e e l s her b r i l l i a n c e  illuminates herself has  are the b r i g h t e s t a f t e r she has s u c c e s s f u l l y a t t r a c t e d  the others  ( p . 2 6 ) . The f a c t  that  shows her enthusiasm f o r the cause.  enough b r i l l i a n c e  and have her f i r s t  T h i s happens " o f f - s t a g e " from the present "on-stage" i n the present of) l i g h t s .  They shine  she i s the l i g h t s o u r c e  I t i s so ardent that  to make the " d e t e s t a b l e  appear not so d e t e s t a b l e  i s so strong i t  L i a n g Runsheng" (p. 27)  sexual  action.  experience with him. When she goes  time she i s i l l u m i n a t e d by ( o r i n the presence  from s t r o n g  overhead lamps onto f l a t  ( s t r e t c h e d t a b l e c l o t h ) ( p . 15) c r e a t i n g a s t r o n g  contrast  surfaces  between the  d a z z l i n g white of the t a b l e c l o t h and the cleavage of her breasts in  action).  Or they shine  at a distance  from her onto uneven  (brown c o r r i d o r w a l l i n the second c o f f e e s h o p ) b r i n g i n g contrasts  she even  ( J i a z h i by h e r s e l f but s t i l l  on s t a g e ) .  (Jiazhi  distances  out l e s s e r  The lamps i n the f i r s t  58  coffee  shop from where she  under a p r i c o t - r e d shades. f e e l i n g s she  has  makes her The  phone c a l l  warmer c o l o u r s may  toward her mother tongue.  temperature between her  i c e - c o l d hands and  her  plays  and  the person she  nervousness). the j e w e l l e r y (p. 34) the  "heavy warmth and  part  she  When Mr. has  suggesting the  with c o n t r a s t s  s t o r e down s t a i r s  sweetness of the  Y i and  Jiazhi  to move toward the  that  the  turning point,  i l l u m i n a t e her this  her  light  lamp i s not the  light  look  very  (and  are  in the  between the  of course  role  her  i n temperatures occurs i n back of her  head"  (immediate f u t u r e , danger) and  a i r " i n the  attic  ('house',  at the diamond r i n g i n the to get a good look strong.  As  the  i s very weak, i t has  p u b l i c r o l e on the  contrast  conflict  s t o r e between the " c o l d wind at the  coming from the  safety).  the  sentiments towards  r e a l l y wants to be  Another i n s t a n c e  'Second b r o t h e r ' suggest the warm  Also  sounds on the phone at that moment u n d e r l i n e she  to  stage anymore.  tense moment s t r e t c h i n g i n t o e t e r n i t y , the  no  at the  narrative strength  "There was glimmering  third stone,  approaches to  only  light  now, in this  s m a l l verandah, s e t t i n g o f f the snow-white space of d a y l i g h t downstairs i n the door and For Mr.  the window" (p.  each of her  imaginary stages she  Y i at the mahjiang t a b l e , the man  phonecall,  and  the man  j e w e l l e r y s t o r e she Mr.  37).  Y i , and  being  Jiazhi  stagelights  at the  a l t e r n a t e s between being  focus  Y i during  looked  at by  the  the person i n r e a l l i f e .  short and  Yi.  In  the  clerks  and  s t a r t s to change from  from s h i n i n g onto her the  the women and  waits f o r Mr.  h e r s e l f as she  the a c t r e s s to J i a z h i change t h e i r  spectators:  counter when she makes her  watching her while she  becoming a s p e c t a t o r  to s h i n i n g onto Mr.  has  The  to s h i n i n g onto  only time i n that part  her  the  59  reader gets a view i n t o h i s mind and t h i s probably because Mr. Y i at that moment i s h i m s e l f on stage. calculating  thoughts  While J i a z h i  are revealed.  i s r e l i n g u i s h i n g her r o l e , h i s  He does not buy her the r i n g  because  he l i k e s her but because "present had to be g i v e n t o women" ( p . 37). A f t e r he has been warned and has sprung up, he plunges of  the narrow s t a i r w a y s , moving momentarily  i n t o the darkness  i n t o her w o r l d .  Meanwhile,  however, the stage f o r an a c t i n the r e a l world has been prepared, the artificial white  l i g h t s have changed to n a t u r a l  space  of d a y l i g h t  daylight.  d o w n s t a i r s " p. 37).  (". . . the snow  Jiazhi's  faltering  l i f e on  stage i s threatened to be destroyed by an act of v i o l e n c e i n the r e a l world.  " [ D ] o w n s t a i r s were the two shopwindows with the door  middle,  one whole g l i t t e r i n g  stretching  space, i t seemed l i k e a huge window  two f l o o r s up which could explode  that J i a z h i  i s not so convinced anymore about  incapacitated  i n the  at anytime"  her m i s s i o n , she f e e l s  i n her r o l e as a c t r e s s and i s reduced  l o o k i n g down from a balcony onto a scene  (p. 3 4 ) . Now  of murder.  to a mere s p e c t a t o r The a t t i c which a  moment ago seemed l i k e a "comfortable n e s t " to her, now changes into a balcony i n a movie t h e a t r e . unrolling  The black and white  she imagines  behind her back r e p r e s e n t s the t e r r o r she f e e l s of what could  happen to her i n the near f u t u r e . and  cartoon f i l m  the g l a s s door  "On that dim verandah,  b r i g h t windows  behind her were the s c r e e n on which a black and white  c a r t o o n f i l m was p r o j e c t e d , she c o u l d not bear to look at the bloody scene, or a spy being questioned under t o r t u r e " There onto  (pp. 34-35).  are s e v e r a l mentions of movie t h e a t r e s , t h i n g s being p r o j e c t e d  screens and props  unreality Jiazhi  lives  f o r the stage to i n t e n s i f y in, a life  the atmosphere of  removed from the r e a l world by  60  glass  panes.  t h a t the turns  When she  car f i r s t  to get  and Mr.  Y i d r i v e to the j e w e l l e r y  d r i v e s away from the  back to i t , may  s t o r e and  has  s t o r e (the  fact  to make numerous  symbolize J i a z h i ' s subconscious  unwillingness  to d r i v e to the p l a c e where he w i l l be k i l l e d ) J i a z h i watches the Ping theatre  through the window.  " I t was  r e e l s , the g r e y i s h  the only  c l e a n movie t h e a t r e  operating  with two  f r o n t had  a warm f e e l i n g of some coarse k n i t t e d wool" (p. 30).  c l i m a c t i c moment she p o s i t i v e and a c t i n g and  accepts the  of the Ping An  props around her.  "wooden models s t r i k i n g  d i f f e r e n t poses behind  actress  the young women, she would l i k e  "Too  bad  used f o r such a short When she separated from the bat  leaves  [the  time, i t could make one  leisurely  sweaters, and  approached" (pp.  39-40).  stage-(underground) l i f e h e r s e l f , her  sensation  foreshadow that she  has  s t o r e a f t e r the and  From that p o i n t behind her and  apearing  changed from J i a z h i the  stage props be that  feel disconsolate"  it  31). the part was  (p.  35).  t u r n i n g p o i n t , she f e e l s  shopwindows d i s p l a y i n g f u r c o a t s ,  s h i r t s which could  "locked  w i l l never reach the  symbol of g l a s s  (p.  and  f r e e world by a window pane, i n c l u d i n g  flowered  of , being  is  shopwindow" (p. 29)  j u s t a stage prop, and  " b e a u t i f u l wooden f i g u r e s i n the  sleeved  The  r i n g ] was  the j e w e l l e r y  from the  the  are a "wooden  the neon, l i g h t s "  c l i m a c t i c moment, when she  life.  Before  knows she  Items around her  S h o r t l y a f t e r the  of her  two-coloured door  t h e a t r e ) , she  l a y e r e d white wedding cake i n the  to J i a z h i  i n town  i s at ease i n her world of stages ( t h e r e f o r e J i a z h i ' s  warm impression  model of a three  red, dark yellow  An  be  looked  on she knows she  a l t h o u g h she may on  the o u t s i d e "  has  at but left  not  the  not know i t (p. 40)  may  real world.  i n various  shapes and  b o t t l e , the g l a s s t i c k , m i r r o r s , g l a s s c o u n t e r s ) but  forms (the perfume  especially recurring  61  as windows, c r e a t e s an atmosphere of t h i n g s and intangible.  The  being v i s i b l e  but  g l a s s w a l l s s e p a r a t i n g the c h a r a c t e r s at the v a r i o u s  l e v e l s are o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h impression  people  of d i s t a n c e :  perfume leaves behind  cold  sensations  intensifying  a r e f r i g e r a t i n g g l a s s counter,  on J i a z h i ' s e a r l o b e s and  just  the  the c o l d space  the  the very element of  glass. Another aspect they  too  of the g l a s s symbols are  ( t o g e t h e r with  and  r i n g because she  feels  economically  (Jiazhi  the other women w i l l  r e g r e t s wearing  laugh at her  (p.  18),  to d i s p l a y t h e i r  (p. 16)), they a l s o have the f u n c t i o n of b r i n g i n g the s e c r e t  agents c l o s e r to t h e i r e a r i n g , she her  case  the women i n the black c l o a k s wear gold chains  wealth,  While  other jewels mentioned) have a f u n c t i o n of  separating characters, in this her jade  the diamond r i n g s .  can  foe.  l u r e Mr.  i s red, s t a n d i n g  r e p r e s e n t s a union,  Precisely  Y i i n t o the s t o r e .  f o r the l u s t but  because a stone  theirs  he f e e l s  i s not  The  diamond r i n g he buys f o r  f o r her.  to be,  i s missing from her  The  ring symbolically  as the r i n g  i s only a  stage  prop. As  the atmosphere of s e c r e c y p e r v a i l s , none of the  a b l e to p e r c e i v e each other's  true i d e n t i t y .  characters  L i s t e n i n g devices  i n s t a l l e d , a p h y s i c a l d i s t a n c e i s c r e a t e d by c o n v e r s a t i o n s telephone,  and  are  made by  the language b a r r i e r s of Cantonese, Shanghainese, Mandarin,  E n g l i s h and H i n d i demand some a d d i t i o n a l c r o s s i n g of b a r r i e r s . create d i f f i c u l t i e s The  are  They  f o r the c h a r a c t e r s to communicate on the same l e v e l .  underground workers a g a i n use  these  because J i a z h i  speaks Cantonese, her  i n h e l p i n g her  shop.  complications  to t h e i r  f r i e n d s h i p with Mrs.  advantage:  Yi i s legitimate  62  Jiazhi's additional is  only  inability  contrast  to be part of the r e a l world i s supported  of presence and absence of sounds.  an i m i t a t i o n of r e a l l i f e  intensity.  absence, or muffled  only f a i n t l y  "On t h i s s i d e the s t o r e was i n a hear the c i t y ' s n o i s e s "  (p. 34).  presence of sounds i s r a t i o n a l i z e d with  after  the sense of  and to suggest the u n r e a l i t y of the s i t u a t i o n .  the t u r n i n g p o i n t  there are sounds of f e e t stumbling on l i n o l e u m ,  of a w h i s t l e and b e l l s .  These are supported by s i m i l e s , " Y i shot  has  sound of a c a r , the sound out l i k e  ( p . 38) and the car door s h u t t i n g c l o s e l i k e a gunshot.  come to l i f e ,  sees c o l o u r s  Just  down the s t a i r s  of l e a t h e r s o l e s running  a bullet"  the s h r i l l  This  the c o n d i t i o n  of wartime, i t s a e s t h e t i c f u n c t i o n , however, i s to i n c r e a s e J i a z h i ' s numbed panic  on stage  and can t h e r e f o r e not have the same  The sounds are subdued.  deep s l e e p , one could  Her l i f e  by an  Jiazhi  even i f i t i s f o r a short moment, she hears sounds and  (the t h r e e - c o l o u r e d  pinwheel on the pedicab she h a i l s ) .  These moments are s h o r t , however, because although she has taken charge of the events around h e r , there carried  i s no r e t u r n , her underground l i f e has  her too f a r away from the r e a l world.  jewellery  s t o r e she f e e l s v i s u a l l y  separated  A f t e r she leaves the from the o r d i n a r y  the  s t r e e t by a g l a s s pane and a u d i t o r i l y  The  blockade i s c a l l e d and J i a z h i knows t h i s means her end.  was wide, the sound of the b e l l s midair  over the road;  like  people on  by the chiming of i r o n s h e e t s .  thin ironsheets  "The s t r e e t  f l o a t e d heavily i n  the sound d i d not c a r r y over, but seemed very f a r  away" (p. 4 0 ) . J i a z h i has i n other words made an attempt to break through two l e v e l s of r e a l i t y and  at once (being  the fake m i s t r e s s  of Mr. Y i on the t h i r d  the d u t i f u l underground worker on the second l e v e l ) to become  level  63  herself.  By r e v e a l i n g h e r s e l f  ironically  at the wrong moment, however, she  only managed to separate h e r s e l f  wanted to r e t u r n t o .  has  completely from the world  she  In her move to save Y i she has u n c o n s c i o u s l y doomed  herself. The  author's s k i l l e d use  of imagery  and  symbolism  in this  enhances the i m p r e s s i o n of J i a z h i ' s move away from p a s s i v i t y t h e a t r e world to a p o s i t i o n of c o n t r o l over her l i f e , have seen, t h i s d e c i s i o n  comes at the wrong moment.  arrangement of the v a r i o u s times seen mostly through eyes, Zhang A i l i n g and  story  i n the  even though,  as  By the author's  the main c h a r a c t e r ' s  The  i n f o r m a t i o n about  events  and  c h a r a c t e r s i s only g r a d u a l l y d i s c l o s e d making the n a r r a t i v e at f i r s t i n c o h e r e n t , i t i s only at the very end picture.  adept  i s a l s o a b l e to c o n t r o l the p e r s p e c t i v e of the reader  thereby i n c r e a s e the suspense.  complete  we  seem  of the s t o r y that the reader has a  64  CHAPTER 3  "Flowers and P i s t i l s Floating on the Waves": A Mind at Rest  In the short s t o r y "Flowers and P i s t i l s technique  of s c a t t e r i n g the m a t e r i a l i n a c h r o n o l o g i c a l d i s t o r t i o n has the  f u n c t i o n of r e f l e c t i n g in  the present  a mind at r e s t , a mind r e l a t i v e l y  the main c h a r a c t e r ' s  The s t o r y has no u n i t y of p l o t  There i s no d r a s t i c  enlightenment of the c h a r a c t e r .  together  action,  A l l the n a r r a t i v e does i s c r e a t e the  c h a l l e n g i n g the reader  relaxed  to piece the c h r o n o l o g i c a l  and get an approximate p i c t u r e of the main  personality.  i n that  change i n the present  of the movements of a mind under r e l a t i v e l y  circumstances,  pasts and  s c a t t e r e d thoughts do not p o i n t to a theme or to a  t r u t h w i t h i n the s t o r y .  illusion  f r e e of pressures  time, able to roam i n t o the memory of v a r i o u s  g i v e some thoughts to the f u t u r e .  no  F l o a t i n g on the Waves" the  order  character's  Luozhen's thoughts about the past are not a  concentrated  pondering to r e s o l v e a problem nor i s t h e i r main f u n c t i o n to provide information  about her past  r a t h e r to r e f l e c t disposal  i n order  her present  s t a t e of mind.  ( t e n days) i n a p e a c e f u l  about v a r i o u s aspects emotionally a new l i f e  to e x p l a i n her present  s i t u a t i o n but-  She uses the time at her  l o c a t i o n (a s m a l l f r e i g h t e r ) to t h i n k  of her p a s t , a past  she i s prepared  to leave  behind  and p h y s i c a l l y , as she t r a v e l s toward her f u t u r e , the s t a r t of i n Japan.  With the present  a c t i o n i n the s t o r y (and the accompanying  thoughts)  65  limited  to a few  present  both  short p a s s a g e s ,  i n n a r r a t i v e content  scope of the events events  i n the past  i n the p r e s e n t .  thoughts  The  the past  Jy  and  takes precedence over  t e x t u a l space.  i s l a r g e r and  the  T h i s i s because the  more i n t r i c a t e  than  the  present a c t i o n serves as a springboard  for  to d i v e i n t o memories by p r o v i d i n g o b j e c t s or s i m i l a r moments i n  the present  that t r i g g e r a s s o c i a t i o n s , which i n turn t r i g g e r f u r t h e r  associations.  The  present  a l s o has  the f u n c t i o n of s u p p l y i n g reference  p o i n t s , of p r o v i d i n g a sense of c o n t i n u i t y when the n a r r a t i v e emerges from long passages of memory. thoughts  about the past  Towards the end connect  i n almost  of the n a r r a t i v e Luozhen's p e r f e c t c h r o n o l o g i c a l sequence  to the p r e s e n t ,  that i s at the i n c e p t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e .  Nevertheless,  for  of the s t o r y , the past and  are  the content  mutually itself, all  interdependent. but  time  a c t i o n could t h e o r e t i c a l l y artistic  not stand  depth by  by  having  omitted.  Luozhen's thoughts  not  present  the s t o r y would l o s e i n t e c h n i c a l and  the memories  person  The  the present  s i n g u l a r through  are rendered  i n " n a r r a t e d r e p o r t " i n the  the presence  of the n a r r a t o r who,  i n t e r f e r e with the i l l u s i o n  movement to Luozhen.  The  of a t t r i b u t i n g  n a r r a t o r ' s presence  third  however, does  the thoughts can be c l e a r l y  and  their  perceived  ^ i f a c t , the present a c t i o n can be l i s t e d i n f i f t e e n s t e p s : 1. Luozhen watches the w a i t e r c a r r y her luggage i n t o her room 2.- she c a r r i e s her t y p e w r i t e r 3. she l i f t s the s o f a cushion 4. she observes the foreigners 5. she has lunch with the other two passengers 6. she looks out i n t o the sea 7. she types 8. she g r e e t s the Norwegian s a i l o r 9. she p u l l s the l e t t e r out of the t y p e w r i t e r 10. she looks at the photo album w i t h F a n g l i n 11. she observes the workers on the p i e r 12. from her room she observes Japanese passengers board the s h i p 13. d u r i n g the meals her contact i s not as good with the L i ' s 14. she keeps e a t i n g during the h i g h waves 15. she wants to wash her hand, leans on wash b a s i n ( l i s t e n s ) . 3  n  66  at  the beginning  moment and position called,  of the n a r r a t i v e when the a c t i o n seems to h a l t  the n a r r a t o r b r i n g s i n some i n f o r m a t i o n about Luozhen's  i n her  f a m i l y ("Luozhen was,  'the daughter of an o l d man'  what i n her n a t i v e d i a l e c t . . ." p. 48).  the  p i c t u r e f o r the reader,  and  her  information  seems to be coming too much from the e x t e r i o r as to be part of Thus, a n a r r a t o r presents  was  Thoughts about  f a m i l y might f l a s h through her mind at that moment, but  thoughts.  for a  her  enough to put Luozhen i n t o  the  at t h i s p o i n t a l s o foreshadows the content  of  the thoughts (her f a m i l y ) t h a t w i l l most occupy Luozhen's mind during  her  journey. As Luozhen l e t s her mind wander, she that  of other  people.  s u p p l i e d by her boat met), Kali  and  probably  may  and  got  she  has  imagines how  (Miss  the couple  by i m p l i e d  c h a r a c t e r s ' pasts  impact on each o t h e r . Mr.  Kali  and Miss Fan) or the present  may  Some of these, are of no  her  with her  report  (Fanny and A d r i a n abroad i n Shanghai and  have no  (her o l d e r  lead to her  current  the  how sister Her  own  simultaneously  but  f o r example (Mr.  and  situation  of the s t o r y ; they  f u n c t i o n other  than  Other c h a r a c t e r s ' pasts  Hong Kong) are  they merge, i n t e r a c t w i t h her s t o r y and  making that w i l l  occur  w i t h i n the context  somewhere i n the n a r r a t i v e and  and  on  i n Shanghai  importance to her  r e v e a l i n g something about Luozhen's p e r s o n a l i t y .  