The Impact of Home Loss on Fugui: A Deep Dive into To Live'

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Fugui seems to portray the corruption of Chinese society before the Communist takeover in 1949. What events transform him?

Losing his house.

Fugui despite living lavishly was an ignorant gambler who kept record of neither his winnings nor losses. Alcohol only made it worse, it made him naïve thus not able to heed his father’s or wife’s warning towards his irresponsible living, he also did not notice that he was causing unhappiness to his family, losing his wealth and moreover, Long’er’s scheme to win over his house. Fugui finally loses his house to Long’er after losing all his registered gambling assets, his father too seemed to have had a gambling life and had also lost much to gambling and thus the house was the last of what they had. Fugui suffers from depression, his wife and children leave him, his father signs of the house to Long’er and lastly his father dies of depression and shock from the loss incurred. Fugui’s loss makes him to turn over a new leaf and humbles, selling needles and threads.

Abandonment by his wife and children.

Jiazhen could not bear Fugui’s gambling and alcoholic behavior anymore, she felt taken for granted, not cared for and also did not feel her husband’s tender love and care. She left Fugui on the night he lost his house leaving him with no form of consolation for his loss, no shoulder to lean on or person to console him. Fugui is left with no source of joy, neither of the luxury of his wife nor his children Fengxia and the unborn Yongqing. This breaks his heart and humbles him completely.

The return of his wife and children

Fugui is delighted to see his wife, Jiazhen, Fengxia and his newly born son Yongqing. His wife forgives him and decides to stay regardless of the poverty that was there. This motivates Fugui to seek for a way of income in order to provide for his family, he even goes to Long’er to ask for a loan where instead he is given the puppets that Long’er earned from which turn to his source of income.

Wan Er'xi is the husband of Fengxia. Why is he considered a suitable husband for Fengxia?

Mr. Niu a friend to Fengxia’s parents, knew that Fengxia was not married and probably wouldn’t easily get a suitor because of her being dumb and partial deaf, his judgment was that Wan Er’xi who is handicapped would be interested in another handicap.

Fugui and Jiazhen also accept Mr. Niu’s proposal for Fengxia to meet Wan Er’xi despite being a handicap, they do not decline his proposal. Wan Er’xi seemed hardworking though handicapped, he had a job as the lead guard at East Wind factory which made him seem financially fit to take care of Fengxia who had a difficult life and deserved to be happy.

Fugui and Jiazhen were searching for a suitor for their daughter and wouldn’t turn down a man who took interest in their daughter. Wan Er’xi seemed to have been the first man interested in their daughter and they could not turn him down if Fengxia liked him. 

 Fengxia was interested in moving out and get married, her mother tells Mr. Niu that Fengxia frets to leave them, Fengxia also knows that with her condition not many men would pursue her and she decides to try the proposed relationship from the man who saw her worthy of pursuit.

September 25, 2023

Myself Asia

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