Children And Hope, Chinese Modern Literature Chinese Essay

1882 words - 8 pages

In this essay I argue that the relevance of Traditional Chinese civil examinations in the forever evolving world deem impractical and inept. I will be using two stories as references to support my argument. “Horse-Bell Melons” and “Kong-Yiji” are two allegories written by Ye Shao Jun and Lu Xun, the leading intellectuals in China’s transition into modernity, through literature. Ye ShaoJun’s Horse-Bell Melon’s presented an insider’s perspective to the civil examination’s revealing such flaws that are transferred to the detached view in Lu Xun’s “Kong-YiJi”. The Civil Examinations relies wholly on the ‘candidate’s ability to write poems, poetic descriptions and written elucidations of passages from the classics’(Schwarcz, Vera. 1947). There are many instances within Horse-Bell Melons suggesting the exams failed to test the ‘understanding of the leading ideas in the classics and their ability to apply them to actual problems in the real world’ (Schwarcz, Vera. 1947). An example is when the narrator explains, that by judging the size of the print and format they must have some profound stuff in them, however the thought of how to consult them never crossed his mind. The narrator confesses that he has no idea on how to depict such readings reinforcing the incompetency’s the examinee’s develop when studying for the test.
Throughout the story hinted the foundations to pass these exams, which depended heavily on ‘memory and a spur of temporary inspiration’(Schwarcz, Vera. 1947). This was another major problem that backed the abolishment of civil examinations. As the boy began to work on his essay he copies a passage from the Imperial Exhortations (One of the Classics), this was a passage his private school class were instructed to write out in memory. Thus, supporting the fact that these exams required a recollection of knowledge rather than thorough understanding of the classics. During a discussion between Chiu-Fu and another resident staying in the lodge rented by the Hu’s, the resident proposes that there “shouldn’t be any reason why he couldn’t make it if the questions happen to be right for him”. Indicating an element of luck and temporary inspiration which many of the applicants depend on. Those who are misfortunate with this luck in the exam are not granted with these ‘magical qualities that the masses of China believed these office workers withheld’(Schwarcz, Vera. 1947. A depiction of a misfortunate can be found in the next story I will discuss.
Through First-Person narrative of the 12-year-old waiter, Lu Xun was able to create a critical evaluation of the backward consciousness he believes China is plagued with. Lu Xun’s, Kong Yiji stands as an ‘allegory of China’s crippled political culture at the turn of an era, a culture stuck in the immoral forms of its past, and unequipped with any understanding of how to address the future – or even that the future need to be addressed’ (Eno, R. 2008). The character’s all representing everything that was...

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