past,  past,  about them i s e i t h e r  Solomon t e l l s  married) and  own  Fanny h e r s e l f t o l d Luozhen about t h e i r days abroad).  i n the past  lost  (she  report  the s t o r y of other  Kali,  either get  and Miss Fan  have no  Mrs.  information  imagination  by mentioned  Mr.  past  The  t h i n k s about her  connected to her  p l a y a r o l e i n her d e c i s i o n  situation.  67  On  the boat Luozhen's thoughts  geographically  related  geographically  removed.  point  present:  IV.  from her  The  Fanny, A d r i a n , another  England), III.  to her own  Fanny and  Shanghai:  daughters,  move back i n t o three pasts that are  s t o r y and  one  s i s t e r and  her b r o t h e r abroad  A d r i a n by h i m s e l f  i n Shanghai f o r more than a year to Miss  the  bridge.  I.  Hpng Kong:  Japan, she  the t r a i n  can see from these  past and  she  with money from the  i n t o t h e i r proper  the present  of  f i n d s a room i n a  attends  decides  to go  the f u n e r a l ,  to she  servant.  c h r o n o l o g i c a l order as I  story.  are connected  i s of p h y s i c a l displacement  by a common theme of  toward the present  present moving i n t o the f u t u r e (Japan). A d r i a n abroad) i s connected  the  four groups, Luozhen's memories move w i t h i n  have done here, form a continuous  that  with Fanny, she  r e c e i v e s n o t i c e of Fanny's death,  f o u r b l o c k s which, when put  The  day  on  the p o r t e r s at the end  house, she moves to a b e t t e r p l a c e , she  r e c e i v e s a s m a l l envelope As we  man  t e a r s , Luozhen  from Shanghai to Canton, men  the bridge over Lake Luo,  Luozhen stays one  crowded boarding  their  (work,  Solomon's house, the by shedding  of  to the B r i t i s h Embassy.  takes  s t r e e t s a s s a u l t her,  (probably  r e t u r n , the marriage  f o l l o w i n g her, Luozhen o b t a i n i n g her e x i t - v i s a  She  remotest  boat.  Fanny and A d r i a n upon t h e i r  p r i s o n ) , Luozhen's j o b , her v i s i t  I I . Canton:  that i s  v a r i o u s pasts a r e , s t a r t i n g w i t h the  the c a p t a i n on the  and A d r i a n on the bus  past  The  to the t h i r d past  travel,  (the boat) and  remotest  past  (Fanny  (Shanghai) by the  the and  boat  68  (Fanny and A d r i a n r e t u r n to China) which i n t u r n i s connected to the second past to  (Canton) by the e x i t v i s a and the t r a i n .  the f i r s t  past  (Hong Kong) by the b r i d g e over Lake Luo and t h i s  past to the present by Luozhen's Japan.  last  announcement that she wants to go to  The u n c e r t a i n f u t u r e i s brought i n t o the n a r r a t i v e by mention of  Luozhen's  former classmate i n Japan (who h e l p s her w i t h the entry v i s a  i n t o Japan) and her worried knowledge  o f Japanese.  thoughts about her l i f e  international independent  (becomes  such as "When they had almost  . . ." (p. 7 8 ) . The theme of t r a v e l  frequent a l l u s i o n to f o r e i g n  future  the s m a l l Japanese i s l a n d s , and  by the temporal statements i n the n a r r a t i v e reached Japan  there without any  The n a r r a t i v e touches Luozhen's  p r e s e n t ) by mention of the boat, p a s s i n g  the  Canton i s connected  throughout the s t o r y and  c o u n t r i e s g i v e the s t o r y a broad,  scope^ - and at the same time give a sense of Luozhen's 1  1  character.  More about her c h a r a c t e r w i l l  appear toward the  end of the d i s c u s s i o n .  ^ T h i s s t o r y could be c a l l e d the most i n t e r n a t i o n a l of Zhang A i l i n g stories: the Norwegian boat company t r a v e l s between Japan, Hong Kong and T h a i l a n d i n t h e South China Sea. The t r a i n to Canton i s R u s s i a n . The s t r e e t s i n Canton looks l i k e markets on p i c t u r e s from I n d i a , a Russian documentary f i l m on orchards i n T u r k e s t a n i s accompanied by music that sounds l i k e I n d i a n music, the whiskers on the woman's face are a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f e a t u r e r e a c h i n g from t h e M i d d l e East a l l the way to I t a l y , there i s a f i l m about the Swedish Queen, there are people of mixed races at Luozhen's j o b ( E n g l i s h Jews, B r i t i s h I n d i a n s ) , Fanny and Adrian l i v e abroad, he had h i s c l o t h e s made i n E n g l a n d , the house they b u i l d has a 'modern Danish s t y l e ' , they have Mexican c a n d l e h o l d e r s and Dutch foodwarmers, A d r i a n works f o r an E a s t European businessman, somebody b r i n g s mangoes from Taiwan, Fanny's son has gone t o B r a z i l , A d r i a n g e s t i c u l a t e s l i k e an I t a l i a n , he goes w i t h Luozhen to the B r i t i s h Embassy to apply f o r an entry v i s a i n t o Hong Kong, the w i f e of t h e B r i t i s h I n d i a n man i s Japanese, a f t e r the P e a r l Harbour i n c i d e n t the Japanese Army e n t e r s Shanghai, the B r i t i s h and Americans e n t e r c o n c e n t r a t i o n camps, Luozhen tastes Malaysian food. u  69  Within  the numerous switches  between the v a r i o u s h i s t o r i e s we can  break the n a r r a t i v e down i n t o f o u r p a r t s a c c o r d i n g to the a c t i o n of the present  time.  The f i r s t  p a r t s t a r t s with Luozhen i n the present  the boat, s p r i n g s back t o the second past  i n Canton ( a c t u a l l y the very  t r a n s i t i o n p o i n t between the second and the f i r s t over Lake Luo), moves to the beginning Shanghai to Canton), b o t h e r i n g her both the boat.  past on the bridge  of the second past  a l t e r n a t e s between the t h i r d  ( t r a i n from  and the second past (men  i n Shanghai and Canton) and j o i n s the present again on  The second p a r t  from when she s t a r t s typewriter.  time on  has a long memory placed between the brackets  to type  and p u l l s  the f i n i s h e d  T h i s memory s t a r t s with her s i s t e r s  l e t t e r out of the  and t h e i r husbands  abroad  ( f o u r t h p a s t ) and a l t e r n a t e s between Fanny and A d r i a n i n Shanghai and Hong Kong, and Luozhen i n r e l a t i o n  to them e i t h e r  i n Shanghai or Hongkong.  The  t h i r d part s t a r t s w i t h Luozhen and F a n g l i n l o o k i n g at the photo album i n the present  time,  Shanghai ( t h i r d  a l t e r n a t e s between Luozhen's thoughts  p a s t ) and thoughts  about F a n g l i n and L i Chaxun  r e l a t i o n s h i p , how they met). - I t continues cockroaches  i n the present  and c l o s e s t  time with the  p a s t ) , c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y reaching the present  time when she boards the s h i p ( i m p l i e d ) . of the s t o r y , but t h i s present  r e l a t i o n to the time  The past reaches  the present  time has a l r e a d y become a past i n i t s  i n the n a r r a t i v e when Luozhen t h i n k s about that  moment (she i s about ten days ahead of that " p r e s e n t " ) . f o u r t h part u n r o l l s c h i e f l y winding  (their  i n her cabin and i s f o l l o w e d by a f l a s h b a c k of her stay i n  Hong Kong ( f i r s t  time  about her job i n  i n the present  time  The l a s t and  ( i t s t a r t s with the boat  round the s m a l l i s l a n d s and ends with Luozhen's thoughts  about the  70  f u t u r e ) w i t h a short r e t u r n to the t h i r d past ( A d r i a n ' s p l e a d i n g look on the bus  i n Shanghai).  We  the c o r r e s p o n d i n g thoughts as the c h a r a c t e r and  d e f i n e thus the present time as the a c t i o n s and which the reader experiences at the same time  of which he/she knows only as much as (or more) than  the (main) c h a r a c t e r .  A c c o r d i n g l y , we  the c h a r a c t e r remembers ( r e l i v e s  d e f i n e the past as the time which  f o r the r e a d e r ) and  i n which case  the  c h a r a c t e r knows more than the reader. We renders  now  t u r n to a d e t a i l e d  temporal  switches between the v a r i o u s blocks of times,  which can be e i t h e r almost reader.  invisible  In a l l of these s h i f t s  w i t h i n the chronology, flowing  look at the d i f f e r e n t ways the n a r r a t i v e  thoughts  or c l e a r l y  the reader has  as the n a r r a t i v e ,  There  of the c h a r a c t e r , does not g i v e e x p l a n a t o r y comments by way.  not n o t i c e them i n a f i r s t  a paragraph are two  towards the  to o r i e n t h i m / h e r s e l f  between the v a r i o u s times can occur so i m p e r c e p t i v e l y that  the reader may inside  r e c o g n i z a b l e to the  i n i t s endeavour to record the  the n a r r a t o r to help the reader f i n d h i s Switches  switches  without  any  temporal  such examples, one  reading.  indications  They are embedded of the  transition.  i n the beginning of the n a r r a t i v e and  one  end.  They seemed to be going through a h o t e l passage way, an o l d b u i l d i n g kept i n good r e p a i r with a carpet swallowing the sound of f e e t , a wind s t i l l q u i e t p l a c e — a round tube shaped t u n n e l t r a v e l l i n g through time,/under her f e e t i t was s l i p p e r y and d i f f i c u l t to walk, when walking her knees f e l t weak. The b r i d g e over Lake Luo a l s o had a roof . . . (p. 48)  Luozhen compares the body of the boat to the passageway of a h o t e l which in  t u r n reminds her of the b r i d g e by Lake Luo without  any  further  71  e l a b o r a t i o n as to where the lake and  the b r i d g e are s i t u a t e d  time she c r o s s e d i t . Before the b r i d g e over Lake Luo and mentioned i n the above passage,  the l o c a t i o n .  The  i t s roof are  the reader gets a s e n s a t i o n of the  atmosphere which both the boat and clarifying  and at what  the b r i d g e share w i t h o u t Luozhen.  reader at t h i s p o i n t does not know whether  her knees are weak on the boat because of the t r o u b l e d sea (or some other reason) or on the b r i d g e because she i s a f r a i d brought  back to the mainland,  the t r a n s i t i o n conveys w e l l  fuzzy.  We  as i t i s l a t e r  can see  that  she w i l l  revealed.  be caught  and  T h i s i s what makes  this particular narrative  the q u i c k movements of the mind i n which present and  technique past  merge, an impression i n c r e a s e d by the absence of the n a r r a t o r ' s ( o r Luozhen's own) The at  efforts  second  to b r i n g the reader i n t o the  example occurs when she i s a f r a i d  n i g h t i n the present  picture.  about  the  crockroaches  time.  She was a l s o w o r r i e d they would crawl i n t o her luggage and she would c a r r y them onto land./The room she had rented i n Hong Kong had no f u r n i t u r e , she had gone to buy a strawmat and a spray can of i n s e c t r e p e l l a n t . ( p . 71)  The  l i n k between the two  something  times  i s the spraycan of i n s e c t  repellent,  she i s probably w i s h i n g f o r at n i g h t on the " l i v i n g  cockroaches  themselves  circumstances  appear i n the same f i r s t  one page l a t e r  (she t h i n k s about  the p u b l i c washroom i n the f i r s t  past but under  clearer  Kong have o c c u r r e d e a r l i e r  different  house she stayed i n i n Hong Kong).  to the reader than the f i r s t on i n the  The  the u n h y g i e n i c s i t u a t i o n of  t r a n s i t i o n i n t h i s passage i s a l s o embedded i n s i d e a paragraph bit  sofa".  The  but i s a  example because memories of Hong  narrative.  72  Time s h i f t s a new  paragraph  are the e a s i e s t  to d i s c e r n when they s t a r t  and are marked with a c l e a r temporal  a b r u p t l y with  indication.  The  reader then knows the n a r r a t i v e turns e i t h e r backward i n time i n r e l a t i o n to  the present time or a p a s t , or moves forward from a p a s t .  One  such  obvious example occurs i n the b e g i n n i n g of the n a r r a t i v e , r i g h t a f t e r first to  "fuzzy" t r a n s i t i o n .  the second  second  Luozhen's thoughts have moved from the present  past ( b r i d g e a t Lake Luo,  past to the f i r s t  the  p a s t ) and  s t o r y t r a n s i t i o n from the  second  then a b r u p t l y jump to the beginning of the  past.  She thanked him again and again and wanted to g i v e him some money, but he waved h i s hand and r e f u s e d to accept i t . On the t r a i n to Canton she had t r a v e l l e d on hard s e a t s , . . . (pp. 49-50)  For  t h i s passage  the reader needs to have some knowledge of China's  geography i n order to know that to  the i n c i d e n t  Hong Kong) takes p l a c e e a r l i e r  Hong Kong, although i t appears Temporal t r a n s i t i o n s  i n Luohu ( b r i d g e from  i n the s t o r y than her t r i p  one  by t r a i n to  l a t e r i n the n a r r a t i v e .  can occur e i t h e r w i t h i n the same time ( i n the  past or i n the p r e s e n t ) or c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y from one the l a t t e r  Canton  case there i s no temporal  distortion.  time to the next.  In  The n a r r a t i v e jumps from  event to a l a t e r event w i t h i n the c h r o n o l o g i c a l order of the s t o r y but  a c c e l e r a t e s the n a r r a t i v e by o m i t t i n g an event or i m p l y i n g i t ( e l l i p s i s ) . In  Hong Kong f o r example, Luozhen r e c e i v e s  Fanny's death. at  the ceremony.  In the next l i n e  the o b i t u a r y n o t i c e  about  (without an e x p l a n a t i o n ) she i s a l r e a d y  73  On the o b i t u a r y n o t i c e was the p l a c e of the f u n e r a l , i t was i n the c e l l a r of a l a r g e commercial b u i l d i n g i n Zhong Huan./ The double winged l a r g e o l d teakwood door was u n l a t c h e d , she pushed i t open and went i n . ( p . 74)  The  reader does not know whether she goes to the ceremony the same day or  a few days l a t e r , but the p e r i o d of s i l e n c e between her r e a d i n g the n o t i c e and going to the ceremony conveys w e l l her f e e l i n g unexpected  of numbness at Fanny's  death.  In the same time b l o c k of the above example the past j o i n s present during  smoothly  the  yet without exact i n d i c a t i o n s about Luozhen's a c t i o n s  the t r a n s i t i o n .  A g e n e r a l statement  p l a c e of e x p l a n a t i o n s as to. when and how  about  travelling  Luozhen boarded  the  takes the ship.  . . . i n her emotion her nerves had confused her so that her a c t i o n had been unreasonable. L u c k i l y she l e f t not long a f t e r that. Boarding a s h i p and having the d i s t a n c e of an ocean behind o n e s e l f , and sometimes the space and the time can make people f o r g e t t h i n g s . No wonder i n f o r e i g n n o v e l s . . . T h i s boat took ten days from Hong Kong to Japan, . . . (p. 76)  General statements thus can f u n c t i o n as t i m e l e s s l i n k s t r a n s i t i o n s over, e i t h e r w i t h i n a c h r o n o l o g i c a l example or i n an a n a c h r o n i c a l s h i f t .  to smooth  order as i n the above  Luozhen's g e n e r a l thoughts  Communism f o r i n s t a n c e l i n k an abrupt jump from the t h i r d f o l l o w i n g her i n Shanghai)  about  past (the  to the present time.  A t e r r i f i e d face has no i n d i v i d u a l i z e d i t i s a thousand faced person. The w a i t e r came c a l l i n g  features,  f o r l u n c h ( p . 53)  General statement Present time  man  74  As " f i l l e r s "  i n the present or past a c t i o n we can a l s o i n c l u d e the  p r e v i o u s l y mentioned her f a m i l y .  e l a b o r a t i o n s by the n a r r a t o r on Luozhen's p o s i t i o n i n  The n a r r a t i v e a c t i o n seems to come to a h a l t ,  p r o v i d i n g space f o r the n a r r a t o r some a d d i t i o n a l  information.  thereby  ( o r Luozhen i n other examples) to supply  These are mostly  short passages  inserted  w i t h i n a temporal  s e c t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e .  in  another past ( t h e mangoes from Taiwan (p. 62)) and the  the past about  s h o r t thought  i n the present i n regard to her s i s t e r ' s words about  (p.  67) do not d i s t r a c t  are  brief  time.  views  While  from the main a c t i o n of that p a r t i c u l a r  any  typing  time; they  these s h o r t sentences may have no s p e c i a l meaning i n the  thoughts  time s e c t i o n ,  sentences  flash  i n t o another time with a quick r e t u r n to the i n i t i a l  s t o r y other than emphasizing recurring  Luozhen's s h o r t memory  a point  i n the i n i t i a l  time, Luozhen's  about. Communism, on the other hand, appearing reflect  her u n d e r l y i n g o p i n i o n about  within  Communism.  of the present time, f o r example, are i n s e r t e d  Short  i n t o her memories  i n t o her memories of the past and show Luozhen commenting i n the p r e s e n t time on these past events.  There were some s c a t t e r e d stopped almost as f a s t .  laughs which  t h i r d past (Shanghai)  In a f i l m on the Swedish Queen J i a b a o had a famous l o v e scene . . .  memory without time s p e c i f i c a t i o n  Two, t h r e e years ago, even Shanghai l i k e t h a t , Luozhen thought.  p r e s e n t time  A f t e r the show, when the l i g h t s were l i t . . . ( p . 52)  was  t h i r d past (Shanghai)  75  The  short thought  i n the present time  refers  to men  f o l l o w i n g women on  s t r e e t s as induced by, i n her view, the Communist regime.  Another  i n s t a n c e occurs as the only l i n k to the present time i n s i d e memory ( i n the second  the  the long  p a r t of the n a r r a t i v e ) which otherwise moves o n l y  between v a r i o u s p a s t s .  J u s t being poor was thought  In  a l l right  too, she had  t h i r d past (Shanghai)  That was l a t e r , f i r s t the c i t y people d i d not know the harm to come.  present  The reason why her s i s t e r and her husband moved to Hong Kong was a l s o because they were not young anymore . . . (p. 60)  t h i r d past (Shanghai)  t h i s case the comment r e f e r s  government.  to the harsh c o n d i t i o n s under the  These quick r e t u r n s to the present g i v e a sense  s t r o n g l y Luozhen r e s e n t s the Communist regime i n China. thoughts remind about  of  new  how  Even when her  are immersed i n the past and occupied with other events, they  her of the reason why her a t t i t u d e toward  Temporal s h i f t s may  she  left  her country.  Communism l a t e r i n some cases  We  will  note more  on.  initially  appear as short memory  f l a s h e s but then continue w i t h a whole s e r i e s of events without to  time  the o r i g i n a l p o s i t i o n .  Such memory strands occur f o l l o w i n g the  examples of the " f u z z y " temporal comparison  of the boat  returning  t r a n s i t i o n w i t h i n a paragraph.  to the passageway of a h o t e l and  two  Her  to the bridge of  Lake Luo r e t r e a t s to another past i n Canton which i n t u r n leads to an e a r l i e r event  i n Shanghai without  coming back to her o b s e r v a t i o n s of the  76  boat.  The memory of her room i n Hong Kong which was t r i g g e r e d  thoughts about  by her  the cockroaches never r e t u r n s to the same time at night on  the  boat but develops the memory i n t o a s t r e t c h of c o n s e c u t i v e a c t i o n i n  the  past ending s i x pages l a t e r and r e a c h i n g the present time at a  different  point  than the o r i g i n a l  start.  