Welcome to the World Wide Web Home page of Road to East Asia
Written by students of FC1750.06
at Founders College, York University
Vol.2, no. 1 November, 1996
In love with a man named Xia, she shows that she is tender-hearted and affectionate. "They say that when you really like a man, you can sit in a quiet corner just looking at him, and one little smile, even a very casual sort of smile, can make your spirit soar," she says. "This is exactly the way I feel about Xia" (107). She goes on to describe her hands which have "warmth," her heart which is on "fire," and her eyes which "could shed tears" although her friends are "too blind to see this" (112). It is no small consolation that Xia does appreciate her "beautifully natural" (108) appearance.
Also noteworthy is her outstanding courage. The funeral home where she works is a constant reminder of that "fathomless world"-- eternity--from which no one has returned. Her fearlessness stems from her love as she believes in her mother's words: "It is love that makes us completely fearless" (113).
In order for love to disperse fear, it must run deep. If it is rooted in superficial pleasures, it will die with persecution, but deep-seated love will live despite adversity. In this area, the narrator shows great understanding. "There are always so many people looking for nice cushy jobs, and wanting everything to be all roses and stardust," she says. But how can a person, "cushioned by star clouds and rose petals" (112), discover the depth of his character?
Although the narrator character shines forth, it is overshadowed by her pessimistic outlook on life--she blames whatever goes wrong on fate. "I think it must be entirely the cruel hand of fate that has landed me in this situation from which I cannot extricate myself," she says. "I am extremely unhappy, because of my premonition of where fate is leading me" (107). She is sure that Xia will have no courage to accept the work that she does and that he will abandon her in fear and never return. Let's hope that this is not true of a man whose name means "never-ending summer" and who brings her flowers and says "Hello. Happy Sunday!" (114).
Xi Xi. "A Girl Like Me." Trans.Rachel May and Zhu Zhiyu. Trees on the Mountain.