A Woman Soldier's Own Story: The Autobiography of Xie by Bingying Xie

By Bingying Xie

For the 1st time, an entire model of the autobiography of Xie Bingying (1906-2000) presents a desirable portrayal of a lady struggling with to loose herself from the limitations of historical chinese language culture amid the dramatic alterations that shook China in the course of the Twenties, '30s, and '40s.

Xie's makes an attempt to develop into trained, her struggles to flee from an prepared marriage, and her good fortune in tricking her method into army college show her persevering and unconventional personality and trace on the prominence she was once later to realize as a tremendous determine in China's political tradition. notwithstanding she was once tortured and imprisoned, she remained dedicated to her convictions. Her own fight to outline herself in the greater context of political switch in China early within the final century is a poignant testomony of selection and a outstanding tale of 1 woman's trip from previous China into the hot world.

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Now the God of Spring came to earth and every living thing grew luxuriantly. Yet as all the rest of the world started moving toward birth, I began to prepare my journey toward death. First, Father and Grandmother tried to persuade Mother to send me to study for another half-year, but Mother refused and swore she would die first. Then my sister, my sister-in-law, and my aunts begged her, but still she would not agree. When I knew there was no more hope, I decided to commit suicide. In our village I knew only the following ways of doing it: one, hang yourself by the neck; two, jump into the river; three, eat the heads of matches; four, eat opium; five, swallow rings; six, slash your throat with a sharp knife.

Whenever I welcomed Father, he carried me home. In winter as soon as he entered the gate he wrapped me in a leather coat, afraid I would catch cold. My brothers bustled about, giving me many toys they had made themselves—tiny boxes, toy sparrows, little boats, pencil holders—as well as blue ink bottles and broken glass vessels from their chemistry lab. I especially loved those glass vessels. In summer I caught many lightning bugs and put them inside the glass, and the bugs moved up and down like a golden dragon, flickering.

Precious,” she said—for my mother called me this name till I was more than ten years old—“today I must bind your feet for you. Come, pray to the Goddess of Mercy. ” Mother’s hand lit incense and burned paper money as she waited for me to kneel. ” I stood very far away, watching her, not daring to move closer. Two small tears suddenly rolled down, and my heart began to taste the flavor of fright and pain. “Come quickly, come quickly. ” She dragged me over and made me kneel on the ground. ” I called myself the commander.

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