An a n a l y s i s of the temporal  s h i f t s w i t h i n the n a r r a t i v e r e p r e s e n t s s t i l l story  i n i t s attempt  to see how the n a r r a t i v e  movements of the mind. that  is, first  appear, we w i l l the  When we l a t e r  an " o u t s i d e " approach structurally  turn to the thoughts  r e f l e c t s the themselves,  how they t r i g g e r each other and then i n which  order they  get c l o s e r to the " i n s i d e " of the s t o r y and can see how  thoughts r e f l e c t Luozhen's  personality.  Memories of- the past can be t r i g g e r e d by s i m i l a r present  to the  time or by s i m i l a r i t i e s  events i n the  i n the past time, i n which  memory b r i n g s her back to an even e a r l i e r p a s t .  latter  case the  In the present time f o r  example, the B r i t i s h I n d i a n man on the boat remind Luozhen of people of mixed races at her j o b .  At f i r s t s i g h t Luozhen had a kind of mutual r e c o g n i t i o n with h i m — o f somebody working as a low c l e r k i n a f o r e i g n f i r m . In the f i r m where she was working there were people of mixed b l o o d , . . . (pp. 53-54)  In  the second past i n Canton Luozhen i s annoyed at men b o t h e r i n g her, an  i n c i d e n t which  t r i g g e r s her memory of a s i m i l a r event i n Shanghai  past).  If these were o n l y Cantonese d i s c r i m i n a t i n g a g a i n s t people from other p r o v i n c e s , . . ., how could i t be l i k e that i n Shanghai too? . . . Once there had been a t a l l t h i n man . . . (p. 51)  (third  77  The  long memory s t r e t c h  n a r r a t i v e l y hinged ( p . 55) and p u l l i n g a c t i o n framing the Norwegian  i n the second part of the s t o r y i s  to the present the f i n i s h e d  time by Luozhen s t a r t i n g letter  out of the machine ( p . 66). The  t h i s part i s Luozhen t y p i n g ; the thought  setting  i t off i s  sailor.  She s t a r t e d t y p i n g a g a i n . The blond man f i n i s h e d r o l l i n g up the rope and l e f t .  action  Northern Europeans were very c a s u a l i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s between the sexes, they thought of nothing of i t , he had a c t u a l l y l i v e d up to their reputation.  thought  She could not help t h i n k i n g about Mrs. N i u that time on the s h i p . ( p . 55)  association  Both elements, the outward a c t i o n ( t y p i n g ) and the thought the present  to type  ( t h e blond  s a i l o r ) occur  connection to  again at the end as her thoughts d i p  i n t o the p a s t .  She had f i n i s h e d t y p i n g the l e t t e r , p u l l e d i t out of the machine and read i t once over. Somebody knocked at the door. She was s t a r t l e d . Could i t be that s a i l o r coming f o r her? ( p . 66)  The the t h i r d  n a r r a t i v e w i t h i n t h i s part runs  action  thought  smoothly between the f o u r t h and  past (Fanny and A d r i a n abroad, t h e i r  r e t u r n ) and then a l t e r n a t e s between the t h i r d  life  i n Shanghai upon  and the f i r s t  past (Luozhen  i n r e l a t i o n t o Fanny i n Hong Kong and t o A d r i a n i n Shanghai). r e t u r n to the present  time her memory s p i l l s  the n a r r a t i v e , t h i s time  t r i g g e r e d by l i n k s  over  their  A f t e r her  i n t o the t h i r d  part of  i n the p r e s e n t , showing that  what happened between Fanny, A d r i a n and her preoccupies  her mind most.  78  S i m i l a r to other p a r t s of the n a r r a t i v e , the v a r i o u s pasts  i n s i d e the  memory are connected e i t h e r by a s s o c i a t i v e l i n k s of s i m i l a r i t i e s , or by logical  s e q u e n t i a l jumps.  The d i f f e r e n c e with the r e s t of the body of the  n a r r a t i v e i s that the pasts do not l i n k up with the present memory s t r e t c h .  In the f i r s t  category  w i t h i n the  f o r example i s Adrian's  bed which  Luozhen sees i n Hong Kong, reminds her of A d r i a n i n Shanghai.  I t seemed the two white lacquered s i n g l e beds had been the daughters' beds when they were s m a l l , the empty one must be Adrian's. In Shanghai A d r i a n was l i v i n g at h i s b r o t h e r ' s house, . . . ( p . 62)  Into the second category  falls  the moment when her s i s t e r  tells  her about  Fanny on the boat ( p . 60) succeeded by Luozhen's thoughts about the same event told  ("She had probably her b r o t h e r - i n - l a w  narratively  gone only once, . . . s i s t e r had probably  never  . . .") and f o l l o w e d by the temporal jump but  sequential connection.  "Because she was r e s p e c t i n g that  s e c r e t , when Luozhen saw Fanny i n Hong Kong, she had a c t u a l l y f o r g o t t e n about the i n c i d e n t — " (p.61). first  past  The n a r r a t i v e jumps from the t h i r d  but i s l o g i c a l w i t h i n the content  One gets  of the s t o r y .  the sense that the n a r r a t i v e could be cut i n t o s e c t i o n s at  the temporal j u n c t i o n s and rearranged  i n t o the c h r o n o l o g i c a l order of the  s t o r y (see such an e x e r c i s e on pages 92-97). the f i r s t  to the  One such c l e a r example i s  mention of the second p a s t , the i n c i d e n t by the bridge a t Luohu  (on page 48) which c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y continues  on page  61.  She thanked him again and again and wanted to g i v e him some money, but he waved h i s hand and r e f u s e d to accept i t . (p. 49)  79  As soon as Luozhen had l e f t the mainland she had gone s t r a i g h t to Fanny's p l a c e . . . ( p . 61),  or  the example  finishing it  left  cited  p r e v i o u s l y of Luozhen s t a r t i n g  on page 66 w i t h the a c t i o n i n the present time c o n t i n u i n g where  o f f e l e v e n pages  earlier.  There are twenty-three temporal s h i f t s triggered  to type on page 55 and  i n the n a r r a t i v e  by s i m i l a r events i n the present or the p a s t , or l o g i c a l  s e q u e n t i a l jumps) of which seven are temporal breaks. narrative  (thoughts  l i n k s would  look something l i k e  In a schema, the  this:  A.  luggage s t i c k e r s on s i s t e r ' s trunk  1. . + (p. 48)  B. (Luozhen's p o s i t i o n i n her family) + foreigners . . .  C.  . . .  tunnel  2. (p.  •+ 4 8)  D.  bridge from Canton to Hong Kong (over Lake Luo)  E.  3 . / T r a i n to Canton, s t r e e t s i n Canton, men  4. (p.  F. 51)  man f o l l o w e d her i n Shanghai  5./Lunch with couple, be of mixed blood  6. (p.  •>• 54)  H  people of mixed races at her j o b . E n g l i s h customs  . . . on deck, room, t y p e s , Norwegian s a i l o r  7. (p.  •*• 5 5)  J.  Fanny on boat with captain . . .  K.  • • • Fanny and A d r i a n abroad, s i s t e r t e l l s her about Fanny on boat  8. (p.  •*• 61)  L.  i n Hongkong forgot about it . . .  M.  . . . Fanny's l i f e changed (poor)  9. (p.  -• 6 2)  N.  A d r i a n a l r e a d y t o l d them i n Shanghai (mangoes from Taiwan) « - • . . .  0.  . . . Fanny shows Luozhen her room A d r i a n ' s bed  10. (p.  -»• 62)  P.  A d r i a n i n Shanghai . . .  . . . he accompanies to B r i t i s h Embassy, p l e a d i n g look  11. (p.  •»• 64)  R.  i n Hong Kong she Fanny . . .  G.  boat l i k e  has  tells  80  daughter's  reaction  12. + (p. 65)  T.  Luozhen does not want to get m a r r i e d , p a r t i e s at work.  13./Finished typing, F a n g l i n v i s i t s Luozhen  14. + (p. 67)  V.  ( S i s t e r ' s words about t y p i n g ) «- they look a t pictures . . .  W.  . . . Fanglin respectful towards husband, mixed marriages  15. (p. 68)  X.  mixed marriages at work, F a n g l i n resembles Miss Fan  Y.  16./Louzhen asks F a n g l i n how she met husband  17. (p. 70)  Z.  imagines how, f i n i s h book  A'  18./At n i g h t a f r a i d of cockroaches  19. • + (p. 71)  B'  Cockroaches i n her room i n Hong Kong  20. (p. 74)  D'  She a t t e n d s ceremony t r a v e l to f o r g e t . . .  22. +• (p. 76)  F'  A d r i a n had looked worried  Fanny has died  C  E'  21./Boat winds around i s l a n d s , w a i t e r looks worried  G'  23./at  t a b l e c o n t a c t worse . . . thoughts about  ( * temporal s h i f t /temporal break •*" r e t u r n to time on l e f t s i d e ) . Many of the temporal and  shifts  . . . temporal  are s c a t t e r e d  Chaxun's p a s t ) without any exact time placement  about  Shanghai  follow-up. related  continuation  thoughts ( b i t s of memories  h y p o t h e t i c a l thoughts as f o r example those about  chronological  the f u t u r e .  F a n g l i n ' s and L i  i n the past or  A l l the memories r e c u r r i n g  i n the n a r r a t i v e  to her own p a s t , f o r example, are not l i n k e d  t o g e t h e r , and the reader can o n l y roughly p l a c e them i n t o a c h r o n o l o g i c a l order.  The event of the man f o l l o w i n g her i n Shanghai  p r o b a l y have happened a f t e r she l o s t her j o b because came back from t u t o r i n g , an o c c u p a t i o n she might income.  The event though,  i s mentioned  b i t s of memories about her j o b .  earlier  f o r example would  i t i s mentioned  she  have taken on to get some i n the n a r r a t i v e than the  The long memory s t r e t c h w i t h i n the  81  v a r i o u s pasts i n the second  part of the n a r r a t i v e g i v e more the  impression  of a s t o r y with a c h r o n o l o g i c a l follow-up which e v e n t u a l l y reaches present  time beyond the boundaries  of the memory s t r e t c h .  A d r i a n ' s past merges w i t h Luozhen's past to form s t o r y of the present 'necessary)  time.  why  she  Fanny's and  the s t o r y w i t h i n the  They p r o v i d e a l l necessary  background to understand  the  (and  i s on a boat  less  trip  to Japan.  There are some strands of c o n t i n u a t i o n w i t h i n the memories of her job i n Shanghai i n s p i t e of the f a c t different  event  that each of these i s t r i g g e r e d by a  i n the present or the past (6. people  Luozhen's thoughts  about marriage,  of mixed blood,  15. mixed marriages  at work).  In a l l  of these memories a b i t more i n f o r m a t i o n i s r e v e a l e d about Mr. K a l i , manager of the f i r m where she worked. because he "always l i k e d Christmas  parties  He  seems to have a l i k i n g  to look f o r her and  ( p . 65) and  although  him  s e c r e t a r y Miss Fan who  e v e n t u a l l y got married  seem to have any  further  an i n t e r e s t  interest  about t h i s  i n him  conversation.  would a l s o have brought her to marry him to"  ("She  i n him.  good l o o k i n g ( p .  54)  The  to hira d i d , she does not thoughts  at a l l ("After the war If she had  about him  she had  often  been h i s s e c r e t a r y , she  not married,  . . . and  she  always  of that memory.  him p a r c e l s . " p. 70), i t i s not had  f o r her  p a r c e l s to the c o n c e n t r a t i o n camp l i k e h i s  c r o s s her mind i n p a s s i n g , among a l l the other events she has  the  tease her" during the  she f i n d s him  and would have brought  12.  If  thought  thought,  she  strong enough f o r  . . .  did not want  (p. 65). The  strands of l o o s e c h r o n o l o g i c a l follow-ups w i t h i n the  separated  memories d e a l i n g with her job i n Shanghai are some of the clues that  82  p r o v i d e us with i n f o r m a t i o n about Louzhen's p e r s o n a l i t y (her toward marriage  and men).  position  Her memories about Fanny and A d r i a n i n Shanghai  and Hong Kong on the other hand are h e l d together more i n t h e i r ( a l t e r n a t e switches  between t h i r d  and  the l i n k s of Luozhen t y p i n g without T h i s shows t h a t these thoughts more recent than those  to thought  later  i n the memory.  out the  'Eh'  ( p . 58).  e x i s t s at that p o i n t without  62),  further elaboration.  i m p l y i n g that maybe he  t a l k now,  r e a l l y has  her present  i s kept and (her  s t a t e of mind.  relatively  journey  future  say:  of  'Eh',  he  is really  we  blossoming"  her. i n which order  g i v e us c l u e s to Luozhen's p e r s o n a l i t y  In the f i r s t  busy i n the present  the other passengers  a slow way  At a l a t e r moment  go through Louzhen's mind and  they appear i n the n a r r a t i v e , may and  seem to lead  no d e s i r e to r e t u r n to h i s w i f e  i n Hong Kong because he f e e l s overpowered by What kind of thoughts  are  T h i s p i e c e of i n f o r m a t i o n about A d r i a n  l e a r n that away from h i s wife he "can (p.  there  i n t o the past  " A d r i a n had  t a l k i n g , when he phoned home he would open h i s mouth and dragging  are a l s o  Nevertheless,  w i t h i n the r e t r e a t  into  i n between.  preoccupy her more (the events  the second part of the n a r r a t i v e , strands which f i r s t  nowhere but are p i c k e d up  are embedded  r e t u r n s to the present  at her j o b i n Shanghai).  a l s o some jumps from thought in  second p a s t ) , and  follow-up  time  part of the n a r r a t i v e Luozhen (the w a i t e r , the " l i v i n g  on the boat) so that her  thoughts  out of the mainland, her job s i t u a t i o n ) and  (she hopes f o r a q u i e t t r i p ) ,  thoughts  sofa"  switch to pasts  the  immediate  which are a l l a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h each other or to the p r e s e n t , but have no c h r o n o l o g i c a l connection w i t h each other.  Once she  s i t s down by h e r s e l f  i n her room (or i s about  83  to  f a l l a s l e e p i n the e v e n i n g ) , her mind  has the freedom to t h i n k about  t h i n g s that have a f f e c t e d her i n the recent past (Fanny and A d r i a n i n Shanghai and Hong Kong). not  seem to d i s t r a c t  The  woman.  that her outward a c t i o n i s typing  of Luozhen's  the reader can i n f e r  thoughts about Fanny and A d r i a n f o r  t h a t Luozhen i s a modern and independent  T h e . f i r s t memory she has about Fanny i s "Mrs. Niu that  the  ship"  the  c a p t a i n as r e v e a l e d  ( p . 55) thoughts which p o i n t t o Fanny's later  i n the n a r r a t i v e  (p. 60).  characters.  the  their  return, providing  T h i s could point  shocked about Fanny's  further  Her  initial  swing back to a much  time of Fanny's and A d r i a n ' s days abroad and the p e r i o d i n  Shanghai a f t e r  or  time on  sexual encounter with  thoughts about the i n c i d e n t , however, stop there and earlier  does  her thoughts because she i s an e x p e r i e n c e d t y p i s t .  From the arrangement example,  fact  i n the n a r r a t i v e  some background  to the f a c t  secret v i s i t  that Luozhen  to these two i s not preoccupied  w i t h the c a p t a i n . When her thoughts  reach the a c t u a l moment of her s i s t e r  news, her r e a c t i o n i s to be r e l a x e d  and s l i g h t l y  telling  her  intrigued.  Luozhen heard t h i s and smiled too, she d i d not say a n y t h i n g . She d i d not want to ask which country the ship was from, i f she asked.she f e l t the s e c r e c y would be broken, i t would not seem a female ghost had walked q u i e t l y around uninvolved i n any moral q u e s t i o n , ( p . 60)  When she sees Fanny  later  i n Hong Kong the i n c i d e n t has s l i p p e d  subconsciousness.  Because she r e s p e c t e d that s e c r e t , when Luozhen saw Fanny i n Hong Kong, she had a c t u a l l y f o r g o t t e n about the i n c i d e n t (p. 61)  i n t o her  84  Her  arrival  i n Hong Kong i n the above example ( i n f a c t ,  mentioned twice on the same page), c o i n c i d e s temporally i n Hong Kong appearing different  context.  Shanghai.  She  about h i s l i f e she  had  f o u r pages l a t e r  The  n a r r a t i v e has  with her  arrival  i n the n a r r a t i v e i n a s l i g h t l y  switched  t o Luozhen and Adrian i n  n o t i c e d h i s p l e a d i n g look on the bus  i n Shanghai, and  i t is  although  she  decided  not  not  to t e l l Fanny  to say  anything,  changed her mind.  She d i d not expect that i n the f i r s t n i g h t i n Hong Kong she would be t a l k i n g with Fanny i n the dark bedroom . . . That A d r i a n was r e a l l y annoying. . . . She soon t o l d her e v e r y t h i n g . ( p . 64)  We  can thus  that  infer  that by the time Luozhen a r r i v e s  Fanny's and A d r i a n ' s  their  personal  other: boat and  she  knows that Fanny went to v i s i t  that A d r i a n  64).  actually  ...  Because of the time that has the c a p t a i n , and  there i s no way  the  f o r him  sense of "having  She  passed between the moment her a r r i v a l  she  i n Hong Kong, plus her  does, however, r e v e a l Adrian's  a m i s s i o n " ever  not much  looked  her  s e c r e t because of her  s i n c e reaching Hong Kong (p. 64)  because she might have thought i n a manner s i m i l a r b r o t h e r - i n - l a w who  to  he does not want to come out"  she never t e l l s A d r i a n about i t or embarrasses Fanny with  knowledge of i t .  63)  a l s o knows  a t t i t u d e toward the i n c i d e n t ( r e s p e c t f o r the s e c r e t and  interest),  (p.  She  the c a p t a i n at night on  ( i n Fanny's words) "says  l e a r n s about Fanny and initial  marriage i s not harmonious.  s e c r e t s , t h i n g s which both would r a t h e r keep from each  [leave the mainland] but (p.  i n Hong Kong, she knows  to her  and  s i s t e r and  her  down on A d r i a n f o r a c c e p t i n g the job i n Shanghai  r a t h e r than, making e f f o r t s  to j o i n h i s w i f e  i n Hong Kong.  85  The  fact  that the very f i r s t  memory she has about Fanny i s "Mrs. Niu  on the boat" and not the most recent event, death  ceremony, might suggest  that i s , Fanny's death and the  that Luozhen does not f e e l  responsible f o r  Fanny's death by having t o l d her about A d r i a n i n Shanghai. Luozhen's sense  of independence i s obvious  leave her country and her f a m i l y behind marriage. had  f o r Japan and by her views about  "She had not married, her s i s t e r  not entered u n i v e r s i t y  by her very d e c i s i o n to  . . . she h e r s e l f  blamed i t on the f a c t that she d i d not want to [get to know  somebody]" (p. 65). A l s o i n the present a c t i o n we can see that she has a mind of her own and l i k e s  to be by h e r s e l f .  . . . But she valued t h i s time i n the vacuum tube too much, w i t h n o t h i n g to worry about, e u p h o r i c a l l y c o m f o r t a b l e , i t only seemed l i k e once one s a t down one could f e e l how t o t a l l y exhaused and t i r e d one was. ( p . 77)  After  a l l the years of working and the l a s t  a g i t a t e d months of  p r e p a r a t i o n s to leave her country, the ten days on the boat period  i n which she can "completely  carefree" Japan.  ( p . 54) before a l i f e  The boat  trip  thus  she wants to leave behind  represent a  r e l i n q u i s h any r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  and f e e l  of new c h a l l e n g e s and work await her i n  r e p r e s e n t s f o r Luozhen a t r a n s i t i o n from a past to an u n c e r t a i n and r a t h e r s c a r y f u t u r e .  