Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Dark Road by Ma Jian

This sophomore novel by Chinese writer Ma Jian is a look at how the Chinese still hold onto their proud lineage and male dominated society and how their one child policy can conflict with their conservative thinking. Giving the reader a grim look at how this policy is enforced. The novel centers around a family headed by a man named Kongzi who believes he is a descendent of the philosopher Confucius. Kongzi already has his heir, a girl named Nannan, but a girl isn’t an adequate heir for Kongzi. So he needs his already pregnant wife to produce a son for him and his line. Unfortunately, Kongzi impregnating his wife for a second time has broken Chinese law so he and his family are forced to live on the lam until his second child is born. It’s important to translate a story like this because it gives westerners a look at what pressures future parents can have when dealing with issues like the gender of a child and proper decedents. A way of thinking that seems archaic to most people living in the West. This story should also help give the reader a better perspective of themselves as westerners since having multiple children is so common because of our comfortable populations. All from someone who can give a first hand view

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