Do you agree with her? Why did Ha Jin choose Jian as the narrator? How does his lack of objectivity affect your reading? Is his version of the events throughout the course of the novel believable? Is this ultimately a coming-of-age novel?
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Do you agree with her? Why did Ha Jin choose Jian as the narrator? How does his lack of objectivity affect your reading?
Is his version of the events throughout the course of the novel believable? Is this ultimately a coming-of-age novel? What American notions of China and its particular form of communism are confirmed or challenged in this novel? What do you think Ha Jin is saying about Chinese communism and its effect on the individual and society? Are there any fulfilled and satisfied love relationships in this novel?
What is Ha Jin saying about love, romantic or otherwise? What do you think of these two statements? Do you agree with Professor Yang? According to Professor Yang, what is the fundamental difference between Western and Chinese poetry? Why all these details? The natural landscape is absent from The Crazed until Jian leaves Shanning for the countryside.
What are the symbolic differences between the town and the countryside, and later the capital, Beijing? What is the importance of each place and its role in the context of the entire novel? What is the significance of Chinese custom officials confiscating the Bible? And of the Genesis story retold by Professor Yang? Why does Ha Jin introduce this in the beginning of the novel? Animal imagery permeates the first half of the book.
What do the animals signify? Why do most of the characters resemble animals? Is this connected somehow to the Genesis story? What does Jian learn from traveling to and around Beijing, and from experiencing the historical events of Tiananmen Square in June ?
How does it affect his life, and the story? Do you think he is talking to Jian in particular or to anyone who will listen? Is this a manifestation of his illness or is Yang yelling out the truth from his sickbed?
In what ways is this novel about power relationships—between teacher and student, ordinary students and Party member students, teacher and department head, older students and younger students, boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, the individual and the bureaucratic system? In what ways does the Communist Party bureaucracy affect the various relationships in the novel?
How do these relationships change over the course of the spring, as the professor lays dying? Does any one group or individual emerge victorious over another? Are there any betrayals in the novel? Who betrays whom? Share: Share on Facebook. Add to Cart. A work that deserves to be immortal.
Introduction In this luminous new novel, the author of the National Book Award-winning Waiting deepens his portrait of Chinese society while exploring the perennial conflicts between convention and individualism, integrity and pragmatism, loyalty and betrayal.
Questions and Topics for Discussion 1. Who or what is the crazed? What does the title refer to? What does it imply? Learn More About The Crazed print. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices.
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Voice of the demon-monster
Review by Kenneth Champeon. Ha Jin, the National Book Award-winning author of Waiting , revisits this connection between insanity and sagacity in his new novel, The Crazed. The year is The country: China. Jian is also engaged to marry Yang's ambitious daughter, Meimei, who expects Jian to follow in her father's academic footsteps.
The Crazed Reader’s Guide
On the day after the Tiananmen Square massacre of , Jian Wan, the narrator of Ha Jin's powerful new novel, comes upon two weeping students. The other responds, "yes Jian is a graduate student in literature at provincial Shanning University. In the spring of , his adviser, Professor Yang, suffers a stroke, and Jian listens as the bedridden Yang raves about his past. Yang's bitterness about his life under the yoke of the Communist Party infects Jian, who decides to withdraw from school. His plan is to become a provincial official, but the Machiavellian maneuverings of the Party secretary of the literature department—a sort of petty Madame Mao—cheat him of this dream, sending him off on a hapless trip to Beijing and Tiananmen Square. Despite this final quixotic adventure, Ha's story is permeated by a grief that won't be eased or transmuted by heroic images of resistance.
Novelists of the Chinese diaspora work under a double yoke. First they must satisfy the demands of a western readership eager for tales of the human tragedy of their homeland's 20th century; then they must find a way of distinguishing their writing from that of the memoirists who have saturated the market. US-based Ha Jin did this admirably in the award-winning Waiting, a doleful Chekhovian tale which balanced the horrors of Chinese officialdom against a bitter love story. His follow-up, The Crazed, attempts a similar sleight of hand.
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