Boarding a s h i p and having the d i s t a n c e of an ocean behind o n e s e l f , and sometimes the a i r and the time can make people f o r g e t , (p. 75) The t e r r o r of l e a d i n g a wandering l i f e was locked o u t s i d e , so near and yet so f a r , so very f a r away and u n c e r t a i n , ( p . 78)  86  Luozhen may  wish  to leave the t r o u b l e s of her f a m i l y behind  i n i t i a l move though, was v o i c e s her c l e a r e s t ponders about  men  because of the new  statement  her, her  government i n China.  She  a g a i n s t the Communist regime when she  a s s a u l t i n g women i n the c i t y  streets.  She thought i t was a f e e l i n g of the a p o c a l y p s e . When the Communists f i r s t came, the simple townspeople d i d not know how t e r r i b l e they were, but i n two or t h r e e years they knew how t h i n g s s t o o d . A f t e r p u t t i n g t h e i r own f a t e s i n someone e l s e ' s hands, they were h e l d f i r m l y by the neck, they s o r t of w r i g g l e d l i k e i n s e c t s , and they would do whatever they c o u l d when they had the chance, (p. 53)  The  same thought  the past ( p a r t how  appears  i n a shortened v e r s i o n i n her l o n g e s t dip i n t o  two) as the only r e t u r n to the p r e s e n t , g i v i n g  s t r o n g she f e e l s a g a i n s t the new  government.  the small c i t y people d i d not know what was While  the atmosphere of mutual d i s t r u s t  regime as p o r t r a y e d i n the s t o r y may people  (".  words." (p. 63) and  and  first  f e a r under the Communist  the a c t u a l experience of d i d not dare say a  see q u o t a t i o n s above),  the Communist regime being the p a r t i c u l a r  later,  going to happen" (p. 6 0 ) ) .  . . i n these years even a good f r i e n d  more meaningful of  reflect  ("That was  a sense of  cause  f o r men  her  city  few  thinking  following  b o t h e r i n g women on the s t r e e t s , seems f a r - f e t c h e d .  . . . i n Shanghai t h i s was happening now too, i n broad d a y l i g h t i n the crowded s t r e e t s w i t h the L i b e r a t i o n Army on s e n t r y , men dared to be f r i v o l o u s toward women, ( p . 50) But those without the t r i c k of the photograph would t a i l one too, i t was becoming a f a s h i o n of the times. She thought i t was a f e e l i n g of the a p o c a l y p s e . When the Communists f i r s t came the simple townspeople d i d not know how t e r r i b l e they were, but i n two or t h r e e years they knew how t h i n g s stood, (p. 53)  and  67  The  actual  reason seems to f i n d  Xun  and Mrs. Wu i n "Happy Reunion".  out onto the s t r e e t s  an e x p l a n t i o n i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n of Mrs. " . . . when women were f i r s t  they o f t e n complained  them but afterwards i t was not heard Luozhen i s e x p e r i e n c i n g might  still  that somebody was f o l l o w i n g  so much anymore" ( p . 109). Thus what be a holdover from the p e r i o d when men  were g e t t i n g used to s e e i n g women walking f r e e l y on the s t r e e t s than the new government i n b u i n g i n them a new 'women h a t r e d ' . however, perhaps "above" they w i l l  coming  rather I t does,  make sense that when people are put under p r e s s u r e from look f o r somebody seemingly weaker than themselves to  oppress. Luozhen i s q u i t e w e l l  read.  In the present time she compares Mr. L i  on the boat to a c h a r a c t e r i n a novel by C h a r l e s Dickens views prose.  the world and the people around  her m i n d f u l of Somerset Maugham's  The boat w i t h i t s 1920s to 1930s atmosphere, i t s crew and  passengers, and the food served remind prose. "There  When she cannot must be a s t o r y  i n s i d e , one that was m i s s i n g from a c o l l e c t i o n of ( p . 54).  easy i n her e v a l u a t i o n of l i f e  "Maugham had s a i d  her of the atmosphere i n Maugham's  f i g u r e out the p e r s o n a l i t y of Mrs. L i she t h i n k s :  Somerset Maugham's s t o r i e s " too  t h a t , because  She seems a b i t too g u l l i b l e , a b i t  around  t h i n k s about  Mr. L i :  it  b r i n g i n g shame onto h e r s e l f . "  was not l i k e l y  on what she has read.  (p. 7 8 ) . She reasons  "He must have t a l k e d  she seems o v e r l y h a r s h .  her based  of a s e l f - a b a s i n g psychology, people of  mixed races were a l l o v e r l y s e n s i t i v e . "  for  ( p . 68), and she  thus as she  to her i n p r i v a t e , blaming her  A l s o i n her assumptions  about h i s past  " H i s f a t h e r had begotten t h i s l i t t l e dark  person,  he had wanted to keep him at h i s s i d e , but at l e a s t he  had g i v e n him some e d u c a t i o n — " ( p . 70).  88  The reader  has access  i n t o Luozhen's mind during  n a r r a t i v e , r e c e i v i n g thereby and  her p a s t .  the w a i t e r  pieces  the whole of the  of i n f o r m a t i o n about her p e r s o n a l i t y  Whenever she wonders how  she appears to other people ( t o  ( p . 47) and to the Cantonese ( p . 50), the reader  p i c t u r e of her p h y s i c a l appearance. are opened to g i v e the reader  obtains a  Twice the minds of other  character's  an o u t s i d e o p i n i o n of Luozhen, the t r u e  value  of which the reader  has to e v a l u a t e  her.  When Luozhen i s about to l e a v e Fanny's f u n e r a l f o r example, the maid  blames Luozhen f o r Fanny's death. M i s t r e s s and Young Master: everything  . . . How  according  "Hadn't  to what s/he knows of  she heard i t from young  i t had been she who who  could she be that a person!"  had t o l d  (p. 7 5 ) .  knows that Luozhen h e r s e l f t h i n k s she does not know how people ("She  the envelope at the ceremony  reader  to d e a l  reader with  (".  too r a s h l y whe  she was  handed  . . i n her emotions her nerves had  her so that her a c t i o n had been unreasonable" p. 75), but the  i s not i n c l i n e d  that Fanny a p p r e c i a t e d  to blame Luozhen f o r Fanny's death because we know Luozhen t e l l i n g  Fanny a s e r v i c e by t e l l i n g  her.  her about A d r i a n ,  "Ever s i n c e she had  d r i v i n g her to her death, she probably  to t a l k t o Luozhen i n a " g e n t l e v o i c e " . the w a i t e r ' s  rendered  Fanny t a l k e d to her i n a  g e n t l e v o i c e " p. 7 2). Had Fanny been perturbed it  The  behaved so unharmoniously and so unexpectedly toward people  . . ." p. 61), and that she t h i n k s she acted  confused  Mistress  by the news to the p o i n t of  would not have made the e f f o r t The reader,  however, can b e l i e v e  view of Luozhen on the boat.  The w a i t e r , seeing that the meals were so bad, but that she was e a t i n g e v e r y t h i n g , and that she had no companion, but was so s a t i s f i e d w i t h i t a l l , was wondering how she c o u l d p o s s i b l y be an experienced world t r a v e l l e r . (p. 77)  89  We can b e l i e v e the w a i t e r ' s view of her because we have found  out that  Luozhen i s happy on her own and we know from her own words that she enjoys the p e r i o d of t e n days " l i v i n g The  " e x p e r i m e n t a l " format  i n a vacuum tube"  (p. 7 7 ) .  of t h i s s t o r y p r o v i d e s the reader with an  approximate i d e a of Luozhen's p e r s o n a l i t y at the time of her journey to Japan.  The p i c t u r e i s l e f t  r e l a t i v e l y vague as the i m p r e s s i o n i s given of  Luozhen's random thoughts, without  enough r e p e t i t i o n i n the i n f o r m a t i o n  ( a c t i n g as r e i n f o r c e m e n t ) to supply a d e f i n i t e image of h e r . Her personality  i s , like  r e a l human beings, a b i t ambiguous, a mixture  of many  personality t r a i t s .  She i s on the one hand a modern woman with q u i t e a  f r e e and independent  mind, and on the other hand a b i t f a s t  judgements.  i n her  90  APPENDIX TO CHAPTER 3 FLOWERS AND  PISTILS  FLOATING ON THE  WAVES  Narrative 1.  On boat, rooms, Cantonese  waiter.  Luozhen's  2.  Luggage w i t h s t i c k e r s - her p o s i t i o n i n her  3.  Cockroaches  4.  Observes  5.  Boat w i t h 1920s, 1930s atmosphere, l i k e Luo.  6.  Bridge i n Lake Luo, p o r t e r s at end reach Hong Kong.  7.  Train  8.  In Canton,  9.  In Shanghai  thoughts. family.  i n bed, Norwegian f r e i g h t e r t r a v e l s  two  in Asia.  f o r e i g n e r s boarding, hopes f o r q u i e t  trip.  tunnel - B r i d g e over i n Lake  of b r i d g e , her p o r t e r runs, they  to Canton, man's eyes, young woman s i n g s , her d e s c r i p t i o n h o t e l and men  act f r i v o l o u s  s t r e e t s , men  towards women on  thoughts.  assault  her,  thoughts.  streets.  10.  Man h i t s her head on, o t h e r s w h i s t l e , she goes back to h o t e l , description.  her  11.  Man f o l l o w e d her i n Shanghai thoughts.  12.  Waiter c a l l s f o r l u n c h , o n l y three people i n second c l a s s , her i m p r e s s i o n of the couple ( d e s c r i p t i o n , no c o n v e r s a t i o n , he of mixed blood).  13  At her j o b , people of mixed blood.  14.  No names addressed at t a b l e ( E n g l i s h custom). i n t o the sea.  15.  In her room she t y p e s , Norwegian s a i l a r , Europeans and s e x ) .  16.  Thinks about o l d e s t s i s t e r on the boat, she and her husband Fanny buys a c a r , they i n v i t e guests f o r d i n n e r .  17.  Return t o Shanghai, house cook, c h i l d r e n , A d r i a n and  ( p h o t o ) , movie, he d i s a p p e a r s , her  After  thoughts  lunch she looks  (picture,  suits.  abroad.  91  18.  Luozhen and s i s t e r  t a l k about Fanny and A d r i a n .  19.  D e s c r i p t i o n Fanny, p a r t i e s f o r daughters to marry.  20.  Niu f a m i l y moves to Hong Kong, her thoughts about those with money, and Communism.  21.  Luozhen l o s e s j o b , prepares to leave the c o u n t r y .  22.  Sister tells  23.  In Hong Kong Luozhen has f o r g o t t e n about the i n c i d e n t boat).  24.  She goes s t r a i g h t  25.  A d r i a n r e t u r n e d to Shanghai, says business i n Hong Kong  26.  Meagre  27.  Somebody had brought mangoes from Taiwan f o r Fanny.  28.  Fanny shows Luozhen her room, she sees Adrian's bed.  29.  A d r i a n i n Shanghai f o r more than a year, d a n c i n g , works i n a f a c t o r y , he i s a t t a c k e d , t e l l s them about hard times i n p r i s o n .  30.  When Luozhen goes t o Hong Kong, A d r i a n has been i n and out of p r i s o n many times.  31.  Luozhen gets her e x i t - v i s a  32.  Luozhen and A d r i a n on bus to B r i t i s h Embassy,  33.  In Hong Kong she can not help but t e l l Fanny, Fanny's r e a c t i o n , next day she t e l l s her daughter, her r e a c t i o n ( s p i n s t e r ) .  34.  During l a s t year of middle s c h o o l chose t y p i n g , never married, does not want to marry.  35.  Her j o b , i n t e r n a t i o n a l s p i n s t e r b u s i n e s s . s i s t e r and her b r o t h e r - i n - l a w .  36.  Christmas p a r t y at work, Mr. K a l i description.  37.  She has f i n i s h e d t y p i n g h e r l e t t e r , somebody knocks. F a n g l i n takes her l e t t e r to show her husband, memory of s i s t e r ' s words about typing.  38.  F a n g l i n b r i n g s photo album, p i c t u r e s of her f a m i l y , one of husband, Luozhen's thoughts.  her about Fanny on the boat, her thoughts. (Fanny on  to Fanny, l o o k s f o r room, Fanny's l i f e  has changed. slowed down.  d i n n e r at Fanny's, thoughts.  by shedding  likes  tears. his pleading  look.  L i v e s t o g e t h e r with her  looking f o r her, h i s  92  39.  Mixed  marriage at j o b , Cantonese  AO.  She heard news from Miss Solomon when she v i s i t e d her and her s i s t e r ) .  41.  Asks how  42.  At n i g h t a f r a i d  43.  In Hong Kong she had bought spray can f o r cockroaches s l e p t on f l o o r , the Y i ' s , young c o u p l e .  44.  Takes showers at Fanny's, moves to new p l a c e , no contact with Fanny, then t e l l s her wants to go to Japan, Fanny's r e a c t i o n .  45.  Does not v i s i t her f o r a w h i l e , r e c e i v e s death n o t i c e , wonders, goes to death ceremony, s e r v a n t ' s envelope, servants thoughts.  46.  Boards  47.  Boat winds around  48.  Boat  49.  She  50.  A d r i a n had Fanny.  51.  At t a b l e c o n t a c t w i t h Mr. and Mrs. L i not as good, because she d i d not r e t u r n v i s i t . Thoughts about what she could have done.  52.  Before boat  53.  She hears them s p i t (future).  she met  a ship  s e c r e t a r y (Miss Fan) w i t h Mr.  husband, imagines how,  her  t h i n k s about  Kali.  (description  language.  of c o c k r o a c h e s .  to f o r g e t , thoughts about islands,  travel.  she observes workers  stops at s m a l l i s l a n d , Japanese  i n her room,  on  pier.  board.  enjoys ten days on boat, w a i t e r w o r r i e d . looked w o r r i e d , b e l i e v e d  she would not say anything to  reaches Japan, high waves ( a t dinner t a b l e t a l k after dinner.  Thoughts,  again).  f e a r f u l of world o u t s i d e  93  FLOWERS AND  PISTILS  FLOATING ON THE  WAVES  Story  ABROAD 16.  Thinks about o l d e s t s i s t e r on the boat, she and her husband Fanny buys a c a r , they i n v i t e guests f o r d i n n e r .  abroad.  SHANGHAI 17.  Return t o Shanghai,  18.  Luozhen and  27.  Somebody had  3A.  During l a s t year of middle not want to marry.  s c h o o l chose  19.  D e s c r i p t i o n Fanny, p a r t i e s  f o r daughters  20.  Niu f a m i l y moves to Hong Kong, her thoughts about and Communism.  22.  Sister  25.  A d r i a n r e t u r n e d t o Shanghai,  29.  A d r i a n i n Shanghai f o r more than ,a year, dancing, works i n a f a c t o r y , he i s a t t a c k e d , t e l l s them about hard times i n p r i s o n .  13.  At her j o b , people of mixed b l o o d .  35.  Her j o b i n t e r n a t i o n a l s p i n s t e r b u s i n e s s . s i s t e r and her b r o t h e r - i n - l a w .  36.  Christmas p a r t y at work, Mr. K a l i l i k e s l o o k i n g description.  39.  Mixed  AO.  She heard news from Miss Solomon when she v i s i t e d her and her s i s t e r ) .  9.  In Shanghai men  sister  house cook, c h i l d r e n , A d r i a n and t a l k about  suits.  Fanny and A d r i a n .  brought mangoes from Taiwan f o r Fanny.  t e l l s her about  marriage  t y p i n g , never m a r r i e d , does  to marry.  Fanny on the boat, her  those with money,  thoughts.  says b u s i n e s s i n Hong Kong slowed  at j o b , Cantonese  down.  L i v e s together with her  f o r her, h i s  s e c r e t a r y (Miss Fan) w i t h Mr.  act f r i v o l o u s towards women on  her  Kali.  (description  streets.  94  11.  Man f o l l o w e d her i n Shanghai ( p h o t o ) , movie, he d i s a p p e a r s , her thoughts.  21.  Luozhen l o s e s j o b , prepares  31.  Luozhen gets her e x i t - v i s a by shedding  32.  Luozhen and A d r i a n on bus t o B r i t i s h Embassy,  50.  A d r i a n had looked w o r r i e d , b e l i e v e d she would not say anything t o Fanny.  to leave the c o u n t r y . tears. h i s pleading look.  CANTON 7.  T r a i n t o Canton, man's eyes, young woman s i n g s , her thoughts.  8.  In Canton, d e s c r i p t i o n h o t e l and s t r e e t s , men a s s a u l t h e r , thoughts.  10.  Man h i t s her head on, others w h i s t l e , she goes back to h o t e l , her description.  6. , Bridge over Lake Luo, p o r t e r s at end of b r i d g e , her p o r t e r runs, reach Hong Kong.  they  HONG KONG 24.  She goes s t r a i g h t  to Fanny, looks f o r room, Fanny's l i f e  30.  When Luozhen goes to Hong Kong, A d r i a n has been i n and out of p r i s o n many times.  23.  I n Hong Kong Luozhen has f o r g o t t e n about the i n c i d e n t boat).  26.  Meagre  28.  Fanny shows Luozhen her room, she sees A d r i a n ' s bed.  33..  In Hong Kong she can not help but t e l l Fanny, Fanny's r e a c t i o n , next day she t e l l s her daughter, her r e a c t i o n ( s p i n s t e r ) .  43.  I n Hong Kong she had bought spray can f o r cockroaches s l e p t on f l o o r , the Y i ' s , young couple.  44.  Takes showers at Fanny's, moves to new p l a c e , no contact with Fanny, then t e l l s her wants to go t o Japan, Fanny's r e a c t i o n .  d i n n e r i n Fanny's,  has changed.  (Fanny on  thoughts.  i n her room,  95  45.  Does not v i s i t her f o r a w h i l e , r e c e i v e s death n o t i c e , wonders, goes to death ceremony, s e r v a n t ' s envelope, servants thoughts.  46.  Board a ship to f o r g e t , thoughts about  travel.  PRESENT TIME ON BOAT 1.  On boat, rooms, Cantonese  2.  Luggage with s t i c k e r s - her p o s i t i o n i n her  3.  Cockroaches  4.  Observes  5.  Boat with 1920s, 1930s atmosphere, l i k e Luo.  two  waiter.  Luozhen's thoughts. family.  i n bed, Norwegian f r e i g h t e r t r a v e l s i n A s i a . f o r e i g n e r s b o a r d i n g , hopes f o r q u i e t  trip.  tunnel - Bridge over Lake  12.  Waiter c a l l s f o r l u n c h , only three people i n second c l a s s , her i m p r e s s i o n of the couple ( d e s c r i p t i o n , no c o n v e r s a t i o n , he of mixed blood.  14.  No names addressed at t a b l e ( E n g l i s h custom). i n t o the sea.  15.  In her room she types, Norwegian s a i l a r , and s e x ) .  34.  During l a s t year of middle s c h o o l chose t y p i n g , never married, does not want to marry.  38.  F a n g l i n b r i n g s photo album, p i c t u r e s of her f a m i l y , one Luozhen's thoughts.  41.  Asks how  42.  At night a f r a i d  47.  Boat winds around  48.  Boat stops at s m a l l i s l a n d , Japanese  49.  She enjoys ten days on boat, w a i t e r w o r r i e d .  51.  At t a b l e c o n t a c t w i t h Mr. and Mrs. L i not as good, because not r e t u r n v i s i t . Thoughts about what could have done.  52.  Before boat reaches Japan, h i g h waves ( a t dinner t a b l e t a l k  53.  She hears them s p i t (future).  she met  husband, imagines how,  A f t e r lunch she looks  thoughts ( p i c t u r e ,  t h i n k s about  Europeans  of husband,  language.  of cockroaches. i s l a n d s , she observes workers  after dinner.  on  pier.  board.  Thoughts,  she d i d  again).  f e a r f u l of world o u t s i d e  96  CHAPTER 4 "Happy Reunion":  This story gives  the s t r o n g e s t  by v i r t u e of i t s r e a l i s t i c The  story i s r e l a t i v e l y  chat by  A Conversation  i l l u s i o n of a s i t u a t i o n  treatment of the a c t i o n i n the present  banal  A few months a f t e r  between the spoken words, brings  character's  inner l i v e s  and  tell  other  and t h e i r  story i s r e a l i s t i c  would hear what other thinking.  that  a l l f o u r c h a r a c t e r s a r e shown f o r a short time i n a very  s i t u a t i o n ) , but what happens i n the minds of the c h a r a c t e r s ,  The  time.  the husband of the second woman drops  l a t e r and j o i n s them i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n .  appearing  life  (two women and the daughter of one of them  f o r a few hours one a f t e r n o o n ,  afternoon  i n real  similar  textually  i n the l a r g e r dimension of the  pasts.  i n that i n a r e a l d i a l o g u e  like  this  one we  people say but we would not know what they are  I t i s the r o l e of the n a r r a t o r to open the c h a r a c t e r s ' minds the reader  because they  a l l the i n f o r m a t i o n  the c h a r a c t e r s  do not t e l l  each  a l r e a d y know i t , as w e l l as give i n f o r m a t i o n the  c h a r a c t e r s may only suspect  about each other  n a r r a t o r always goes "with"  the a c t i o n ( r e v e a l i n g something when i t comes  up  i n the a c t i o n of the s t o r y ) without  atmosphere around the c h a r a c t e r s by  or do not know at a l l .  