Friday, July 19, 2019

Food Division In Grass Soup :: essays research papers

Food Division in Grass Soup Zhang's attitude towards splitting up food rations at the reform camp suggests he has not been completely broken down and reformed by The Party. The significance of the dividing of foods illustrates his remaining integrity and emotions that the hunger has affected, but not removed. "Unfortunately, no matter what group I was assigned to, the others always trusted me" (164). Being trusted usually is a positive sign of your character, but Zhang feels it is an unfair burden and responsibility that he would rather not have dealt with. The fact that the other convicts trusted him indicates the fact that he was a cerebral convict who had some integrity left. In this way Zhang is not as reformed as his fellow intellectuals because the other small workers are quick to criticize others, especially other intellectuals - a form of betrayal. Their betrayal displays the self centered attitude that makes others doubt that particular convict would be fair in the partition. Zhang is more unwilling to turn people in and overanalyze what others say so that he can seem better in the authorities' eyes. Only when he is asked specifically about Babylon does Zhang reveal something negative about him, yet even then he withholds comments that would have surely been used a gainst Mr. "I like to eat watery things". Convicts cannot trust criminal convicts either because it is obvious they are not worthy of anyone's trust and would partition the food completely unequally without fear of retribution. These convicts have no rectitude and are already accustomed to no one trusting them. "When it came to the question of how to divide up food, criminal convicts were not given a say" (166). Criminal convicts cannot participate in the partitioning of food, because they would undoubtedly cheat others out of their food. The division of food is much too important a responsibility to be placed on a criminal. The fact that they can underhandedly attain more food (i.e. - by stealing) also leads the intellectuals to believe that the people who rely merely on the partitioned food would divide it honestly and equally. The fact that Zhang steals food and still is trusted enough to divide the food is indicative of his worthiness. The convicts in the camp do not seem completely void of emotions. "Seeing it, one could believe that these men, scraped clean of everything including freedom, could have made an aeroplane with their own bare hands" (165).

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