Interactive Oral

Question: How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?
Work used: To Live by Yu Hua

Through todays Interactive Orals, the topics brought to light concerning To Live, Yu Hua, were the life and career of Yu Hua, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The first presentation today was about the Great Leap Forward and how this had effects on Yu Hua’s writings. Through todays Interactive Orals I came to realize just how much Yu Hua’s life could have had on his work. Growing up through the Cultural Revolution, Yu Hua read a lot of government issued posters, saw a lot of violence and experienced the Cultural Revolution first hand. He also we subject to reading a lot of lies people of the town would make up about other townspeople to get them into trouble. Through Yu Hua’s To Live, he gives an image of how terrible his characters had their life. How it was all changed, how Fu Gui’s home town was collectivized, his children lost to the people of higher positions and just generally lived a life of misfortune.
Through todays presentations we learnt about how Yu Hua left his dentistry job to become basically a bum. Doing easy work when he wanted, organising his days as he pleased yet still making the same amount of money as any of the doctors, dentists etc. This was depicted through To Live by the narrator, who was always nameless. The narrators job was to wander around, collecting stories, then continue on his way relying on the hospitability of others for places to sleep, this was much like the job Yu Hua did after leaving dentistry but before becoming a full time fiction writer.
I feel todays Interactive Orals helped me better appreciate the cultural and contextual considerations of To Live, Yu Hua. Although the book wasn’t hard to grasp in terms of the cultural difficulties and the events that happened, I feel learning more about the back ground of Yu Hua helps give a better personal view onto the topics raised throughout To Live. I feel I appreciate the book more now, as it’s content is based/focused on real life that I barely knew anything about before todays Interactive Orals.

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