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MLA
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Literature & Language
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English (U.S.)
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Mo Yan's Muses of Hunger and Loneliness Literature Essay (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

How does Mo Yan remember his life during the 1960s? What happened in the spring of 1961, and how did hunger shape his life?
How was Mo Yan's dream of becoming a writer formed?
What does he state that all of his works are about, and how does he understand the connection between spiritual and physical pain?
What are his views about Western literature and theory, and how have they influenced his own writing and narrative technique?
During what historical period is "Iron Child" set? Please briefly describe the plot of the story.
Do you see any parallels with his preface on hunger and loneliness and this story?
What kind of language and imagery does Mo Yan use to describe eating of iron?
How do you understand and interpret the meaning of this story?
Please write 1-2 pages in response to the above questions. Questions 1-4 are based on Mo Yan, "Hunger and Loneliness: My Muses," and questions 5-8 are based on Mo Yan, "Iron Child." Chinese students can also read the originals: "Hunger and Lonely Is My Fortune" "Iron Boy"

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Content:

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Hunger and Loneliness: My Muses.
Mo Yan recalls his childhood as one that was filled with anger and harshness. Anger from the government's policies (inception of experimental Communism) that affected systems of the societies and harshness because of the conspicuous mention of hunger. He narrates keenly how they retired to hunting for leaves and upon dire dry spell they turned to barks and even twigs and sticks. This is clearly what made it normal in the spring of 1961 for them indulging in dining on coal delivered to their school which saw even the elders lured into joining them.
The dream of Mo Yan to become a writer superficially surges from the desire to have three main course meals of delicious pork dumplings (jiaozi). This was narrated to him by the college dropout neighbor about writers' achieved lifestyle. The innate habit of being talkative and ransom-like vendetta to starvation, he dreads ever going back to is his deeper intuitive drive.

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