The East Asian Literature Writing Assignment: The Woman Problem (Essay Sample)
comparingtwo Asian literature materials written in ancient period; When I was in Xia Village by Ling Ding and Tokyosource..
The Woman Problem
The East Asian literature looked at women from the point of morality and their role during and after the Japanese war. The Japanese had invaded most of Asian regions, and they had established their political bases in China and other parts of the Manchurian region. As a result, some women remained at home to take care of their children and their husbands joined the revolutionary war against the Japs. There were those strong women who understood literature, and this became heir chance to write more about the war for the whole world to see. A good example is the narrator in the narrative when I was in Xia Village.
The woman problem, in these cases was on morality and female character played a huge role in its erosion. First, the women took advantage of the fact that their men were in the war and that they were not coming home soon. Secondly, some of them were highly exploited by the soldiers through rape. But even with that in mind, it is clear to note that the problems they faced were as a result of their own making because they led the men to believe that they were desperate either for sex or for revenge. For instance, Ryo in Tokyo allowed an extramarital affair with an ex-soldier which never lasted for even two days after they had slept together. Also, ZhenZhen departed her family home leaving Xia Dabao alone and decided to be married to a Japanese soldier. After that, she encountered many sexual intercourses with them and became ill. In all these instances, it is common knowledge to assert that, the problems of morality in East Asian women during the premodern and modern eras are as a result of their making and not the men.
Ryo, the female character in Tokyo, believed that things were not going to return to normalcy because of the way she imagined her husband in the war. She thinks that she has not only forgotten his face but even his voice after six years of separation. “Ryo's thoughts flew to her husband, from whom she had not heard for six years…that her husband had frozen into a ghost in that subarctic Siberia- a ghost, or a thin white pillar, or just a breath of frosty air.” Even though Tsuruishi admitted to having been in Siberia as a soldier, his words filled Ryo with more emptiness because of the way luck favored him into escaping the war. The conversation became the genesis of Ryo's problems because she felt her heart being drawn closer to the words of Tsuruishi and this culminated in the affair. Later she even decided to bring her son Ryukischi to Tsuruishi's house, and this trust she had for him became the breeding ground for immorality.
Fumiko points out that most of these women characters were in a position to make sexual intercourse to men who they had no feelings for because the encounters did not last in their minds, after all. In that, the feelings of desolation and emptiness brought about by the war were so high that having sexual encounters with strangers was just any normal thing as long as their sexual urge was fulfilled. One can only say that modernity in that part of Japan had taken its toll on women and had no respect for their conjugal relationships as long as they were satisfied. She said this when Ryo was in the room with Tsuruishi “In a way she wished that Tsuruishi hadn't given up so quickly. If he had been a man she hardly knew, or for whom she felt nothing, she might have given herself to him with no afterthou
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