Great Felicity By Eileen Chang Essay

5165 WordsFeb 26, 201221 Pages
GREAT FELICITY Characters Simei + Erqiao We decided to group these two characters together because they seem to be presented as duplicates of the same person. They bounce their comments off of each other and share the same sentiments, and self-centredness. [1] The two are portrayed as arrogant nouveax riche young women who have a superiority complex. They tend to make nasty derogatory comments about sensitive issues even towards their close relatives. The things they say are very shallow, and are made up of derogatory and mean jokes. The reader is made aware of all their internal feelings making them even less likeable. Chang appears to have used them as a way of indicating how all the cynicism and malice within high-class Chinese society is as childish and foolish as they are. ‘Although their father had scholarly pretensions, he’d only made his fortune in recent years, the daughters still had this air of fresh and vulgar merriment.’ P39 This quote places the behaviour of the Lou sisters in contrast with that of Yuqing, or other members of her “old money” family. As they have not been rich for long, they do not possess the sensibility or the kind of behavioural restraint that comes with wealth maturity. ‘Each of them felt that hers was the most important role in the wedding.’ P39 “Why not get a couple more while you can?” Simei to Erqiao, P36 Yuqing The bride-to-be, born of an eminent family in decline. She seems to know the social system very well, and is able to “play the system”. For example, despite being a member of a rich family, that family is in decline. Her mother-inlaw, Mrs. Lou, is a miserly person who “loved her son, but she loved her money, too.” So to ensure that they could get everything they might want, they left “the important things till last, so that when they had used up their money they could ask for more.” [2] Yuqing knew that social rules

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