independently  The  c r e a t i n g an  i n t o which to embed them.  The d i a l o g u e s  themselves are not r e l e v a n t to the f i n a l meaning of the s t o r y , they a r e  only an e x t e n s i o n past.  of the c h a r a c t e r s ' thoughts about the present  (Mrs. Xun t a l k s more i n the present  r e v e a l s why Mrs.  time than Mrs.  Wu l e t s Mrs. Xun t a l k more).  and the  Wu, the past  These memories extend the  97  furthest  i n t o an u n s p e c i f i e d time of Mrs. Wu's and Mrs.  The  i n this  past  according extent  s t o r y cannot be n e a t l y grouped i n t o blocks  to t h e i r  i n "Lust  about v a r i o u s  l o c a t i o n as i n "Flowers and P i s t i l s "  and A b s t i n e n c e " ) as three  l o c a t i o n s and d i f f e r e n t  thoughts, however, strengthens  (and to a l e s s e r  times (even though these  the impression  sometimes  T h i s m i n g l i n g of  of a r e a l i s t i c  thoughts i n the c h a r a c t e r s ' minds take  p a r a d o x i c a l l y , however, they  of time  c h a r a c t e r s here are t h i n k i n g  c o i n c i d e ) and the maze t h e r e f o r e i s more complex.  The  Xun's g i r l h o o d .  split  situation.  seconds,  take up more t e x t u a l space than the few  comments the n a r r a t o r makes about the c h a r a c t e r s ' a c t i o n s , a c t i o n s which realistically  would take  up more s t o r y - t i m e .  other  experimental  story  i s the most l i m i t e d  matter  (conversation).  amount to r o u g h t l y tend  stories  When viewed next to the two  though, the a c t i o n i n the present and the p l o t  the most s t a t i c due to i t s subject  The mentioned and i m p l i e d a c t i o n s of the s t o r y  the same number as i n "Flowers and P i s t i l s " ^  to be a c t i o n s of s h o r t e r d u r a t i o n , and because they  different  time of t h i s  characters  r a t h e r than one c h a r a c t e r , they  of b r i e f moments i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h i n longer  periods  but they  are performed by  give the impression of p h y s i c a l  immobility  ( t a l k i n g and t h i n k i n g ) . Another d i f f e r e n c e from to the other  two experimental  stories  ^ M r s . Xun a r r i v e s ( g r e e t i n g s ) 2. the two cousins search each o t h e r s ' heads f o r white h a i r 3. Mrs. Xun smokes 4. Mrs. Xun looks at her shoes 5. Mrs. Xun t r i e s on a Qipao 6. Mrs. Wu p l a c e s an orange on the oven, a f t e r she has eaten the orange she p l a c e s the p e e l s on the l i d of the oven 7. the three women have dinner ( i m p l i e d ) 8. Shaopu a r r i v e s 9. Yuanmei smokes 10. Yuanmei f e t c h e s c a l e n d a r s 11. Mrs. Xun choses one 12. Mrs. Wu leaves to answer a telephone c a l l 13. she r e t u r n s 14. Mrs. Wu receives injections (implied) 15. Shaopu yawns.  98  lies  i n the f a c t  their  that there are three main c h a r a c t e r s here,  r e s p e c t i v e background and  through  t h e i r thoughts,  family t i e s . on her own  Instead  past  of having  and  Wu  although  personality role  and Yuanmei).  Xun  situation,  Shaofu a r r i v e s  t a c i t u r n s t a t e of mind  She  than  provides  g e n e r a t i o n ' s without The written  she has  o l d e r cousins  the necessary  different  and  past  cousins  experience,  i n the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  provide. and  her  of her  age  a g r e a t e r detachment  flatter. earlier  the a c t i o n of which a l s o u n r o l l s mainly  s t o r i e s though, l i e s  present  p e r s p e c t i v e to the o l d e r  which the s t o r y would seem  The  sense.  i n v o l v e d i n exchanging  s u b j e c t matter resembles Zhang A i l i n g ' s i n 1944,  the  i s shown i n a  therefore d i f f e r e n t  c o n v e r s a t i o n between the c h a r a c t e r s .  present  f o r i n a broader  (she f e e l s d e j e c t e d because a l l those  the two  of the s t o r y  r e v e a l s some of h i s  on the a c t i o n the two  group i n her f a m i l y are s t u d y i n g abroad), from the s i t u a t i o n  (Mrs.  h i s main f u n c t i o n i s to strengthen  at v a r i o u s p o i n t s i n the n a r r a t i v e she reflecting  people's  three main  third  the most d i s t a n c e from the  and  reflecting  each other's  i n the l a s t  i n u n d e r l i n i n g what she stands  Because of her younger age  news.  there are now  i n d i v i d u a l pasts and  h i s thoughts,  spectator's position,  to t h e i r c l o s e  c h a r a c t e r t h i n k i n g about other  past (Luozhen),  Yuanmei i s the c h a r a c t e r with  due  c h a r a c t e r remembering and  he c o n t r i b u t e s to the c o n v e r s a t i o n and through  of Mrs.  one  ( J i a z h i ) or one  c h a r a c t e r s r e f l e c t i n g on t h e i r Mrs.  s t a t e of mind revealed  a l l of which are interwoven  p a s t s i n a d d i t i o n to her own  Xun,  t h e i r present  each with  story "Waiting" i n form of  d i f f e r e n c e between the temporal  switches  i n the n a r r a t i v e of the experimental  two  between  s t o r y compared to  99  the  linear  inner l i v e s  development of " W a i t i n g " . are r e v e a l e d , but  actions described  In both s t o r i e s  i n "Waiting"  the  characters'  the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n and  by the n a r r a t o r dominate the c h a r a c t e r s ' thoughts  whereas i n "Happy Reunion" the c h a r a c t e r s ' thoughts about present dominate e v e r y t h i n g  else.  A l s o , while  story-time  (a few  title,  a more dynamic present-time  has  of the p a t i e n t s .  the  hours of one  time a c t i o n (again  talking  and  past  both s t o r i e s have about the same  day), "Waiting",  i n s p i t e of i t s ' s t a t i c '  a c t i o n due  "Happy Reunion" i n c o n t r a s t has  present  and  i n s p i t e of a t i t l e  to the coming and an almost  going  'inert'  that could suggest  animated  a c t i o n ) , however, because of the "hidden" elements of  thoughts  and  memories happening beyond the a c t i o n of the present  has  an a d d i t i o n a l f l u i d i t y  why  the  and wider temporal scope.  s t o r y i s double the l e n g t h of  In "Waiting"  the c h e e r l e s s n e s s  and  desperation  This could  story explain  "Waiting."  the n a r r a t o r p l a y s an important  atmosphere of the gloomy w a i t i n g  time, the  room and  role in providing  the  of embedding the c h a r a c t e r s  into  of wartime.  The windows of the w a i t i n g room were c l o s e d , yellowed s t r i p s of o l d newspapers were pasted crosswide on the windows to s e a l them i n case of a i r r a i d s . Outside i t was a l i g h t and cloudy day, the c o l o u r of the sky seemed j u s t l i k e a sheet of white paper glued onto the window panes. (p.123)  The to  n a r r a t o r has v i s u a l i z e and  what the reader  an obvious g u i d i n g r o l e by s e l e c t i n g what the reader  by b r i n g i n g an i r o n i c tone i n t o the n a r r a t i v e , s e l e c t i n g i s to know.  He moves w i t h a c i n e m a t i c  eye  s e t t i n g of the s t o r y , d e s c r i b i n g each c h a r a c t e r minutely and  chosing  is  to focus  on the  inner l i v e s  through  from the  of some of them (Mrs. X i ) .  the outside For  100  most c h a r a c t e r s before  they  he  start  'paves the way' to act  p.110), or t h e i r way w h i l e , he  to t h e i r entrance,  ( f o r example Mrs.  of t a l k i n g before  suddenly turned  they  Pang and start  h i s head around, looked  spoke u p — o n e could h a r d l y b e l i e v e that these mouth of a f i v e or s i x year  old c h i l d :  is  first  before  n a r r a t o r , before formulas put  talking  to Mr.  he appears ("Mr.  into verse.  The  Gao,  room;  venerable,  added backbone, nerve and d e s c r i p t i o n of Mr. his  seven c h a r a c t e r s  The  scientific  at the maid  and  reader  had  first  Mr.  mantou. hears  other  Pang f o r example mocked by  the  recited a string  i n Mr.  the  of  Pang's mouth took  on  the f l a v o u r of an o l d  of grace.  explanation"  And  to that Mr.  (p. 109)).  From  Pang the  Pang's words the n a r r a t o r moves to a s e l e c t i v e view of  p r a c t i c e (cinematic  On the w a l l perspective license for of hygiene, Pang t h i r t y  The  Pang laughed and  peaceful, f u l l  to t a l k ("After q u i t e a  i n t e r p r e t e d and  weight, l i k e amber p e a r l s of a r o s a r y , they lady's  daughter Afang  words were coming out of  r e c e i v i n g a d e s c r i p t i o n of them.  described  her  'I don't want to buy  Mantou don't t a s t e good." (pp. 109-110)). characters  d e s c r i b i n g them  focus).  hung a p i c t u r e of the human body drawn i n i n a h a l f western s t y l e . There a l s o hung a p r a c t i s i n g Chinese medicine i s s u e d by the o f f i c e i n a p i c t u r e frame with a s m a l l photograph of Mr. years e a r l i e r glued on. (p. 109  n a r r a t o r i s i r o n i c or o u t r i g h t s a r c a s t i c when he d e s c r i b e s Mr.  Mr. Pang had the broad yellow face of a l i o n , and a t h i c k neck, the head and the neck formed one sturdy p i e c e , no matter i f seen from the f r o n t or the back i t looked l i k e a f a t man's knee. ( p . 111).  Pang.  101  The  i r o n i c d e s c r i p t i o n s of e x t e r n a l aspects of the c h a r a c t e r s and the  comments on t h e i r manner of e x p r e s s i n g themselves speaking words. was  ("Mr. Pang seemed to be  very d e l i b e r a t e l y , smacking h i s tongue while choosing his f i n e I t was as i f some chewing gum were stuck between h i s teeth.and he  t r y i n g to l i c k  i t away with much e f f o r t ; he paused f o r a while (p.  I l l ) ) serve to undermine t h e i r s e l f - c e n t e r e d s e r i o u s n e s s . The Ailing's present  s t o r y . h a s , as Stephen Cheng has shown i n h i s study of Zhang short s t o r i e s , an extended time.  meaning beyond the " a c t i o n " of the  "A s t o r y o s t e n s i b l y about some middle  aged women gathered  i n a c l i n i c w a i t i n g f o r t h e i r appointments with the massage doctor, i s i n reality  a p e n e t r a t i n g study  dreams that can never  of t h e i r " w a i t i n g " f o r the f u l f i l m e n t  come t r u e .  The gloom i n the c l i n i c ,  of t h e i r  the o v e r c a s t  sky i n the wet a f t e r n o o n , the shabby dresses worn by the women, a l l help to evoke a mood of f o r l o r n pathos."^1  True, many of the characters seem  to be w a i t i n g f o r the war to end so that they can s t a r t new l i v e s .  (Afang  might have more chance to get new c l o t h e s a f t e r the war so that she can find  the p a r t n e r she wants, Mrs. X i wants the war to stop so that her  husband can r e t u r n , and the c h i l d  i s coaxed i n t o the massage with the  words " R i g h t , i n the f u t u r e , when the p o l i t i c a l  s i t u a t i o n has quietened  down, y o u ' l l be g e t t i n g m a r r i e d , but i f you don't feast, I ' l l  be angry!"  (p. 122)).  i n v i t e me to the wedding  I t seems, however, that the s t o r y  has a s t r o n g s o c i a l message, i n showing how people do not seem to  41Cheng, "Themes and Techniques"  p. 181.  also  102  change the ways they  i n t e r a c t with each other even though the p o l i t i c a l  s t r u c t u r e i s changing. just  Perhaps they hold on to t h e i r s o c i a l  because the o u t s i d e world  i s i n a turmoil.  differences  The n a r r a t o r b r i n g s out  these s o c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s and the s u b t l e ways they communicate t h e i r s t a t u s to each other through  strong c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s .  Each c h a r a c t e r b r i n g s an  aura of h i s / h e r s o c i a l m i l i e u and p o r t r a y s i t s i n h e r e n t a t t i t u d e s . Tong f o r example expects  p r e f e r e n t i a l treatment  p r a c t i c e and pays more money to get an e a r l i e r the n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s her: "She extended woolen k n i t t e d one that  j a c k e t from  as soon as she enters the turn.  As she gets  dressed  one hand to take down her grey  the hanger, p u l l e d  i t over u n h u r r i e d l y and i n  gust of wind had wrapped the whole room i n s i d e  it."  she b e l i e v e s she i s at the center of the world.  f r o z e n smile of a s m a l l gloomy p e a c e f u l a l l e y the other women's q u e s t i o n s d o c i l y , almost has  Mrs.  (p. 122), implying  Mrs. Wang has the  and answers the doctor's and  f r i g h t e n e d ( p . 113). Mr. Pang  a p a t r o n i z i n g , a t t i t u d e . "[He] always b e l i e v e d he could t a l k with  people  from any c l a s s ,  right  away e n t e r i n g i n t o other people's  worlds"  (p. 115). Once, however,  they s t a r t  talking,  they r e v e a l a l l t h e i r  b r i n g i n g each of them down to the same desperate self-expression. big a i r s .  problems,  l e v e l of need f o r  Mrs. X i f o r example, very soon p e n e t r a t e s Mrs. Tong's  In her f r u s t r a t e d  attempts  t o have Mrs. Tong l i s t e n  to her  problems, Mrs. X i has changed her mind about h e r , she d i s l i k e s her o u t - r i g h t now. covered  "[Mrs.  her grand  Tong] handed Mrs. X i back the j a c k e t that had  daughter,  thanked  s h o u l d e r of the other woman . . .  her again not at a l l f e e l i n g  the c o l d  Her short j a c k e t whisked by Mrs. X i ' s  103  f a c e and s h o u l d e r , Mrs. X i dodged with 122).  an e x p r e s s i o n of d i s g u s t " (p.  When Mr. Gao's concubine has helped  him l i k e a c h i l d  c l o t h e s and o v e r z e a l o u s l y says goodbye to the people one,  into h i s  i n the room one by  the n a r r a t o r comments "The women d i d not pay a t t e n t i o n to h e r " (p.  112), making c l e a r they a l l look down on h e r . The  n a r r a t o r ' s s t r o n g presence i s e s p e c i a l l y f e l t  character's desperation  to the p o i n t of t r a n s f o r m i n g  a k i t c h e n f o r a moment, and takes  over  when he conveys the  the w a i t i n g room i n t o  the c h a r a c t e r ' s account when the  c h a r a c t e r can not go on.  Her eyes reddened and from her mouth only the c o l d s w i s h i n g b r e a t h i n g sound of her o l d age came o u t . The f l o o r underneath her f e e t changed to the black and white k i t c h e n t i l e f l o o r , the whole world seemed l i k e i t had been wiped with a damp c l o t h , (pp. 119-120)  Mrs.  long can not continue  talking  f o r anger and r e s i g n a t i o n .  'I've been t h i r t y years i n h i s house, anything that had to be done, wasn't i t I who d i d i t a l l ? . . . ' . . . The p a r e n t s - i n - l a w who had g i v e n her the many h a r d s h i p s , . . . (p. 119)  In " W a i t i n g "  thus,  the emphasis i s on s t r o n g a n a r r a t o r ' s presence f o r  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n and commentary, and p r o v i d i n g the atmosphere of the s t o r y i n t o which the c h a r a c t e r s are embedded. In "Happy Reunion" the n a r r a t o r i s l e s s v i s i b l e , he stays i n the background, o c c a s i o n a l l y o f f e r i n g a longer e x t e r n a l d e s c r i p t i o n ( f o r example of Mrs. Xun i n the beginning  of the n a r r a t i v e ) o r j u s t  p i e c e s ("Mrs. Wu used to be an ugly ducking"  b i t s and  ( p . 8 3 ) , "Mrs. Wu was  104  wearing g l a s s e s " (p. 8 2 ) ) , and picture  i n regard  she  still  to  was  The  to something the c h a r a c t e r s  Wu  knew of course  n a r r a t o r i s a step behind  the room without  afternoon, go  he  does not  the a c t i o n , he d e s c r i b e s i n the d i a l o g u e s . the  or  Even when he first  seem to c r e a t e an atmosphere "before  find  themselves i n , h i s presence i s h a r d l y f e l t .  become warm, they  not  f i t the modern d e c o r a t i o n " The  characters  had  dismantled  in this  (p.  the oven.  the  characters  they  do  this  through t h e i r  he was  "[Mrs. Wu]  dark, s h o r t , and  thoughts and  had  had  no  looked  shoulders  get  supplying  memories.  of the other  already  f a t , looked  w i t h q u i t e a temper" (p. 86). over t o Shaofu he  past The  short  a l l f o u r c h a r a c t e r s have t h e i r own  light  and  information  reader  and  therefore  that time . . . conceited  s i g h t e d ; when she  and looked  wearing a cotton gown of the  lamp he  upright a n t h i l l "  (p.  views about each o t h e r , the  of i n f o r m a t i o n about each, i n the characters  the  c h a r a c t e r s , for example,  dumpey—he was  e a r t h c o l o u r e d , a b i t dazed, l i k e a t a l l  which r e v e a l j u s t , as much of these  taken over  r a t h e r s t u p i d but very  "Yuanmei was  round and  weather  i r o n oven d i d  seen Shaofu before  w h a t s o e v e r — i n the dim  receives various kinds  black  s t o r y have f o r the most part  knows that the d e s c r i p t i o n s we subjective.  The  "The  the  109).  r o l e of the n a r r a t o r f o r i n t e r p r e t i n g and  As  d i d not need  t a l k i n g about: . . ."  the oven a few months a f t e r  had  and  course  i n t o a c t i o n " ; the language he uses i s as t e r s e as the s i t u a t i o n  characters  are  i n t o the  a l r e a d y know. ("Of  knew what she was  s u p p l i e s i n f o r m a t i o n only when i t comes up describes  reader  t a l k i n g about her mother-in-law" (p. 86), "She  e x p l a i n , Mrs.  (p. 95).  o c c a s i o n a l l y p u t t i n g the  doing  looked 101). reader  form of thoughts  the t h i n k i n g .  One  105  of the reader's  c o n t r i b u t i o n s i n "Happy Reunion" t h e r e f o r e i s to t r a c e the  c h a r a c t e r s ' p e r s o n a l i t i e s and  histories  through  the maze of the f o u r  d i f f e r e n t minds at work s i m u l t a n e o u s l y and w i t h i n the switches present  massaged. next  The  people w a i t i n g to take t h e i r  to i n the w a i t i n g room; they might know each other from o u t s i d e  f o r a number of years  coming f o r two  years),but  are of the same f a m i l y .  Xun,  she  i s not  fond  Xun,  of speaking  besides  points.  She  woman and  as  been the  have known each other f o r many years  T h e i r l e v e l of knowledge about each other's  f o r example, knows why  i n "Waiting".  (she f e e l s d e j e c t e d because her husband l e a v i n g her b e h i n d ) .  (p. 82).  She  a l s o knows that Mr.  has a c h i l d with her.  Wu  has  "Mrs.  and  "Therefore,  to touch  the  gone to Hong Kong with Xun  why  Z i f a n ? ' d i d not pursue  i s c a r e f u l not  and  past  Yuanmei i s at her mother's home and  asking her with a smile 'And  c o n v e r s a t i o n with her"  d i d not ask about  the  sore  another  him"  82). Through the thoughts  and  past memories the c h a r a c t e r s have about each  o t h e r , the reader can f o l l o w the changes these and  (Mrs. X i has  they are not as i n t i m a t e l y connected  her b r o t h e r - i n - l a w have gone abroad  (p.  or might have seen each  t h e r e f o r e of each other's weaknesses i s deeper than  Mrs.  