论哈金《等待》中的女性悲剧Women’s Tragedy in Hajin’s Waiting文献综述
Waiting, as Ha Jin#8217;s second novel, describes a story about waiting that lasts for 18 years among three persons: Lin Kong, Shuyu Liu and Manna Wu.
At the beginning of the novel, Ha jin told the 17th time that Lin Kong attempted to divorce Shuyu, but still failed. As an officer of the army hospital in Muji, Lin Kong had a twelve-day leave every summer when he could return to Goose Village to see his wife and daughter. However, he would put forward the divorce since 1968 because he fell in love with another woman in the hospital, Manna Wu who was a nurse. Every time his wife Shuyu would go back on her word at the courthouse for she still loved Lin Kong. Time and time again, Lin Kong and Manna became desperate, only to wait the 18th year. There was a regulation in the hospital saying that if an officer had been separated with his wife for 18 years, ha could ask for a divorce whether his wife was agreed. Nevertheless, after Lin Kong and Manan got married eventually, their marriage was not as the same as what they expected. They were mentally and physically exhausted by various problems in daily life. And Shuyu, the kind-hearted rural woman, began her new life with her daughter Hua in the city.
In the story Waiting, the most two important women are Manna and Shuyu, who are very different persons. However, they have their own tragedies because of Lin Kong. After 18 years#8217; waiting, Manna gets an unhappy marriage and serious heart disease. While Shuyu, she still waits Lin Kong even they have divorced. The two pitiful women are so lamentable. Their life is bound to be a tragedy.
In Waiting, Ha jin reveals tragedies of two very different women in New China. Manna represents ”New Woman” who is knowledgeable and open-minded, while Shuyu is a traditional Chinese woman whose whole life revolves around her husband and child.
Since the novel is published, it has caused great attentions both at home and abroad. What those scholars concern is not only the context itself, but also the deeper meaning Ha Jin wants to express. Some of them show great interest in the two female characters: Manna and Shuyu. They focus on digging out the two women#8217;s tragedies so as to understand the novel thoroughly.
From the perspective of Liu Zengmei (2010), as a representative of many Chinese-American writers, Ha Jin wrote his novels in English which was absolutely not his first language to keep him alive in the American literary world. As a professor in the university, he had to create new works constantly to keep his status. Publish or perish, the living rule was a great test for all Chinese-American writers. However, due to his knowledge of two languages, he could mix them to recreation. Just as we could see in Waiting, he expressed many things with synthetic language and has unexpected effects. No doubt he created a new language.
Jiang Xun (2010), holding the similar idea with Liu Zengmei, who discussed the difficulties these immigrant writers would face when they created in English. He even called English the ”Acquisition Language”. To such Chinese-American writers, they needed to make much more efforts to get identified.
According to Wei Kaiqiong (2004), the core concept of modern feminism was gender. The core of feminism in different period also changed. In the period which was described in Waiting, the content of feminism was women#8217;s liberation. The basic meaning included women getting rid of men#8217;s control and getting spiritual and material freedom. Shuyu, a typical product of the male-dominated society, She never thought about what she really wanted in her life. She just followed her husband. The only thing she disobeyed her husband was refusing the divorce. Her miserable fate seemed to be destined in the background of New China. In contrast, Manna represented the new female who was deeply influenced by feminism. But she was not entirely affected. We could still see some traditional qualities Chinese women held. The conflicts between two ideologies made her cannot liberate her fully and caused her tragedy.
Some scholars analyzed the theme of the novel with the idea of Orientalism. In their opinion, Ha Jin#8217;s success lied in his application of Orientalism, which was to defame China in some extent and to satisfy most westerners#8217; imagination of china. Some Chinese critics said in the novel Waiting, Ha Jin exaggerated his writing of Chinese society during the period of Cultural Revolution which would deepen westerners#8217; prejudice against the Orient#8217;s ideology. However, there were many scholars doubting the objectivity of making comments on Waiting in the angle of Orientalism. They stated that only in the condition of multi-culture, the Orientalism had its meaning. Such an analysis is acceptable and people can make deeper discussion.