“Should The White Haired Girl Marry The Evil Landlord?”
The White Haired Girl: Synopsis
The White Haired Girl is based on the legend of a white-haired female immortal. It tells of Yang Bailao, a tenant farmer who shares his life with his daughter Xi’er. The despotic landlord, Huang Shiren, attempts to forcibly take Xi’er for himself. On the eve of the Chinese Spring Festival, Huang forces Yang to sell his daughter as repayment of the debt Yang owes him. Yang drinks bittern and dies. Xi’er is taken by force to Huang’s house and raped by the landlord.
The girl is in love with Dachun, a young farmer in her village, who tries to help her escape but fails. He goes to find the Red Army. Xi’er runs away from Huang’s house and hides herself deep in the mountains. She leads a miserable life, and her hair turns completely white. Two years later, Dachun returns to the village with the army unit he is in. He finds Xi’er and helps her get even with the hated landlord. They marry and lead a happy life after emancipation.
From Wenxue City:
Yesterday, veteran “Wenyibao” editor and cultural critic Xiong Yuanyi came to the Central China Normal University’s Hankou campus to deliver a talk on popular culture. Xiong Yuanyi mentioned the notion that “The White Haired Girl should marry Huang Shiren” which is fashionable among young people. For some, this means that the sympathy that used to exist for poor and oppressed people in the 1940’s has been replaced by blind adoration of money.
At the talk, the teenage student Xiao Xie stood up and said, “If Huang Shiren were alive today, he is definitely somebody with excellent family conditions. He may also have handsome looks combined with elegance and refined taste. If he has money as well, why not marry him? Even if he is a bit older, it does not matter.”
Another female first-year university student named Cai from the Department of Literature caused a stir with this comment: “If I were to marry the rich man Huang Shiren, I will donate his money to charitable causes and help needy people.”
So Xiong Yuanyi concluded: “If the White Haired Girl were to marry Huang Shiren, she would instantly become the member of a different class.”
Central China Normal University Department of Literature professor Xu Zuhua said the viewpoints around “whether the White Hair Girl should marry Huang Shiren” arose out of a postmodernist world. Purely from the viewpoint of literature, it cannot be pleasing to see the subversion of the values of a specific historical epoch. Purely from the viewpoint of contemporary life, whether White Hair Girl marries Huang Shiren is a personal choice, although nobody can be certain whether this will bring happiness in the end. But he does not believe that university students should make such a choice, because the value and dignity of life should be created on one’s own.
Selected netizen comments:
- I am saddened by the fact that the current education system is producing university students who hold these kinds of viewpoints. Young people today somehow think that they are fashionable and open-minded. How sad!
- I agree. Never mind teenagers, but people have always yielded to money and power over time. Who isn’t beleaguered by the needs of life? You can’t blame The White Haired Girl for marrying Huang Shiren.
- Women nowadays want to marry money, and they don’t care who owns that money.
- This is very normal and not unique to people born in the 1990’s. In this materialistic society, university students (especially those with social backgrounds) cannot find jobs after they graduate. So why not find a Huang Shiren to marry? Why condemn university students who have no social experience yet?
- I oppose because the naive dreams of these university students cannot be realized. Who says that one is with the times only if one can endure exploitation? No character, no faith, no persistence!
- This is normal. When reality weighs down on and you can’t afford the housing prices, you are better off becoming a kept mistress rather than the slave of your house. If you are slave to your house, you are the slave to the whole society; if you are a kept mistress, you are only the slave of your man. Among these two options, you choose the easier one!
- To abandon the satisfaction from a rich spiritual life for the sake of materialistic needs turns you into a zombie. You become no different from the lowest of animals. When the mainstream thinking merges into an invincible spirit, your nation has hope. When everybody wants to pursue materialistic goals, your nation has no hope. How can a sandbox of loose particles stand proudly in the world?
- Every person can make his/her own personal choice provided it does not break any laws. At the same time, one assumes responsibility for that decision. When you are abandoned, you have no one else to blame. You turned your body and youth into materialistic assets. When those materialistic assets are consumed, it will be time for your man to find someone new.
- Can university students nowadays understand this classical story? When the university student came up with that comment, either she did not understand or else she only knows money.
- It is somewhat naive to assume that you will be rich if you marry Huang Shiren. First of all, it depends on whether Huang Shiren wants to marry you. After all, he might just want to toy with you for a while only without marrying you. Besides, even if you married him, you won’t necessarily get his money.
- This type of talk is even worse than what the White Haired Girl went through. It should be the freedom of White Haired Girl to marry or not, but people did not have freedom and equality during that era. This was not an issue about money at all. It is such a sad society when people don’t even think about the simplest basics in society.
- If this person who is a mindless woman who only enjoys materialistic stuff, she should marry Huang Shiren. There are too many such mindless women who have no thoughts of their own. This is so sad.
Question: Do you think that the White Haired Girl should marry Huang Shiren?
40.6%: Yes — if you are going to marry someone, it should be some rich man
39.9%: No — your marital choice should not be based solely on money
19.5%: Not sure
more translations & videos at: EastSouthWestNorth
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