Mrs.  Bao)  by coming to the p r a c t i c e  c h a r a c t e r s i n "Happy Reunion" who  and  f o r the purpose of being  t u r n do not chose whom they  the c o n f i n e s of the room (Mrs. Tong and Mrs. other  and  times.  In " W a i t i n g " the c h a r a c t e r s come together  sit  of past  the wearing e f f e c t  are aware of these effect  of l i f e  setbacks  and  on them.  The  c h a r a c t e r s have undergone  f a c t t h a t other c h a r a c t e r s  care f o r another  of t h e i r c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p .  Mrs.  Wu  c h a r a c t e r heightens  the  f o r example f e e l s p r o t e c t i v e  106  about Mrs. Xun.  Mrs. Wu was r e a l l y s o r r y f o r her. With so many r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s , but they j u s t had to give her to the Xuns. One day Yuanmei had s a i d behind her back that her face was s t i l l p r e t t y , but Mrs. Wu had s a i d i n d i g n a n t l y : 'You d i d not see how b r i g h t her eyes used to be, she had a k i n d of naughty expression. Once she got m a r r i e d , her eyes d u l l e d . She completely d u l l e d . ' As she spoke, the rim of her eyes reddened and her v o i c e hardened, ( p . 86)  The  narrator  presents  a more complete image of Mrs. Xun by d e d i c a t i n g more  n a r r a t i v e space to her. information  He does t h i s by i n t e r s p e r s i n g the n a r r a t i v e with  about her through h i s v o i c e  ( d e s c r i p t i o n s and comments), Mrs.  Xun's own v o i c e and the thoughts, memories, and a c t i o n s characters.  The n a r r a t o r  (p. 81). Mrs. Wu t h i n k s  gives  the longest  external  about her i n the present  of the other  d e s c r i p t i o n of h e r  time (see above example)  and  i n the past  ("She d i d not know whether she should  she  r e a l i z e d Mrs. Xun had ' t i p p e d ' the p o s t a l s e r v i c e " (p. 87). Yuanmei  remembers the small  room the Xuns l i v e d  v i s i t e d Mrs. Xun one day. expresses her o p i n i o n years l a t e r : She  Inside  i n Shanghai, she saw i t when she  a memory of Mrs. Wu another  character  about Mrs. Xun ("Mrs. Sun . . . had asked her a few  'How i s that Mrs. Xun now? . .  i s so s o f t - s p o k e n ! ' "  perspective.  laugh or cry when  They a l l speak w e l l of her.  p. 102), thus o f f e r i n g another  More i m p o r t a n t l y ,  outside  when her husband Shaofu appears i n the  l a t t e r p a r t of the n a r r a t i v e , h i s f u n c t i o n i s to show the couple i n a c t i o n i n the present  time and g i v e  r e l a t i o n s h i p against point.  the reader a chance to v e r i f y  the l a r g e l y s u b j e c t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n  their  o f f e r e d up to that  Comments such as "Ever s i n c e Shaopu had come a f t e r  dinner,  107  Mrs. Xun had adopted  an a t t i t u d e of o r d i n a r y s o c i a l  i n t e r c o u r s e , she d i d  not say too much and d i d not even smoke" ( p . 103), ". . . Mrs. Xun saw t h a t her husband was t e l l i n g d i d not understand finally  it,  a j o k e , she would always  laugh, and i f 6he  she would laugh even more" ( p . 101), and "[Shaofu]  l e t go of the deep, l o n g yawn he had been s u p p r e s s i n g , because  j u s t now i t had been h i s w i f e t a l k i n g , certainly  r e v e a l the r e l a t i o n s h i p  space and the other y i e l d s .  i t d i d not matter" ( p . I l l ) ,  of a couple i n which  one takes more  There i s , however, a s h o r t , almost  tender  moment between the couple i n the present time when Mrs. Wu leaves to answer the phone.  Mrs. Xun asks Shaofu  i f he found the food she l e f t f o r  him.  When he answered, h i s v o i c e was low and deep, almost g e n t l e . Due to h i s sudden change of v o i c e i t was a b i t hoarse, he had to cough once to c l e a r h i s t h r o a t . He had not l i f t e d h i s head to look at her, and he had reddened s l i g h t l y , he looked even darker now, as i f the l i g h t i n the room had grown dimmer, (p. 106)  He has been observed a v o i d i n g eye contact with h i s female  relatives  a c c o r d i n g to t r a d i t i o n  (p. 101), but h i s sudden shyness  attributed  t h a t Yuanmei i s p r e s e n t ; i t i s through her eyes the  to the f a c t  c o n v e r s a t i o n between the couple i s seen.  could be  In her r e l a t i o n s h i p  to Mrs. Wu,  Mrs. Xun takes a l l the space Mrs. Wu g i v e s her, s t a r t i n g most of the c o n v e r s a t i o n t o p i c s and doing most of the t a l k i n g , while Mrs. Wu l i s t e n s and  responds w i t h short comments.  T h i s could be because Mrs. Wu on the  one  hand f e e l s s o r r y f o r her and wants to g i v e her space to unburden  h e r s e l f but a l s o because Mrs. Wu i s l e s s c o n f i d e n t  than Mrs. Xun.  "Although Mrs. Wu had not been p r e t t y i n her youth, she could the f e e l i n g s of a b e a u t i f u l woman past her prime"  ( p . 87).  understand  108  U n l i k e Mrs..Xun, Mrs. Wu's husband does not appear i n person present  time, a l l the imformation  through  her s u b j e c t i v e memory.  has  the reader has of him i s f i l t e r e d  There i s some evidence  been too harsh i n her complaints  make these  Although  each other l e t t e r s .  about him t o her c o u s i n (she does not  the couple  i s separated,  they  him  a letter  that she f e e l s  let  [her c o u s i n ] see that at her age she was s t i l l  Xun and Shaofu i n the present  order t o get some sympathy.  f o r her sympathy f o r  time may i n d i c a t e that the two women  t h e i r l o t i n t h e i r frequent  past d i a l o g u e s  memories and much of  (she and Yuanmei t a l k about Mrs.  r e v e a l i n g Mrs. Wu's r e l a t i o n s h i p  to Mrs. Xun), g i v i n g a  l e s s f o r c e f u l image of her because she holds h e r s e l f Mrs.  X i i n "Waiting"  n a r r a t i v e space a l l o t e d  conversations i n  In the whole n a r r a t i v e Mrs. Wu i s less v o c a l  time, her s t o r y i s r e v e a l e d through  her p e r s o n a l i t y through each time  w r i t i n g 'Brother' and  T h i s r e v e l a t i o n and a l s o the i n t i m a t e d i a l o g u e between  have a tendency to exaggerate  Xun,  " I f she  i t would look l i k e her  temperament was too s t r o n g , that she had asked  i n the present  t i m e ) , she w r i t e s  comes c l o s e to being a love l e t t e r .  ' S i s t e r ' i t would be too embarassing, a l s o ,  (p. 9 7 ) .  regularly write  In f a c t , on the same day as her c o u s i n v i s i t s her  ("today" i n the n a r r a t i v e , but a memory to the present  Mrs.  t h a t she f e e l s she  comments i n the n a r r a t i v e , we are to assume that Mrs. Xun i s  well-informed).  nothing"  i n the  i n the background.  resembles Mrs. Xun i n that she has the most  to her.  Rather  than g e t t i n g other peoples' views  of her to make her i n t o a "round" c h a r a c t e r , we see her i n a range of emotions g i v i n g her an a d d i t i o n a l dimension.  She i s f i r s t  of a l l the o n l y  109  woman i n the w a i t i n g  room who  does not always a c t .  The  stays throughout the s t o r y even though  reader  has a mental p i c t u r e of her from  minute d e s c r i p t o n of her p h y s i c a l appearance (p. 113) through her complaints suddenly  and  then  the  f o l l o w s her  about h i g h p r i c e s , her embarrassment when she  r e c e i v e s a t t e n t i o n from Afang and  the other women i n the w a i t i n g  room, her enjoyment of i t at the same time, always accompanied by characteristic "The way  fingering  whole room was i t should  be,  to  Mrs.  you  should  with  t r y out  v o c a l as Mrs.  Xun  Any  f o r anger.  Tong when she worries.  i s not  (p. 115).  ready  "Mrs.  X i q u i c k l y looked  the  is polite  Tong's grand have time  hear them t a l k you won't  do."  (p. 120). has  to l i s t e n  c h a r a c t e r , showing her  She  Tong, when you  U n l i k e a l l the other  She  i s as  changed her mind to her but  c h a r a c t e r s she  instead i s hurt  to be more s e n s i t i v e .  c l o s e to Mrs.  Xun,  Mrs.  Pang pretends  o u t s i d e the window, as i f she  thought warmly of her husband" (p.  Xun not  had  124).  r e l a t i o n s h i p between the c h a r a c t e r s i s more remote i n "Waiting"  more i n t i m a t e i n "Happy Reunion".  cousins  "Mrs  t h i s was  a somewhat e x u l t a n t ,  Pang to show her f r i e n d l i n e s s , but Mrs.  been i n s u l t e d , she  and  felt  her her j a c k e t to cover Mrs.  Pang s p i t s i n t o a s p i t t o o n s t a n d i n g  see her.  The  she  C h r i s t i a n Church w i l l  by another  s m i l e s at Mrs. to  complaints  the  inner a n x i e t y .  Xi f e l t  i n t a l k i n g about her problems and  t a l k s about her own  When Mrs.  to her t a l k i n g , Mrs.  a C h r i s t i a n Church, when you  about Mrs.  when s l i g h t e d  an e x p r e s s i o n of her  the netbag i n her f i s t "  g i v e s some a d v i c e  be angry anymore.  quickly  listening  Tong by o f f e r i n g  daughter and  of her bag,  i n her b i t t e r  she made a gesture  she  in particular  i s very  The  connection  c l o s e , not j u s t  between the  two  because they are of the same  110  f a m i l y but because they  share many c h i l d h o o d memories.  In the past they had been apart f o r long p e r i o d s , there were l a r g e p a r t s m i s s i n g which needed to be f i l l e d i n . Yuanmei had seen such cases of innocent homosexuality b e f o r e . . . .[This g e n e r a t i o n ] had no chance a f t e r [ g i r l h o o d ] to f a l l i n love w i t h a person of the o p p o s i t e sex, t h e r e f o r e the f e e l i n g was deeper and longer l a s t i n g . (p. 9 9 )  In s p i t e of the p h y s i c a l c l o s e n e s s of the c h a r a c t e r s " W a i t i n g " waiting  room, they are a l l i s o l a t e d  purposes,  listen  from each o t h e r .  to each other out of c o l d  compassion ("Afang smiled  curiosity  i n the  They t a l k at cross r a t h e r than out  the smile of her b l a c k rimmed eyes, one  p l a y i n g with the set of keys d a n g l i n g from a button of her blouse, drew nearer  [to Mrs.  somebody over  t h e r e ! ' " p.  p o s i t i o n of l i s t e n i n g she had  X i ] and  said  114)  of  hand she  i n a low v o i c e : 'Maybe your husband  has  or because they have been moulded i n t o  the  ("Because [Mrs.  Bao]  had  never been good l o o k i n g ,  always been, from her young days to today,  companion, she  could not  her" p.  They might o f f e r each other some quick a d v i c e , (Mrs. X i  tells  117).  Mrs.  but wholeheartedly  i n the p o s i t i o n of  Tong about the church, Mrs.  off-hand a d v i c e f o r her h a i r l o s s ) , but to  listen  one  Mrs.  Xi t e l l s  so much younger than h e r s e l f . Pang!  they are so desperate  Afang w i l l i n g l y  could wonder t h a t she  I guessed long ago  near  Tong i n t u r n gives her some f o r someone  to them that they pour out t h e i r sorrows to anybody who  ear to them. although  sympathize with those  about her b i t t e r  r e v e a l s her p e r s o n a l l i f e  lends  situation, to somebody  ("It i s not t h a t I don't know i t , Miss  that he probably  took another  w i f e . " p.  114).  an  Ill  Mrs.  Tong takes advantage  sympathized,  Mrs.  of Mrs. Bao's sympathy.  "Having  away." ( p . 1 1 7 ) .  Tong became sad r i g h t  l e a v e s to take her t u r n , "they a l l were suddenly q u i e t " s u g g e s t i n g a sense of l o n e l i n e s s , a l s o i m p l i e d for  ' l o n e l y ' i n the word  because cannot  * quiet'J^.^jgf  .  who  When Mrs.  Bao  (p. 1 1 7 )  by the Chinese  character  Both Mrs. Tong and Mrs. X i , maybe  they do not know each other or do not have enough listen  somebody  compassion,  to each o t h e r .  Mrs. Tong h e a r i n g t h i s , was at a l o s s , the r e g u l a r f e a t u r e s of her f a t face became confused f o r a moment and f u l l of red pockmarks, she s a i d : 'Eh? Eh? . . . times are bad now, r e a l l y bad, Eh? Once a f o r t u n e t e l l e r t o l d me . ...' ( p . 1 2 0 )  Mrs.  Tong f r u s t r a t e s  conversation  Mrs. X i by r e p e a t e d l y r e t u r n i n g  to her problems  the t o p i c of the  when Mrs. X i wants to t a l k about  her  own  worries.  Hearing her t a l k , Mrs. X i was g e t t i n g i m p a t i e n t , she answered now and then 'Mm . . .Mm. . . 'and o c c a s i o n a l l y nodded her head, g r a d u a l l y g e t t i n g a b i t l a z i e r and j u s t b l i n k i n g her e y e l i d s , . . . she d e c i d e d that Mrs. Tong was an o l d muddlehead. (p. 1 2 1 )  Wartime and  the u n f o r t u n a t e p o s i t i o n  s o c i e t y puts the women i n are the  cause the women to d e s p e r a t e l y s e a r c h f o r a sympathetic e a r . In the  "Happy Reunion"  p a s t , and  repeated  the stormy  the scene of meeting  so may  times that  times of the war and  listening  t h e r e i s n o t h i n g new  have r e t r e a t e d  to each o t h e r has been to t e l l  s t o r i e s have to be warmed up and new  ones found  t h i n k i n g hard, l o o k i n g  she had not t o l d  The  f o r something  t e x t u a l break on p. 1 0 9 and  the temporal  into  any more.  ("Mrs. Xun  was  Old  also  her y e t " p. 98).  indication  that  a few months  112  have gone by ("The  weather had  become warm, . . . " ) , showing  c h a r a c t e r s i n the very same p o s i t i o n s , suggest repeated many times.  Although  that t h i s scene  has  the time i s a few months l a t e r ,  the  c h a r a c t e r s seem not to have moved from w i n t e r day  seems to c o n t i n u e .  same p l a c e s under the l i g h t and  felt  a bit chilly  the  "The  t h e i r s e a t s , the a f t e r n o o n of the  same f o u r people were s i t t i n g  of the lamp, they a l l had  i n the  t h e i r arms crossed  so l o n g " (p. 1 0 9 ) .  from s i t t i n g  been  T h e i r "happy  r e u n i o n s " have become a r o u t i n e , so much that they have f o r g o t t e n what they t o l d  each other  i n a span of a few months.  T h e i r reunions have more  importance  i n the p h y s i c a l a c t i o n of meeting than i n the exchange of  news.  repetition  The  of the s t o r y Mrs.  Xun  tells  of the man  f o l l o w i n g her  i n Peking, and Yuanmei being the only c h a r a c t e r r e a l i z i n g  i t , illustrates  this  could one  fact  ("Yuanmei c o u l d not  them f o r g o t she t o l d before?"  b e l i e v e her e a r s , . . . how  the s t o r y before and  the other f o r g e t  (p. 110)), as w e l l i n the wear and  women, numbing the sharpness  tear l i f e  of t h e i r memory.  has  In a sense  she heard i t taken on one  g e o g r a p h i c a l l y separated due  to the p o l i t i c a l  has a good post i n the i n t e r i o r another woman), and a f t e r t r e n d s and  During war  times  couples  situation  both  story  ("Happy Reunion") c o u l d be the c o n t i n u a t i o n of the other with the of the women not very much changed.  plight  are  (Mrs. X i ' s husband  but does not send her money, and he  the war  the couples are d i v i d e d by new  f o r e d u c a t i o n a l reasons.  (Mr. Wu  of  has  political  i s i n Hong Kong and Yuanmei's  husband i s abroad).  A f t e r the war Hong Kong was abnormally prosperous; because of the Communists, s e n s i t i v e business men had a l s o moved t h e r e . The s e p a r a t i o n due to p o l i t i c s f a c i l i t a t e d many t h i n g s f o r an unharmonious couple wedded i n the t r a d i t i o n a l s t y l e s j u s t l i k e d u r i n g the war i n Chongqing and the occupied a r e a s , ( p . 82)  113  In  fact,  stories:  some c h a r a c t e r s share very s i m i l a r Mrs. Tong  characteristics  t a l k s about anger i n her stomach  i n both  l i k e Mrs. Xun does,  she a l s o had to work hard i n the household of her p a r e n t s - i n - l a w Mrs. Xun; but from the appearance and d i s p o s i t i o n  (as w e l l as presence i n  the  n a r r a t i v e ) i t i s Mrs. X i who resembles Mrs. Xun most.  the  same p o s i t i o n as Mrs. Wu w i t h her husband  has always been the  'ugly'.  same s e n i o r i t y  like  Mrs. X i i s i n  gone, Mrs. Wu l i k e Mrs. Bao  As the daughter of the house, Afang would be i n  rank as Yuanmei, and Mr. Pang would  be e q u i v a l e n t t o  Shaofu i n "Happy Reunion" i n terms of h i s p h y s i c a l presence i n the s t o r y . The p o i n t  i s , however, that  these c h a r a c t e r s a l l have v e r y s i m i l a r  stories  because they are members of the same c u l t u r e and c l a s s and share many of the  same p l i g h t s even though the times and p o l i t i c a l trends have The c o n v e r s a t i o n s  situation topics  i n "Happy Reunion" give an impression of a n a t u r a l  through the breaks and jumps i n t o p i c s .  i n the present  changed.  time are q u i t e few^  than the n a r r a t i v e p a r t s  2 a  n  (  The a c t u a l  conversation  j l e s s important i n meaning  between the spoken words,  and t h e r e f o r e  shorter  Greetings 2. H a i r , household of Mrs. Xun's p a r e n t s - i n - l a w , the f u r n i t u r e i n t h e i r house 3. Mrs. Xun comments on her shoes and the cat of the l a n d l a d y 4. She t a l k s about the time t h e O l d Master d i e d 5. She t a l k s about Shaopu d u r i n g the war 6. She t a l k s about him lending h i s money 7. They t a l k abour Mrs. Xun's c h i l d r e n i n Peking 8. Mrs. Xun says she w i l l not move i n w i t h her son when Shaopu d i e s 9. She t a l k s about the anger i n her stomach 10. She t a l k s about the s i c k n e s s of her sister-in-law 11. Mrs. Wu t a l k s about c h o l e s t e r o l , they t a l k about food 12. Mrs. Wu t a l k s about a sweater she saw f o r Mrs. Xun 13. A l l four t a l k about a movie they saw t o g e t h e r 14. Shaopu t a l k s about Zhou Deging's wife i n Changqing 15. Mrs. Wu asks i f they have a calendar f o r the new year 16. Mrs. Xun and Shaopu t a l k about the food she l e f t f o r him 17. Mrs Xun says she i s w o r r i e d about the dark, somebody f o l l o w e d her i n the dark 18. Mrs. Xun t e l l s the same s t o r y a few months l a t e r .  114  i n t e x t u a l space,  than the r e s t of the n a r r a t i v e .  The present  time can  r e v e a l that Mrs. Xun b r i n g s up most of the new t o p i c s and does most of the t a l k i n g w h i l e Mrs. Wu f o l l o w s and responds. the meaning of t h i s p r e v i o u s l y . words, that i s , the thoughts memories i n c l u d i n g  We have a l r e a d y looked  into  The n a r r a t i v e p a r t s between the spoken  of the c h a r a c t e r s about each other,  their  the c o n v e r s a t i o n s of the past and t h e e l a b o r a t i o n s of d  the n a r r a t o r , b r i n g i n a wider background f o r each c h a r a c t e r so as to e x p l a i n t h e i r present The  situation.  t e x t i s s t r e t c h e d by these n a r r a t i v e p a r t s .  p o s i t i o n e d between an ongoing d i a l o g u e , s e t t i n g much f u r t h e r i n the n a r r a t i v e , thereby although parallels  Sometimes they are  the response  c r e a t i n g a longer n a r r a t i v e - t i m e  the s t o r y - t i m e i s much s h o r t e r .  