Discuss 1-2 of the Following Themes in "The Young Shen Nong": (1) Heroism, (2) the Power (and Limitations) of Language, or (3) Loving Relationships.

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10/11/2014 CLIT 1008 Ways of Reading Name: Chen Ting Student Number: 3035192230 Tutor Name: Ms. Lin Yiping Tutorial Time slot: Tuesday 4:30 - 5:20 Topic 2: Discuss 1-2 of the following themes in "The Young Shen Nong": (1) heroism, (2) the power (and limitations) of language, or (3) loving relationships. "The Young Shen Nong" is a piece of short fiction written by Dung Kai Cheung, he rewrite the story of the Chinese legend character "Shen Nong", put him in the modern time, and tended to bring out the contracts between "Shen Nong" and the modern society. In the story, there are three main themes, and I would like to discuss the two of them, which are the challenge towards the power of language and the questioning to the loving relationship. In common sense, language is used to record facts in the past, which we call history, and we generally believe that all the history we know by written text are true. However, in "The Young Shen Nong", Dung challenge this thoughts and point out that language has limitations. The tradition Chinese legend described Shen Nong as a hero due to the sacrifice of his life for people’s health, but the narration of Shen Nong in the text says different. He actually started to taste herbs because he was bored, this shows the contrast between the recorded history and what actually happened. Dung questions the function of language by using the narration of Shen Nong, as narration is spoken in the first person, the difference between could show the unreliability and inaccuracy of written text, which is a kind of language. And in the story, Shen Nong actually shows his entrust towards history, ‘My world no longer existed; I no longer existed. All that existed was the Shen 1 10/11/2014 Nong of the ancient books. I have no faith in the written word, no faith in history, (…). But I can’t deny the Shen Nong of the ancient books is the only real Shen

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