2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

The Oppression of the Individual: A New Historicist Analysis of Lao She's The Rickshaw Boy
James Lewis
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Lao Shes novel, The Rickshaw Boy (1939) portrays the life of Xiangzi, a poor farmer who goes to Beijing to become a rickshaw runner. The novel chronicles his struggles, including the death of his wife, to make it in Beijing and survive. Lao Shes major purpose was to expose the lives of the poor in the crime-infested city of Beijing, China. The novel details the trials Xiangzi undergoes in his attempts to survive and move up in the world. Lao Shes not only understood the predicament of the poor but he uses the trials of a singular man to show the oppression of the class system. Drawing on New Historicist Theory, this paper will illustrate the ways in which Lao She depicts the Chinese society of the time to expose the problematic class system that existed in China at the time.

Keywords: Lao She, Rickshaw Boy, Asian Literature, New Historicism

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 39-4
Location: VH 1408
Time: 3:30

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