Wild Swans: Just a story of ONE China’s family (Part 2)

Twenty- four-year-old bride and sixty- five-year-old groom

Well, to be honest, I was surprised when I read this chapter. Of course, I know the age gap should not be a problem, true love will beat anything. Eight-two professor also married a twenty-eight wife. As the matter of fact, age gap never is a problem as men have been allowed to marry as many women as they want according to the marriage system in the past of China; all bias about age gap actually start with the monogamy.

Image from Wild-Swans

Anyway, the age gap is not the point, the point is marriage always being regarded as a deal in big families in China or any other countries, even today.

Sixty-five Dr. Xia was not a bachelor who never married, he had a big family to manage. Indeed, living in the era of freedom to love and extremely high inheritance tax countries, people may not understand a twenty-four-year-old stepmother means what, but in the past of China, family run business past generation by generation, youngers in big families rarely have the thought to be an entrepreneur. Actually, even Dr. Xia dead as a widower, inheritance disputes between those sons may be an issue; not to mention suddenly twenty-four-year-old stepmother is going to divide the money and land.

Though in the writer (of course) or anyone of us who read this book’s view, Dr. Xia and Jung’s grandmother were fallen in loved, their love story seems true and pure. But I kind of understand the concerns of the elder son’s wife, as the writer said ‘Jiang xin bi xin’ (to judge other’s feeling by one’s own). No sons, daughters, daughters-in-law and sons-in-law in China will take a 24-year-old widow as a stepmother easily, especially she is the similar age or even younger than those people. I can guarantee even today this kind of thing will still be a shame in most of China’s families, specifically for the big families which have reputations, power, and money.

Moreover, I do not think the eldest son of Dr. Xia was ‘just to make a dramatic gesture’ enable to against the marriage. For the description of this part, I can see the prejudice of the writer. No one will know the big son’s feeling, even Jung’s grandmother and Jung’s mother. So how Jung know ‘he probably had not intended to kill himself’? As a matter of fact, all the family members on their knees and keep kowtow will never be a small issue; in addition, the eldest son shot himself to show his determination, this thing will definitely happen in feudal China. Well, eventually, this book was for Jung’s grandmother, so just to share my view.


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