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    ”A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” by Yiyun Li Sample Essay

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    In A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Yiyun Li depicted many different lives of the people in last decade’s China. still under the reign of Communism. With Communism. comes Capitalism. two contradictory political systems. one time threatened the universe of a atomic World War. The clang of communism and capitalist economy was finely presented in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. as the freshly liberated modern China and its people were greatly influenced by the West. Throughout Yiyun Li’s aggregation of short narratives. Capitalism was invariably mentioned and presented. a changeless factor that influences all the character’s life and picks. The two most common subjects in the narratives that associate to Capitalism are in-migration and freedom. In Princess of Nebraska. Sasha immigrates to America in chase of a better life. In Son. Han immigrated to America to get away China’s communism regulations. Mr. Shi follows his girl to America and discovers the joy of America’s in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. In all these instances. freedom has become a symbol for America. a state of Capitalism. What all the characters have in common is the wish to pursuit freedom. the American dream.

    Mr. Shi and Madame from the rubric narrative. both from an oppressive state. invariably reference. “America is a good country” . Mr. Shi undergoes the alteration from being a adult male disgraced of his occupation. restricted from speaking about his occupation and concealing secretivenesss from his household. to “A new individual. a projectile scientist. a good conversationist. a loving male parent. a happy adult male. ” Mr. Shi’s daughter provinces likewise. “If you grew up in a linguistic communication chapeau you ne’er used to show your feelings. it would be easier to take up another linguistic communication and speak more in the new linguistic communication. It makes you a new individual. ” Both Mr. Shi and his girl feel that America has given them a new individuality. because it has given them the freedom to go what they want to. Likewise. in the narrative Princess of Nebraska. Sasha and Boshen both immigrate to America for a new life. It symbolized a new beginning for them. In the suppressive China. Boshen was persecuted as a cheery militant and Sasha’s female parent had limited freedom every bit could non travel back to Beijing. Sasha therefore leaves behind her old Chinese life and puts all her religion in “moving on”—and comes to the same decision Mr. Shi and Madame had. “America is a good topographic point. Everything could go on at that place. ” Capitalism’s freedom gave them a opportunity to get down a new life.

    In a similar manner. Han from Son. besides homosexual. immigrates to America to get away the Communism regulations and prosecute the American dream. In general. Capitalism is presented as a symbol of freedom and flight in these narratives. Aside from in-migration. the influence of Capitalism in China is besides shown. After A Life efficaciously demonstrates how in some countries Capitalism stands side by side with Communism. The supporter of the narrative. Mr. Su’s invests in the stock market. which is a Capitalist facet in economic system. The stock securities firm is rented from a “bankrupted province tally factory” . giving the image of Capitalism literally replacing Communism. “Thousands of grains make a tower. together their investings do mills run” employs the Capitalist stock investing in a Communism construct. Mr. Su. although believes himself to be smarter than the others. does non do money any longer than the old ladies do. In this instance Capitalism is non depicted really positively. “with about everyone in the state traveling brainsick about money. and money entirely. it was rare to run into person who was nostalgic about the old but besides earnest in his attempt to understand the new” suggests the Capitalism fad for money.

    In Immortality. nevertheless. Capitalism’s influence seems to expose the people to the repression of Communism –“Now we have Sony and Panasonic ; we have Procter & A ; Gamble. Johnson & A ; Johnson. We have imported films in which work forces and adult females hold custodies freely in the street. and they even kiss each other without a hint of fright in their eyes. Our lives. we realized. is non every bit happy as we have been taught to believe. ” Sansan from Love In The Marketplace was greatly influenced by American movies. such as Casablanca and Women In Love. establishing her ideal love affair on the movies. They were in a manner. her American dream. How Capitalism influences China is shown to hold different effects in different state of affairss. In most instances of the character’s chase of the American dream. the characters truly believe in the freedom Capitalism brings will decide their jobs. Despite the changeless confrontations of Capitalism’s freedom and Communism’s subjugation. Yiyun Li didn’t present Capitalism as a panacea. Sasha’s compulsion with get downing a new life in America is one peculiar illustration to show this. as her passion was instead unsighted and despairing.

    Sasha’s statement. “vast and empty landscapes depressed her” is one of sarcasm. as Nebraska. like Inner Mongolia. is besides “vast and empty” . This possibly intimations that Sasha’s old life problems aren’t traveling to vanish merely because she immigrated to another state. Albeit Mr. Shi’s delectation of freedom for being a “rocket scientist” . a new individual. meeting Madame. his distant relationship with his girl does non better. This may be because that both Mr. Shi and his girl were prosecuting their “new identity” individually—a Capitalism impression. and despite his attempts and the new found freedom discovered. it wasn’t plenty to cover up Mr. Shi’s old problems and bring around his daughter’s indifference. Han. with his “brand new American passport with the old Chinese worry” adamantly believed his mother’s religion in Jesus to be false. that her female parent needs to be controlled by a superior force. Believing in America’s free will. what Han didn’t realize was that his female parent was populating her strong beliefs with far more bravery than he can populate his ain. In Immortality’s relation. the Great Papa’s. the landlord’s. the dictator’s and the impersonator’s glorification all collapsed in the terminal. More Capitalist ways of life was introduced so.

    “It says we’re traveling to hold a new life from now on. ” “New or old. life is the same. ” This is a farther indicant that. in a manner. Capitalism or Communism. life and people are the same. It can be concluded that. Yiyun Li presents both China ( Communism ) and America ( Capitalism ) as multidimensional characters. Although there is accent on Capitalism’s freedom. there is no clear separating line between the black and white of Capitalism and Communism. Yiyun Li herself emigrated from China to America to prosecute her American dream: “For me. the American dream meant that I could pick up composing and go a author. something I had ne’er dared to woolgather before coming here. For my characters. it means freedom to get away totalitarian control on many different levels—from parental supervising to the ideological control of the Communist party. ” Her ain experience in the country farther validates that. as quoted by Yinyun Li. “I think people in both states tend to forget—that deep down we are all human existences. and the strivings and joys we have are the same. In a manner. I think the two states are set up in the public position as rivals. which can take some Americans and Chinese to experience chariness or animus toward one another. But in the terminal. people here in America are like what you will happen in China. excessively. ” In the terminal. we’re all worlds. Capitalism or non.

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