A Comparison of Modern Chinese Writers

Write an essay in which you discuss and compare the subject mater, themes, and literary styles of the works of three modern Chinese writers. Please choose your writers from under: Ding Ling, Wang Ruowang, Ba Jin, Yu Hua, Gao Xinjian, Mo Yan. Avoid simple generalizations. Please refer to specific elements and details of the stories or poems such as characters, plot, development, ending, narrative perspective, irony, metaphor, ambiguity, and so on. Feel free to do some research and consult additional sources beyond the textbook. Please always indicate and cite your sources. The paper fulfills in part your writing requirement. Your writing is expected to reflect college-level competence in form and content. Relevant aspects of writing will be looked at as usual: coherence, organization, argument, elegance, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and so on. PLEASE have an INTROUDUCTION paragraph at beginning of the essay.


New era Chinese literature is carved out within a social-historical frame of reference that is mainly redefined by historical and theoretical problems of ‘modernism’ as a cultural-historical movement. To analyze Chinese literature, one has to view the material from a literary, historical sensibility that is compatible to the subject matter and within an appropriate critical framework. Modernist Chinese literature rose as an offspring of post-Mao intellectual elitism, and sought to provide and aesthetic and discursive institution beyond the politically inflamed structure of the Republic of China. It is important to note that while discussions of ‘modernism’ in critical theoretic studies of Chinese literature have surfaced relatively recently, the birth of modernism in China occurred a while back. For instance, the New Sensation School of writers (Xin ganjuepai) emerged in the early 1920s. Their style is characterized by features similar to surrealism, expressionism, and futurism. In this discussion, I will evaluate various literary styles employed by modernist Chinese writers during the 20th century. My research will focus on the literary works of Ba Jin (1904-2005), Gao Xingjian (1940- present), and Wang Ruowang (1918-2001).

One of the greatest drivers of modernist literature in China was the social transformation that took place. The socialist regime was a power exercised with strict adherence to party doctrines and imposed a narrow emphasis on the credible depiction of external events. As a result, some Chinese writers suffered from impeded creativity and stagnation of the arts. However, some writers such as Gao Xingjian were fortunate to escape and avoid this phenomenon. From a young age, Xingjian could explore and experience a foreign culture, owe to his father’s position as a diplomat. Xingjian’s art was manifested in both French and Chinese languages. Wang Ruowang, on the other hand, is a member of the Communist Party of China, and a high-ranking government official. His literary style revolves around the administration and the political upheaval that took place in China during the twentieth century. The writer provides thought-provoking insights about various subjects that occurred in the country. His position is that of a government critic, overseer, fighter, and ultimately, a hero. As a writer, Ba Jin takes the position of an activist. This paper will evaluate different perspectives of modernist literature in China, from the standpoint of an outsider (Gao Xingjian) and writers who were in the country during the period…

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