The r e s u l t  i s many l a y e r e d and  reality.  'That day when Shaofu got h i s s a l a r y Shen Bingru came to borrow money.'  Mrs Wu  The couple c a l l e d the husband of h i s younger s i s t e r by h i s f u l l name. . .  expansion narrator  Yuanmei saw that she had h e s i t a t e d before she spoke, o b v i o u s l y she could not decide whether she could t a l k i n f r o n t of her. . .  Yuanmei's  Mrs. Wu thought i t i n a p p o r p r i a t e to say a n y t h i n g , both women looked at each other and s m i l e d , ( p . 93)  There are three of these  (p. 93, 94, 107).  Xun t a l k s to Mrs.  Mrs.  by the  thoughts  Wu's r e a c t i o n  'talk/thought/talk' situations  each time to b r i d g e over an uncomfortable surprise  to a q u e s t i o n  i n the s t o r y ,  moment of embarrassment or  115  Mrs Wu was a s t o n i s h e d , she asked: 'They c a l l you o l d lady? Who?'  Mrs. Wu asks a question  She  Mrs.  Wu's  past  dialogue  Mrs.  Xun  d i d not  look o l d h e r s e l f ,  The other day Yuanmei had 'Mother. . .'  . . .  teased  her:  'At the market, somebody c a l l e d me o l d l a d y , ' Mrs. Xun s a i d i n a low v o i c e . (p. 107) The  s t o r y ' s content  structure.  As  the foreground  i n these  s i t u a t i o n s has  an i n f l u e n c e on  and  lets  them convey t h e i r own  'talk/thought/talk' situations  the  s i t u a t i o n r a t h e r than  more of  than " W a i t i n g " ,  i n "Waiting"  i n which Mr.  h i m s e l f with the n a r r a t o r s u p p l y i n g  'I admire two Which ones?'  of Mr.  Zhu s 1  when the n a r r a t o r  There i s one  Pang asks the q u e s t i o n and the  having  these  except  s u p p l i e s some i n f o r m a t i o n about the c h a r a c t e r s .  such answers i t  'thought.'  qualities.  Mr. Pang t a l k s to Mrs. Gao  Mr. Pang had the broad y e l l o w face of a l i o n , and a t h i c k neck . . .  Narrator describes Mr. Pang  Mr. Pang a f t e r a l l was a man who had kept h i s p o s i t i o n from before the war, . . .  Narrator elaborates on Mr. Pang's s o c i a l position Mr. Pang continues to t a l k  'Which ones? Ah? No matter how busy he i s , every n i g h t at e i g h t . . .' (p. I l l )  The  answers  the n a r r a t i v e of "Happy Reunion" p l a c e s the c h a r a c t e r s i n  the n a r r a t o r do i t f o r them, t h i s s t o r y has  situation  thoughts  n a r r a t i v e t e x t between the words of Mr.  impression The  of Mr.  dialogues  l o n g e r and  Pang's  Pang's monologue provide  self-importance.  i n "Happy Reunion" are broken by s i l e n c e s g e t t i n g  more awkward toward the end,  while  i n "Waiting"  the  the  116  conversations taking their  are broken by the o u t s i d e events turns to be massaged.  d i s c e r n i b l e parts according  to these  of people  Both s t o r i e s  can be d i v i d e d i n t o  characteristics:  according  to s i l e n c e s and t e x t u a l breaks,  actions.  "Waiting"  a r r i v i n g or  "Waiting"  "Happy Reunion"  acording  to e x t e r n a l  r e v e a l s s i x p a r t s i n a p a t t e r n , a l t e r n a t i n g between  the a c t i o n happening i n s i d e the massage room and o u t s i d e the p a r t i t i o n s w a l l s of the massage room. ( 1 .  Mr. Pang and Mr. Gao i n the massage room)  2. Afang and Mrs. X i t a l k i n the w a i t i n g room Wang Mrs.  3. Mr. Pang massages Mrs.  4. Mrs. Tong, Mrs. Bao and Mrs. X i t a l k i n the w a i t i n g room Bao gone, Mrs. Tong and Mrs. X i continue  the Pang's t a l k , Mrs. X i alone  5.  to t a l k 6. The young man and  i n w a i t i n g room).  The f o u r t h and the f i f t h  p a r t happen o u t s i d e the massage room f o c u s i n g on the p e r s o n a l i t i e s of Mrs.  Tong amd Mrs. X i .  The l a s t  part happens f i r s t  i n s i d e the p a r t i t i o n  w a l l s and then moves o u t s i d e of them and even beyond (the n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the o u t s i d e  world):  The white, wet sky, and the opaque green palm-size leaves of the Chinese p a r a s o l t r e e were o u t s i d e the window. Across the s t r e e t was a row of o l d red b r i c k houses, numerous c l o t h e s were hanging on the b a l c o n i e s to dry i n the a i r , although i t was so humid. A black and white cat went by walking on a r o o f , one could only see i t s b l a c k back with i t s t a i l , i t looked l i k e a snake, s l o w l y u n d u l a t i n g a l o n g . Not long a f t e r , i t appeared again o u t s i d e on the balcony, walking along the r a i l i n g , i t d i d not look to the l e f t or to the r i g h t , i t went slowly by i n i t s own world. O b l i v i o u s to anything e l s e , l i f e passed. ( p . 124)  T h i s suggests  that no matter whether i n s i d e the p a r t i t i o n w a l l s (Mr.  Pang's r e s p e c t a b l e p o s i t i o n ; he i s mentioned to massage people  in official  c i r c l e s ) or o u t s i d e i n the w a i t i n g room and beyond the room, the  117  characters  are  a l l i n the  their suffering.^*  same p o s i t i o n , l i f e goes on,  3  "Happy Reunion" i s broken i n t e r n a l l y by  longer  during  i n d i f f e r e n t to  by moments of s i l e n c e s preceded  n a r r a t i v e passages r e p r e s e n t i n g  these s i l e n c e s .  The  the thoughts of the  breaks are thus c r e a t e d  by  the  characters  prolonged  pauses i n the s t o r y - t i m e ,  d u r i n g which the n a r r a t i v e takes the reader i n t o  the  t h e i r pasts.  characters'  a moment of  minds and  s i l e n c e " (p. 93)  —  These breaks are marked by  second p a r t — a n d  "Mrs.  Wu  "After  broke a  longer  -period of s i l e n c e " (p. 9 8 ) ~ t h i r d part — ,  whereby the  " A f t e r " and  thoughts appearing i n the  prior  "longer  to the  introduce  p e r i o d " stand  statement.  page long The  first  but  (p. 109)  Wu's  past  no. change i n a c t i o n . to the  end  of the  a c t i o n of the  r e p e t i t i o u s actions  before  resuming with the  of the  The  end  of the f i r s t  i n t o the past which are  Cheng, p.  the  third  181.  months forward  part  j o i n s the  two  parts  s t o r y , suggesting,  as mentioned,  characters,  telling  and  and  by  the second p a r t , that  c a l l e d back i n t o the present  statements, each s t a r t with the  3  not  the  eight  present  s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n i n the  f o u r t h p a r t , the d u l l i n g of the o l d e r c h a r a c t e r s The  do  (introducing  second i n d i c a t e s a temporal jump of a few  terms of the  the  The  p. 109  text  the above mentioned temporal statement) ends an  r e t r e a t i n t o Mrs.  that p a s t , part  t e x t u a l breaks on p. 93 and  d r a s t i c changes i n the a c t i o n .  second p a r t , a l s o by  time.  The  f o r the  temporal words  from  fourth  smoothly i n  the  same event i n  minds. i s the by  random thoughts of the  the  longer  retreats  temporal  three women and  end  118  w i t h Mrs. Wu's past or the past s i t u a t i o n seen through her eyes. first  retreat  i n t o the " s i l e n t  by Mrs. Xun t a l k i n g about (p.  The  world" (thoughts and memories) i s set o f f  Shaofu l o s i n g a l l her p i c t u r e s  i n Nanjing  87). The n a r r a t i v e then moves i n t o her mind t h i n k i n g about her  s i t u a t i o n at that time, ("She had brought  the three c h i l d r e n back to  Peking . . ." p. 87), then to Mrs. Wu's mind t h i n k i n g about Mrs. Xun's habit  of o v e r t i p p i n g  ("But when she phoned h e r , . . ." p. 87) and to the  time when Yuanmei went to see Mrs. Xun through Yuanmei's memory ("It was a dark o l d b u i l d i n g " p. 88). Yuanmei then t h i n k s about her own s i t u a t i o n ("She  had never been d i l i g e n t " p. 88) and about her mother i n the past  ("Her  mother had i n i t a l l y  point  the n a r r a t i v e moves i n t o v a r i o u s moments of Mrs. Wu's past through  accompanied  her own memory: the f i r s t abroad  her f a t h e r abroad." p. 89). At t h i s  time she met Mrs. Xun a f t e r she came back from  ( p . 90), she and her husband abroad  ( p . 90) and a few years a f t e r  she r e t u r n e d i n a c o n v e r s a t i o n with Mrs. Xun, and again she and and her husband abroad. narrative in  These  jumps go back and f o r t h u n t i l  r e t u r n s to the present time.  these thoughts happen  the c h a r a c t e r s ' mind at the exact s t o r y - t i m e when they are r e p o r t e d  would be an unreasonable are  To say that  page 93, when the  a l l thinking  claim.  i n a smooth thematic sequence  s i l e n c e , thoughts which  the n a r r a t o r would need  n a r r a t o r ' s presence i s c l e a r l y transitions  felt  that  the c h a r a c t e r s  d u r i n g t h i s period of only to u n v e i l .  i n t h i s passage,  especially  between the thoughts of one c h a r a c t e r to the next.  she had rented at f i r s t transition  I t i s not p o s s i b l e  i n Hong Kong had mice"  between Mrs. Wu's  The i n the ("The room  ( p . 88) • smooth thematic  thoughts about Mrs. Xun and Yuanmei's  119  thoughts about the time she went to v i s i t  Mrs. Xun).  The n a r r a t o r i s ,  however, as we have noted, subordinated  to the presence and thoughts of  the c h a r a c t e r s and t h e r e f o r e the strong  illusion  i s maintained  that the  c h a r a c t e r s are t h i n k i n g , whether i t i s at the v e r y moment of the story-time  or whether the n a r r a t o r catches  c h a r a c t e r s ' minds. the ensuing the  the atmosphere of the  The i l l u s i o n i s maintained  even more s t r o n g l y through  statement " A f t e r a moment of s i l e n c e " as an e x p l a n a t i o n f o r  " s i l e n t " passage.  Yuanmei r e a l l y  The reader,  f o r example, does not know whether  t h i n k s the thoughts during  of the i n d i c a t i v e  the very  s t o r y moment i n s p i t e  t a g s , or i f she thought i t some time i n the p a s t .  Yuanmei was t h i n k i n g t h i s she thought r i g h t  "As  away that she should not." ")  ( p . 88). recorded  The p r e c i s e moment of t h i n k i n g i s l e f t seem l i k e  random a s s o c i a t i o n s (from Zuming, Mrs. Xun's son to  Z i f a n , her husband, her poor academic study reader  out and the thoughts  has the i l l u s i o n Yuanmei t h i n k s these  career  and so on), but the  thoughts and thereby  learns  some i n f o r m a t i o n about h e r . Not  a l l statements of s i l e n c e s i n the s t o r y o v e r l a p with the  characters part).  thoughts (as not a l l statements of s i l e n c e s i n t r o d u c e a new  They do not when no mention of thoughts appear i n the n a r r a t i v e .  These moments are d e s c r i b e d  as "Nobody was speaking"  ( p . 104), "There was  a moment of s i l e n c e " ( p . 104) and "Everybody was s i l e n t  f o r a while"  ( p . 110), at which p o i n t we can assume that the c h a r a c t e r s do not t h i n k , or the n a r r a t o r choses o n l y to h i g h l i g h t the thoughts which are important to  clarify The  the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the c h a r a c t e r s .  v a r i o u s mentions of s i l e n c e s i n the n a r r a t i v e act as s t i l l  points  120  in  the s t o r y f o r switches to new  External factors or  Shaofu's  t o p i c s or pauses  such as the r i n g of the b e l l ,  within a topic.  the a r r i v a l  of the Qipao,  a r r i v a l a f t e r d i n n e r as w e l l as a conscious e f f o r t  c h a r a c t e r to t a l k about  something  change of t o p i c .  are most o f t e n r e l a t e d  These  of the  e l s e , can a c t as breaks to bring about  s i t u a t i o n s , when the p r e v i o u s t o p i c was  a  to the " t a l k / t h o u g h t / t a l k "  uncomfortable.  Mrs. Xun f o r  example i s upset that her husband lends h i s money to a l l sides when they are  not doing w e l l themselves.  ' " I s n ' t he a l r i g h t now  Mrs. Wu  now?' she s a i d  does not know what to say.  laughing.  'Does Zuzhi have a g i r l f r i e n d  or not?' She asked to change the s u b j e c t . "  t o p i c changes are n a t u r a l occurences other news they have not Silences implied  meaning of these pauses  as pauses  are  l e s s obvious i n "Happy Reunion",  the  c h a r a c t e r s ' thoughts immediately a f t e r  c a m e — " (p. 87).  add  the  Such moments  of pauses  f o r example Mrs.  clearer.  it.  d i d not answer at  first,  that time when the Japanese  The pause could imply that Mrs. Xun has a grudge  against Mrs.  Wu  In " W a i t i n g " the meaning of such an i n s t a n c e i s much  In the l a s t  Mr. Pang about  Xun  uncomfortable  Shaofu and wants to get a few t h i n g s o f f her chest, no matter how f e e l s about  occur,  to the more v i s i b l e  "Mrs. Xun  'I hated Shaofu  each  tends to i n d i c a t e  seems to make Mrs. Wu  to defend him.  then s a i d :  in.  the statement  In "Happy Reunion"  complains about Shaofu, a remark which  and  i n the n a r r a t i v e ,  where the n a r r a t o r  than i n " W a i t i n g " , where such pauses might  she paused  rest of the  each other y e t .  the reader has to f i l l  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n by the n a r r a t o r .  The  i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n , to t e l l  (or t h i n k they have not) t o l d  can a l s o be mentioned  and t h e r e f o r e she t r i e s  (p. 94).  a war  part  the young man  f i l m he saw  recently  who  i s being massaged  i n the R u s s i a n Club.  tells Mr. Pang  121  asks him q u e s t i o n s about the young man  to buy  the f i l m , l e t t i n g  tickets  him understand  that he wants  f o r him.  Mr. Pang s a i d : 'Is there r e a l l y such a f i l m ? How much i s f o r each p e r s o n ? The young man s a i d : 'Mr. Pang, i f you want to see i t , I ' l l get you a t i c k e t . ' Mr. Pang d i d not say a n y t h i n g , a f t e r a w h i l e he spoke: 'What time i s i t shown? Is i t shown every day?' The young man s a i d : 'At e i g h t , how many t i c k e t s do you want?' (p.123). it  Without  1  having made a s t r a i g h t  through h i s modest pause Mr. he wants to see the f i l m .  remains  closed  throughout  request because  he i s too  Pang has g i v e n the young man  The  n a r r a t o r having to supply Mr.  forward  reader understands  polite,  the message that .  t h i s without  the  Pang's thoughts; h i s mind from the o u t s e t  the s t o r y thereby makes him a l e s s  sensitive  character. Even though,  as we  have seen, both s t o r i e s "Happy Reunion"  " W a i t i n g " have as t h e i r main a c t i o n a d i a l o g i c the s u r f a c e appear approach* without  quite s i m i l a r ,  In "Happy Reunion"  a narrator  through t h e i r  they d i f f e r  s i t u a t i o n and in their  and  t h e r e f o r e on  narrative  the c h a r a c t e r s stand almost  by  themselves,  commenting on every aspect of t h e i r e x i s t e n c e .  thoughts  that the c h a r a c t e r s r e v e a l themselves,  and  c r e a t e a much more p e r s o n a l (and s u b j e c t i v e ) atmosphere around than the n a r r a t o r i s able to do i n " W a i t i n g " .  In a d d i t i o n , the  switches which make t h i s s t o r y " e x p e r i m e n t a l " i n comparison development of " W a i t i n g " , g i v e the s t o r y the i m p r e s s i o n of  It i s thereby  themselves temporal  to the  linear  living  thoughts, of the mind moving back and f o r t h between memories of d i f f e r e n t times without p l a c i n g  them i n t h e i r s e q u e n t i a l o r d e r .  122  CONCLUSION  Having analyzed "experimental" to p o i n t  the s t r u c t u r e of Zhang A i l i n g ' s  s t o r i e s on the b a s i s of the reader's  to t h e i r  three  modernist,  p a r t i c i p a t i o n , we need  f i n a l meaning and the author's v i s i o n r e f l e c t e d  As we noted i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n to t h i s paper, these three i n c o n t r a s t t o many of her e a r l i e r marriage as t h e i r  c e n t r a l theme.  ones, do not d e a l w i t h Even i n "Lust  i n which the r e l a t i o n s h i p between J i a z h i the  author's v i s i o n of the d e s o l a t e  little  c o n t r o l over t h e i r  struggles  detail  "fictional"  created  way that  environment and the sadness of t h e i r  struggle J i a z h i  inexperience  "love".  the author s k i l l f u l l y  44  an o v e r a l l  "have  pathetic  theme of a l l  undergoes to t r y to tranform her J i a z h i "has  Beneath the s e c r e t i v e atmosphere of the and the c h a r a c t e r s '  presents  thoughts  the two c h a r a c t e r s  i s s t r u c k by the c o n t r a s t  i n such a  between J i a z h i ' s innocence,  and y o u t h f u l z e a l f o r a cause, and the o l d e r , experienced  blase" Mr. Y i who i s w i l l i n g conflict  role,  We have, f o r example, seen i n some  by r e v e a l i n g i n f o r m a t i o n  the reader  a story  (p. 37) and t h e r e f o r e she mistakes the moment of  comfort with Mr. Y i with  selectively,  and A b s t i n e n c e " ,  love r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Mr. Y i i n t o a r e a l one.  never been i n l o v e "  story  love and  r e a l i t y wherein the c h a r a c t e r s  s t o r i e s , i s apparent.  the i n t e r n a l  stories,  and Mr. Y i p l a y s a major  to escape or remake t h e i r w o r l d a s  Zhang A i l i n g ' s  i n them.  to s a c r i f i c e her to secure  his position.  i s between the r o l e she pretends to be and her a c t u a l s e l f :  G u n n , p. 204.  and Her she  123  is  not  as s e x u a l l y experienced as  is  still  i n the growing  she  has  to f e i g n to Mr.  he  s a i d i n a low  breasts  and  Jiazhi and,  female c h a r a c t e r s :  f o r having l o s t  Also  the  her  r e t a r d a t i o n " ^ i n which the 4  the  Mr.  Y i , her  to f e e l  life  "social  author  innocence i n the harsh c o n d i t i o n s  deals  with Roger Empton's " s o c i a l  with a l l h i s sympathy f o r t h i s pity  sheltered  of  not  sides  sorry for of a cause  at such a young  i n "Ashes of Descending Insence, Second B r a z i e r " a s t o r y  surface  greater  reader i s i n c l i n e d  b y both the gang and  sacrificed  age. on  psychological  voice  he d i d  A r e c u r r i n g theme i n Zhang A i l i n g ' s s t o r i e s i s that  w i t h the  actually  process.  "Two years ago they weren't t h i s way" while s t r o k i n g and k i s s i n g her. His head was n e s t l e d c l o s e to her see that she had reddened (p.22).  entrapment and  Y i and  f o r h i s innocent  b y her mother, has  character wife,  Susie  driven  entrapment" the  reader,  to h i s death, f e e l s even  M i t c h e l l , who,  a d i s t o r t e d view of  that  unusually  life.  C u r t i s Adkins mentions i n h i s a n a l y s i s of Zhang A i l i n g ' s short stories  that her  s t o r i e s end  i n an  indetermined  type.  T h i s ambiguity i s not intended to i n c i t e the reader to guess what w i l l happen but i s r a t h e r a f e a t u r e of Miss Chang's p e r e n n i a l p r e p o s i t i o n that l i f e i s dreary and s e l f - r e p e a t i n g . The o n l y p o s s i b l e c o n c l u s i o n i s that n o t h i n g w i l l "happen" to the c h a r a c t e r s i n the s t o r y - they w i l l simply go on l i v i n g as they have been. (pp. 19-20)  In the  first  of the  s t o r y "Jasmine t e a " ends i n a way  45  chapter of my  G u n n , p.  201.  