Relistic Package Essay, Research Paper
Through the reading of background historical information and the novel of the same time period, one can see that literature is the reflection of the time period about which it was written. Historical data and fictitious characters are woven together to produce a realistic result.
During the Cultural Revolution, the traditional attitude about educating woman changed as shown through Chinese history and as written by Bette Boa Lord in Spring Moon. Pre-cultural revolution, women were not allowed to be educated. After the revolution, more and more woman were being educated and getting jobs. We see this through the character?s actions in Spring Moon, and in real Chinese experiences.
Spring Moon, a fictitious character in the novel of her name, desperately wanted to study; however if she were educated it might course many problems.
?All at once, he knew the answer. ? Spring Moon?? she looked up. ?How would you like to read and write??
?Could I?? ?
?But all the boys would laugh at me and the tutor would resign again.? ?
?What will grandmother say??? (Lord, page78)
In this discussion between Bold Talent and Spring Moon we see the consequences females might undergo from being educated. Spring Moon was afraid of what her family might say, what boys would laugh at her, and of the teacher would resign because he wouldn?t teach a girl. All these problems just from teaching a human to read and write. However most females were not afraid of the consequences they might suffer.
? ?At last I decided to starve myself in bed.? ?
?Tell me what is the matter? she persisted.
?I want?I want to study!? I said it at last.? (Wall Bingham & Hill Gross, page20)
This woman who lived during the pre-cultural revolution time period wanted to study so bad and the only way she knew how to convey this desire to her parents was to attempt suicide. Not only did this cause problems for the educated female, it also caused problems for her family.
? ?What is the use of daughter learning a lot of drivel? You know that a girl can?t support herself.? His voice was rising.
?Besides, it would give me a terribly bad name.?? (Wall Bingham & Hill Gross, page20)
A father during the pre-cultural revolution has the same feeling as Spring Moon?s grandmother. Bette Bao Lord writes:
?The family was scandalized of course.
?Too much learning for a girl is dangerous and spoils her chances for a good marriage. Educated ones are malcontents who disturb the virtues of the household.?? (Lord, page79)
The family of a girl during this time feared that she would not be able to marry if she were educated. Again, these fears are shown by evidence of real people of this time and through the words of a 20th century novelist.
However after the Cultural Revolution, ideas about educating woman changed and fears were subsided. Spring Moon; an educated woman herself, got married to a man who respected her and her intellect. Their daughter, Lustrous Jade, was educated also.
?In the six years since than, she [Lustrous Jade] had learned quickly the harsh dialect of the Hunan and had thrived as a circuit teacher-organizer?? (Lord, page485)
Real Chinese women, just like the fictitious Lustrous Jade in Spring Moon, also were educated and had their own jobs.
?woman were educated as well as men in the ninetieth century, woman began to do all sorts of things. ?they became doctors and nurses, teachers and scientists, and went into business and government.? (Seeger, pages 343&360)
The fears of Chinese families had finally diminished. Woman real and fictional, were educated, had professions and a husband with a family. The historical data and fictitious characters in Spring Moon have been woven together to produce more realistic thoughts about educating women, pre and post revolution.
Lord, Bette Bao. Spring Moon. New York, New York:
Harper Collins Publishers, 1981
Seeger, Elizabeth. Pageants of Chinese History. New York:
David McKay Co. Inc., 1962
Wall Bingham, Marjory & Hill Gross, Susan. Woman in Modern China. Hudson, Wisconsin: Gary E. McCoen Publications Inc., 1980