Some people in the world may believe that rebellion is way better than conformity. On the other hand, some believe that conformity is way better than rebellion. My primary sources, “The Bridegroom” and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, show that conformity causes or creates problems within the world while rebellion causes or creates less problems and more solutions to those problems. They seem to prove that rebellion is better than conformity. Not everyone has what it takes to stand up for something they believe in.
The author of “The Bridegroom,” Ha Jin, has done everything in life by himself, and he has done it with no help from anyone. Ha Jin has made himself a level of acceptance and acclaim that normally takes immigrants three generations to obtain (Shan 105). Jin started learning English by listening to the radio at the age of nineteen, which is how he has made that level of acceptance and acclaim for himself in such a short time. (Shan 104). Jin has had no formal training in English until he entered the Heilongjiang University in 1976 (Shan 104).
Ha Jin has received a master’s degree in English and American literature from Shandong University. Shortly after obtaining his master’s degree, he left China in 1985 to head for the United States of America (Shan 105). Jin obtained his PhD in English and American Literature from Brandeis University in 1992 (Shan 105). In Jin’s time in America, he was a professor of English at Emory University (Holler). Jin studies Western and Eastern literary traditions, and that has helped him to be a better writer (Holler). Ha Jin wrote a book titled Waiting in 1999 that was the National Book Award winner (Tobias).
Jin is said to be the master of short stories (Holler). All of Jin’s stories are set in modern times, however, they echo old world story telling traditions (Holler). Even though Ha Jin had a lot to learn about, and write about in China. However, he decided to leave his home country after the Tiananmen massacre occurred (Shan 104). Since Jin left China in 1985, he is no longer allowed into the country of China, which means he can not even visit family in China (Shan 117). Jin has written three collections of poems, seven novels, four short story collections and one collection of essays (Shan 104).
Most of Ha Jin’s books are banned in Mainland China due to the fact that his works are not accepted by the Chinese government (Shan 117). Ha Jin has had all of his literary works translated into Chinese. All of which have been published in Taiwan (Shan 117). Until 2007, Ha Jin’s literary works primarily focused on subjects related to China. In 2007, he wrote about a Chinese American Community (Shan 105). The China that Jin describes in his works is between Capitalism and Communism (Tobias). “The Bridegroom” is one Ha Jin’s stories that is between Capitalist and Communist China. There are twelve stories within “The Bridegroom” (Tobias).
These stories take place in Muji City (Tobias). This collection of stories “provides a fascinating look at Eastern culture” (Holler). Ha Jin focuses on average citizens who have simple needs and who do not enjoy positions of real authority. All the citizens want is to provide for their families, but the government, the police, as well as other people get in their way a lot. In “The Bridegroom” the husband is sentenced to a mental institution to “cure” his homosexuality. The Husband has to endure “electric baths” on a daily basis (Tobias). There is much love for the daughter, Beina, by her father, who is not actually her father.
In the beginning of “The Bridegroom,” the father is extremely concerned for his daughter. He feels as though she is never going to find a boyfriend and get married. It seems as though the daughter is on the track to dying as an old maid (Jin 401). At a later time in the story, the daughter comes home with a new boyfriend that is one of the most attractive men in the factory. Huang Baowen was Beina’s new boyfriend, and Beina’s father was not impressed with Huang. Even though Huang brought the father gifts of “Capons, Ginseng, Cigarettes, Five Grains’ snap, and Oolong tea,” the father was not impressed at all with Baowen (Jin 401).
It could be said that Baowen had money to spend on expensive gifts, but there was no reason to spend so much money on the father just to get approval to marry Beina. The people that worked in the factory could not believe that Huang and Beina got married (Jin 401). “Huang was not exactly the manliest of men. Huang Baowen was extremely feminine in the things that he did” (Jin 401). Even though the father was not impressed with anything Huang Baowen did, he would do anything to keep his daughter’s marriage going and keep it healthy.
Jin says on page 401 of Literature and the Writing Process “I wasn’t daunted by their criticism. I’d do almost anything to make Beina’s marriage a success, because I believed that if it survived the first two years, it might last decades-once Baowen became a father, it would be difficult for him to break loose,” (Jin 401). It appears that the father does not care what he has to do to make this marriage successful. The father even talked about signing Huang and Beina up for an apartment that the factory owned just so the newly married couple would have a place to stay to ensure that the marriage would be successful.
Beina’s father was doing everything in his power to made sure that his daughter’s marriage was successful. The father wants Beina to conform to having a traditional marriage, and it appears that he could possibly think that everyone needs to have a traditional marriage. Despite all of his efforts, there were still women at the factory that would have sexual relationship with Huang (lin 401). The father in the story was concerned about the women in the factory due to the fact that he says: “It seemed that they [the factory women] were determined to wreck Beina’s marriage.
I hated them, and just the thought of hem would give me an earache or a sour stomach,” (Jin 401). It can be said that the father can not stand the thought of the factory women being with Huang Baowen. He gets extremely upset at the fact that some women in the factory are not conforming with the fact that Baowen is taken by Beina. All of the father’s efforts did not go to waste as Beina finally conformed to having a traditional marriage with Huang. Some of the women in the factory we rebelling against Beina and Huang’s marriage. They (the women in the factory] do not care about that Baowen is married because they do not honor his marriage.
One day, in early November, Beina was concerned about her husband because he did not return home the night before (Jin 401). Beina’s father could not think about where Huang could be because he could not bear the thought that Huang may be cheating on his daughter. All that was going through Beina’s father’s mind was “‘I knew it. I just knew it. ‘I said to myself. I had sensed that sooner or later he would seek pleasure with another woman (Jin 402). Despite the father’s biggest fears, he made his way to the Public Service Bureau to get Baowen because of his “Indecent activity” (in 402).
In the Public Service Bureau, Beina’s father got a speech about this gay club that was happening in a building nearby. The chief in charge, Chief Miao, gave all of the people at the meeting a lesson on another club that tried to take place in the same building years before. The club years ago planned on overthrowing the government. However, Chief Miao said ” But, before they could print their manifesto, which expressed their intention to overthrow the government, the police rounded them up. Two of the top leaders were executed, and the rest of the members were jailed” (Jin 402).
Despite what had happened in the past with Chief Miao, he stated that they had a case of homosexuality going on (Jin 402). Beina’s father was confused as to what Chief Miao meant as to the statement of homosexuality going on. It became the talk of the factory that Huang had been arrested for homosexual activities. Most of the workers in the factory did not know what the term homosexual meant (lin 402). Since most of the workers did not know what homosexuality was, they most likely did not know what sodomy was either. According to Ha Jin, sodomy was a crime punishable by six months to five years in prison (403).