paper I noted  t h a t , f o r example, the that would support such  structure an  124  interpretation:  the l a s t  statement of the n a r r a t i v e and the absence of  the n a r r a t o r ' s independent v o i c e to c l o s e o f f the s t o r y convey the idea of Chuanqing's l o n e l i n e s s i n a l i f e events to improve h i s e x i s t e n c e . the three experimental  that w i l l continue  two p a r t s w i l l  l i n e a r and the anachronic dreary  uneventful  women spend t h e i r e x i s t e n c e s  other  chapter  of the c h a r a c t e r s . or a f t e r  t h e i r w a i t i n g f o r something to happen.  the themes of the  We noted that the women's  One gets  the sense that  conversations  vivid  that have no  and t h e i r  makes the u n e x c i t i n g l i v e s  by i n t e r s p e r s i n g the c h a r a c t e r s ' thoughts ( i d e n t i f i e d  exchanges.  their  the women t a l k at cross purposes, i n "Happy  The s t o r y ' s technique  increasingly  these  that somebody shares  Reunion" the only s o l a c e the two women have i s each other memories.  similar i n  i n p e r p e t u a l w a i t i n g f o r t h e i r husbands while  f u n c t i o n than g i v i n g them the i l l u s i o n In "Waiting"  that  of t h i s paper, that i s the  the war, were very  to ease t h e i r pain and boredom w i t h  sorrows.  anything  never come to the s u r f a c e .  i n the l a s t  l i v e s , no matter whether during  trying  from above) w h i l e  s t o r y , very much support  existence  continue i n  and the f o u r t h p a r t of the n a r r a t i v e  (Mahjiang games, Mr. Y i w a i t i n g f o r orders  Both s t o r i e s d i s c u s s e d  any major  We can a l s o assume that i n the f i r s t of  s t o r i e s Mr. and Mrs. Y i ' s l i v e s w i l l  the manner r e l a t e d i n the f i r s t  happened between these  without  longer moments of s i l e n c e s ) w i t h  apparently  of these women as the  meaningless  A l s o the r e p e t i t i o n of Mrs. Xun's s t o r y i n the l a s t part of  the s t o r y b r i n g s home the message of the two women's dazed minds a f t e r a life  that perhaps had no other  exemplified  f u n c t i o n than t o bear a few c h i l d r e n .  by t h e c h a r a c t e r Yuanmei, the l i v e s of the women of the  As  125  younger g e n e r a t i o n i n Zhang A i l i n g ' s world do not look much b e t t e r . may  have the chance to choose  reality  they l i v e  They  t h e i r own husbands, but i n a meaningless  the same drab l i v e s  as t h e i r mothers:  just  l i k e the  other two women Yuanmei i s w a i t i n g f o r her husband to r e t u r n .  As we  noted, her r o l e i n the s t o r y i s to p r o v i d e an o u t s i d e p e r s p e c t i v e to that of the two o l d e r women, but her way of t h i n k i n g theirs.  i s not much d i f f e r e n t  from  She accentuates the sad e x i s t e n c e s of the o l d e r women by n o t i c i n g  t h e i r d u l l e d minds but does not o f f e r any "hope" f o r the new g e n e r a t i o n by the f a c t  that she i s so s i m i l a r  The  relationship  to them.  of the two women i n "Happy Reunion"  a case of "innocent homosexuality"  because  i s compared to  they "had no chance...to  fall  i n l o v e w i t h a person of the o p p o s i t e sex, t h e r e f o r e the f e e l i n g was deeper  and longer l a s t i n g "  looking  (pp. 98-99).  Zhang A i l i n g  i n p a r t i c u l a r at the women's s i t u a t i o n  existence  thus seems to be  i n Chinese  s o c i e t y whose  i s a c o n t i n u a t i o n of w a i t i n g to get married and who, a f t e r being  m a r r i e d , are separated from ( " s e p a r a t i o n due to p o l i t i c s  t h e i r husbands e i t h e r f o r p o l i t i c a l facilitated  reasons  many t h i n g s f o r unharmonious  couples wedded i n the o l d s t y l e " p. 82) or because  these have run o f f with  another woman.  of t h e i r own, the  wives  Having mostly no marketable  e i t h e r t r y to f i g h t  skills  to m a i n t a i n t h e i r primary p o s i t i o n  i n the  marriage —  Mrs. X i —  o r have r e s i g n e d to a c c e p t i n g the secondary  position —  Mrs. Wu —  while l i v i n g  may  return.  was  not w i l l i n g  i n the v a i n hope that t h e i r husbands  ( " A c t u a l l y she c o u l d have s a i d : t o admit  'Come l i v e with me.'  But she  that her man would not come back" p . 95).  126  The f r i e n d s h i p of the two women i s overshadowed  by Mrs. Xun's  unspoken but ever present awareness that her husband Shaopu has a s p e c i a l liking  f o r Mrs. Wu because she i s b e t t e r educated than h e r s e l f .  knew that he was i n no haste to r e t u r n .  "Mrs. Xun  He had always admired Mrs. Wu"  (p. 101). While Mrs. Wu and Shaopu now dominate the c o n v e r s a t i o n , her a t t i t u d e changes to one of " o r d i n a r y s o c i a l  intercourse"  Xun i s not separated from her husband but l i k e  so many of Zhang  c h a r a c t e r s she c o e x i s t s with her husband i n a s t a l e both p a r t n e r s are a l i e n a t e d While Zhang A i l i n g  it  Ailing's  relationship  i n which  from each o t h e r .  r e v e a l s i n her s t o r i e s p a r t i c u l a r  women's l o t , she i s not b l i n d arranged marriages j u s t  ( p . 103). Mrs.  to the f a c t  pity  f o r the  that the men are thrown i n t o the  as the women a r e .  She a l s o shows, however,  that  i s s o c i a l l y more a c c e p t a b l e f o r men to disappear with another woman or  have an a f f a i r ,  l e a v i n g t h e i r wives behind.  Even Mrs. Wu's education does  not help her very much, i n her i l l m a t c h e d marriage her husband complains that he i s "dragging around an ugly wife who i s a bad housewife and not good at s o c i a l i z i n g " usually  (pp. 9 1 - 9 2 ) .  The husbands' boredom w i t h  l e s s educated wives and the w i v e s ' e f f o r t s  these r e l a t i o n s h i p s e s p e c i a l l y p a i n f u l  to w i t n e s s .  their  to c a t e r t o them make "But when Mrs. Xun saw  t h a t her husband was t e l l i n g a j o k e , she would always laugh, and i f she d i d not understand i t ,  she would laugh even more" (p. 101). This  p a r t i c u l a r passage i s very s i m i l a r to the ending of Zhang A i l i n g ' s  earlier  s t o r y "Happy Matrimony" which d e a l s with the c o n t r a s t of such a s t a l e relationship  i n the background of the busy p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r and the a c t u a l  wedding ceremony  of a younger c o u p l e , a marriage which the reader knows i s  127  doomed from the beginning. not understand she  laughed  i n Chinese  The s t o r y ends with the comment "Mrs. Lou d i d  c l e a r l y what he had s a i d , but she knew he had made a j o k e ;  the l o u d e s t . I n  her c l o s e look at the women's s i t u a t i o n  s o c i e t y , Zhang A i l i n g , however, does not e x h i b i t the  r e v o l u t i o n a r y ardour  of a f e m i n i s t w r i t e r .  sees  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of r e a l i t y  i n her a r t i s t i c  making the reader experience I called  stories.  I analyzed  from a humanist p e r s p e c t i v e  i n t h i s paper  While there are i n t h i s  men), over  s t o r y again i n d i c a t i o n s  and chased by  the s t r u c t u r e , that i s the s t o r y ' s form, seems to take  attractiveness temporal almost  and i s what c o n s t i t u t e s , at l e a s t  of the s t o r y .  of the  and a look at a woman's  (Luozhen i s a young woman r e p e a t e d l y h a r r a s s e d  the content,  earlier  only the second one s p e c i f i c a l l y an  c h a r a c t e r s ' r a t h e r dreary and meaningless l i v e s , situation  "experimental"  n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e from Zhang A i l i n g ' s  The author, however, c a l l e d  experiment.  she records what she  the sadness of the women's p l i g h t .  the three s t o r i e s  because of t h e i r d i f f e r i n g  Rather  precedence  f o r t h i s reader, the  The l o o s e l y s t r u c t u r e d n a r r a t i v e , the  segments i n t h e i r new c h r o n o l o g i c a l arrangement which could  be r e s h u f f l e d  to f i t i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l  hand to represent Louzhen's thoughts  order, f u n c t i o n on the one  as they d r i f t  the present of her immediate surrounding  back and f o r t h between  and the past i n her mind, and on  the other hand to t e l l us something about her p e r s o n a l i t y .  The loose  s t r u c t u r e gives a p a l p a b l e sense of Luozhen's r e l a x e d journey on the  46  Z h a n g , The C o l l e c t e d S t o r i e s , p . 56.  128  boat (we could represent  her thoughts " f l o a t i n g  block-like mind.  imagine the "Flowers and P i s t e l s " of the s t o r y ' s t i t l e to  time segments could  The order  on the waves") while  the almost  show the more i n f l e x i b l e  of her thoughts and t h e i r  content  aspect  clean  of her  r e v e a l an average  modern young woman who, not d i f f e r e n t  from other  is  s t o r i e s between men and women (she  concerned w i t h  the everyday l i t t l e  wonders how Mr. and Mrs. Kali's unsuccessful  L i met, she knows e v e r y t h i n g  characters,  about Mr. and Mrs.  marriage).  In sum, what Zhang A i l i n g new  Zhang A i l i n g  has i n t r o d u c e d  i n these three  stories i s a  n a r r a t i v e approach to convey the same v i s i o n of the world as i n her  earlier  stories.  r e v e a l that  The d i f f e r e n t  narrative style  could have been i d e n t i f i e d " i r o n i c mode and s a t i r i c  stories.  i n the  Whereas p r e v i o u s l y she  as a sad humanist with a sense of humour, the  tone" that formerly  "expressed views on modern s o c i e t y with 4 7  perhaps i n a d d i t i o n  the author had an even more p e s s i m i s t i c view of l i f e  1950s than when she wrote her e a r l i e r  criticism"  could  so c l e a r l y  r e f l e c t e d her  subtle yet penetrating  social  has changed to a tone that appears more s e r i o u s and more  matter-of-fact  i n presenting  the c h a r a c t e r s ' s u b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y .  language i s l e s s w i t t y and t h e imagery she uses " l e s s l a v i s h . " works by other modernist w r i t e r s , these t h r e e to the reader's  will  s t o r i e s present  to interpretative s y n t h e s i s "  4 7  A d k i n s , p. 19,  4 8  Hsia,  49  A u e r b a c h , Mimesis, p. 549  A H i s t o r y , p. 417.  4 9  4 8  Her As i n  a "challenge  i n creating a r e a l i t y  129  t h a t appears broader i n scope and temporal order  and  by changing  i n c o r p o r a t i n g numerous seemingly u n r e l a t e d  i n t o the n a r r a t i v e .  Whereas the f i r s t  " t i g h t l y - k n i t " as her p r e v i o u s symbols and  c l o s e r to a c t u a l l i f e  two  anachronies point  s t o r i e s seem a i m l e s s ,  elements  stories s t i l l  s t o r i e s i n that the use  the newly i n t r o d u c e d  the s t o r y , the other  of the three  seems as  of imagery  to the  final  as d r i f t i n g  as  the  and  theme of  their  characters. It  appears i n d i c a t i v e that Zhang A i l i n g wrote t h i s  s t o r y a f t e r the  change of government to Communism i n 1949  move to Hong Kong i n 1952. Rice-sprout published  life  i n 1954,  three  one  are  regime and  Love i n Redland  (  s t u d i e s of l i f e under the are only  specifically  could  "Communist  a few  "Flowers and  5 0  Hsia,  i n the f i r s t  A H i s t o r y , p.  tyranny."5®  s p e c i f i c comments  and  l o n e l i n e s s permeating a l l  be a t t r i b u t e d to the author's view of  Pistels"  Abstinence"  climate  the brink of  the  c l e a r l y a f t e r the change of  i s set i n pre-Communist  of a l i e n a t i o n with  s t o r y are separated  427  on  third  to her view of a changed i n t e r p e r s o n a l  thematic s i m i l a r i t y  characters  The  ), both  second than i n the  i t s s i m i l a r n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e to the other  underlying  a f t e r her  "fr-frhl  "Happy Reunion" seems to be set on  Although "Lust  and  short  produced from then on,  government (more so i n the  Communist take-over and  (all  she  senses the c h a r a c t e r s ' i m p l i c i t  regime.  government.  novels  ) and  s t o r i e s , an element that  within this  but  The  short s t o r i e s there  under the new  s t o r y ) , but  the  (j&jijj?^  Song  In the present  type of  two  China,  s t o r i e s and i t s  the other  two  stories  from each other;  Luozhen  130  in  the second s t o r y  is in flight  of men and Communism; a l l four  i n "Happy Reunion" are l o n e l y and only the  l o o s e l y connected) could  author's more p e s s i m i s t i c view of the world at that  time.  characters reflect  131  BIBLIOGRAPHY Adkins, C u r t i s , Peter. "The Short S t o r i e s of Chang A i - l i n g , a L i t e r a r y Analysis." Unpublished M.A. Thesis. U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley, 1972. Auerbach, E r i c h . Mimesis: The R e p r e s e n t a t i o n of R e a l i t y i n Western Literature. T r a n s l . W i l l a r d R. T r a s k . P r i n c e t o n : Princeton University Press, 1974. Bohlmeyer, J a n i n e . " E i l e e n Chang's B r i d g e s to China." No. 1 ( A p r i l 1974): 111-128. Booth, Wayne C. The R h e t o r i c Chicago P r e s s , 1975.  of F i c t i o n .  Chicago: The  5,  Tamkang Review,  University  of  Brown, C a r o l y n Thomson. " E i l e e n Chang's Red Rose and White Rose: A T r a n s l a t i o n and A f t e r w o r d . " Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Washington, D.C: American U n i v e r s i t y , . 1978. Chatman, Seymour. Story and D i s c o u r s e : N a r r a t i v e S t r u c t u r e Film. Ithaca: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1978.  in Fiction  and  Chen, B i n g l i a n . "You Guan Zhang A i l i n g Lunzhe Z h i j i a n Shumu" ["A l i s t of books and a r t i c l e s d i s c u s s i n g Zhang A i l i n g ' s work."] In Chen, B i n g l i a n g , Zhang A i l i n g Duanpian Xiaoshuo L u n j i [ C o l l e c t i o n of D i s c u s s i o n s on Chang A i l i n g ' s Short S t o r i e s . ] T a i p e i : Yuan J i n g , 1983. Cheng, Stephen. "Themes and Techniques i n E i l e e n Chang's S t o r i e s . " Tamkang Review, 8, No. 2 (October 1977): 169-200. E d e l , Leon. 1966. F o r s t e r , E.M. Company,  The  Psychological  Novel: 1900-1950.  Aspects of the N o v e l . 1927.  Genette, G e r a r d . N a r r a t i v e T r a n s . Jane & L e u r i a .  New  New  York, H a s k e l l House,  York: H a r c o u r t , Brace  and  D i s c o u r s e : An Essay i n Method. [Figures I t h a c a : C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1980.  Gunn, Edward. Unwelcome Muse: Chinese L i t e r a t u r e i n Shanghai and 1937-1945. New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1980. New  III.]  Peking,  Hsia,  C.T. A H i s t o r y of Modern Chinese F i c t i o n . University Press, 1971.  Haven: Yale  Hsia,  C.T. P r e f a c e to Shui J i n g ' s Zhang A i l i n g de Xiao-shuo Yishu [The A r t of Zhang A i l i n g ' s F i c t i o n . ] T a i p e i : Da D i P u b l i s h i n g 1975, 3-10.  Inc.,  132  Kao, Hsin-sheng C. "The Shaping of L i f e : S t r u c t u r e as N a r r a t i v e Process i n E i l e e n Chang's The Rouge of the North." In Women W r i t e r s of 20th-century China. Ed. Angela Jung P a l a n d r i . U n i v e r s i t y of Oregon P r e s s , 1982. Lau, Joseph, S.M., H s i a , C.T. and Leo, Ou-Fan Lee, eds. Modern Chinese S t o r i e s and N o v e l l a s 1919-1949. New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1981. Lin, Peifen. "Zhang A i l i n g Y a n j i u " ["Research on Zhang A i l i n g . " ] Zhonghua Wenyi, 12, No. 2 ( J u l y 1976), 34-60. Lubbock, P e r c y .  The C r a f t o f F i c t i o n .  London: Jonathan Cape, 1957.  M i l l e r , L u c i e n , and Chang, Hui-chuan. " F i c t i o n and Autobiography: S p a t i a l Form i n The Golden Cangue and The Woman W a r r i o r . " Tamkang Review, 15 ( 1 - 4 ) : 75-96. S c h o l e s , Robert and K e l l o g , Robert. Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966.  The Nature of N a r r a t i v e .  New York:  S c i b a n , Shu-ning. " E i l e e n Chang's Love i n the F a l l e n C i t y : T r a n s l a t i o n and A n a l y s i s . " Unpublished M.A. T h e s i s . U n i v e r s i t y of A l b e r t a , Edmonton, 1985. Shui, J i n g . Pao Z h u a n j i [Comments f o r the Beginning of a D i s c u s s i o n . ] T a i p e i : San Min Shuju, 1969. Shui, J i n g . Zhang A i l i n g de Xiaoshuo Y i s h u [The A r t of Zhang Fiction.] T a i p e i : Da D i P u b l i s h i n g I n c . , 1975. Tang, Wenbiao, e d . Zhang A i l i n g Juan [On Zhang A i l i n g . ] J i n g P u b l i s h i n g I n c . , 1983.  Ailing's  Taipei:  Lian  Tang, Wenbiao, ed. Zhang A i l i n g Y a n j i u [Research on Zhang A i l i n g . ] T a i p e i : L i a n J i n g P u b l i s h i n g I n c . , 1983. Wellek, Rene and Warren, A u s t i n . Theory of L i t e r a t u r e . 3rd ed. Diego: Harcourt Brace J o v a n o v i c h , P u b l i s h e r s , 1977. Xun, Yu. "Lun Zhang A i l i n g de Xiaoshuo" ["On Zhang A i l i n g ' s Wan X i a n g , 3, No. 11 (May 1944). Zhang, A i l i n g . " S t a l e Mates." 1956): 34-38.  San  Fiction."]  The R e p o r t e r , 15, No. 4 (September 20,  Zhang, A i l i n g . Zhang A i l i n g X i a o s h u o j i [The C o l l e c t e d S t o r i e s of Zhang Ailing.] T a i p e i : Huang Guan P u b l i s h i n g I n c . , 1968. Zhang, A i l i n g . Zhang kan [Zhang's Outlook.] P u b l i s h i n g I n c . , 1976. Zhang, A i l i n g . Wangranji [Sense o f L o s s. ] I n c . , 1983.  T a i p e i : Huang Guan  T a i p e i : Huang Guan P u b l i s h i n g  133  GLOSSARY  'Ashes of Descending  » $ j ^  Incense, Second B r a z i e r "  }iLi"%  -$X^!t  "Ashes of Descending  r\j%fo ^  f^J^r"  Clementine  vfy ? f ^ 6  Dolinda Millicent  %  Mrs. M i t c h e l l Roger Empton  ^  ^  ^  /  ^  I j ^ ' f ^ ^ ' "6  Susie M i t c h e l l ^  i g ^ ^ ^ E ,  "Flowers and P i s t i l s  i n the F l o a t i n g Waves'  Adrian  Miss Solomon  Fanny 5&tf>0  Mr. K a l i  Li  Chaxun  Mrs. K a l i  w^*  Li  F a n g l i n J^^f  Mrs. N i u  ^  Luohu  jj^  £$^t?  George ^ Weilong  Incense, F i r s t B r a z i e r "  H <£fl  Luozhen Miss Fan  JR.  Shichen Shihe  ft[  ^ ^  *^  ^y^^y  134  "Happy Reunion"  Miss Wan  J^L^K-^  Zhou Deqing ^ 1 4 ^  Mr. Wu Yj^utt  Z i f a n  Mrs.  Zuming ^ f j ,  Wu  ££$f  Shaofu  Zutai  Shen B i n g r u  5 r3|  3*££> ^  Zuzhi  «r4z  ^g£,  Yuanmei  "Jasmine Tea"  Feng B i l u o Nie Chuanqing Yan Danzhu Yan Z i y e  ^•^  >  ^  "Lust and A b s t i n e n c e "  Huang L e i | f Jiazhi  -"{^L^L  Lai Xiujin  ^.  Mrs.  Ma  Mrs.  Mai  ^  Mrs. Y i ^"^r  L i a n g Runsheng  P i n g An Theatre  Mr. Y i  Wang Jingwei ^ , ^ ^ f  Mrs.  Liao ^  ^  Zhou F o h a i  135  "Red and Wh i t e Roses  Chenbao  ^J^A^^  "So Much Hate"  Old Mr. Yu  Ay  "Ife/fc^  X i a Zongyu  ^Bj  Yu J i a y i n  |  "The Golden Cangue"  Cao Q i q i a o ^  ^  Changan  "Waiting'  _aL  Afang  Mr. Gao Mrs.  %%J $i  >  Bao  Mr. Pang Mrs. Pang Mrs . Tong ^ Mrs. Wang Mrs. X i  j j ^ * ^"^C  

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