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Written by Aleksei Marchyn
The women’s annual comedy of “going abroad”
Women in twentieth-century China almost have no rights. They are “permitted to travel freely in public” only once in a year. They feast their “curious eyes on sleepy streets”. If the compound they live in is their own country, everything that lies behind is considered to be “abroad”. Indeed, that is rather narrow and dull world to live in.
Chueh-hui often claims that his Big Brother is “spineless” and “weak”. He believes that almost all members of his family are the biggest hypocrites, who are unable to fight for the ideas they believe in. Chueh-hui says that his brother supports “the old patriarchal family system” instead of opposing. The irony here is that Chueh-hui himself is full of contradictions and doesn’t always stick to his words.
Love and understanding
Cousin Mei believes that her life is “finished”. It is not only because of her unfortunate love for Big Brother, their forced separation and a quick and unhappy marriage with a man she has never even heard about. One of her biggest problem is that her mother doesn’t think of her “as a person”. The irony is that her mother loves her, but the old way of thinking prevents her from understanding her daughter.
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