Story of Anyi Wang and Granny Essay

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Anyi Wang is a noted author from China. Her stories are clearly influenced by the progression of time and politics in China and beyond. She has been hailed as a hero and a scholar by some but has been vilified by others. Even so, her story is intriguing and so is the material that she has written. Her stories include an eclectic array and they are worth of review in terms of the historical and literary context that exists around them. First, there will be a story told about Anyi Wang and her history and then there will be an extensive review of Granny in particular. The thesis and focus of the bulk of the report will be the manner and method in which people contort themselves so as to get along and fit in while at the same time changing a little too easily with the times and the new norms that are experienced. While people should indeed have a mind of their own and make their own decisions, culture, upbringing and surroundings obviously play a huge part in how people react to their environment and this is true on so many levels.

The life of Anyi Wang

Anyi Wang, as noted partially before, is a writer of Chinese birth. She was born in the 1950's to parents named Wang Xiaoping and Ru Zijuan. He works are mostly short norvels and short stories. Just a few of those pieces include the following:

• Life in a Small Courtyard

• The Newly Arrived Coach

• Black & White

• The 1969 Junior Middle School Graduates

Books are far from the only thing she has been involved in. She has been involved with films, television and music throughout her storied career. Wang herself is married to Li Zhang and has been since 1981. She is currently 62 years old and she is absolutely Chinese in ancestry, in addition to being born there (Prabook).

The timing of Granny is not entirely known for sure. As reviewed in this report, it was published in a larger collection of the Columbia Anthology of Chinese Literature. The second edition of that book was published in 2007 and includes the story referenced in this report. As one might expect, so much of what goes into Wang's work "Granny" and other works has its genesis in Wang's own perspective and life experiences. It obviously should not be assumed to be an autobiography but Wang is surely not speaking about the things and themes that she does without any personal or second-hand knowledge of what goes into all of these events and stories.
Even if Wang herself had two parents, was not an orphan and actually lived in a household that was full of politics and activism, this does not mean that she herself cannot tell stories about being an orphan, why people act a certain way given the surrounding cultural context and so forth.

Deeper Dive & Evidence

It is obvious while reading through the pages of the story that is Granny that people do some seemingly odd and intriguing things when it comes down to what is expected, what is "normal" and what is customary. The story in question is only about eight pages of reading but the amount of cultural and societal themes and oddities to be found are all over the place. Whether it be arranged marriage, the proper way to address (or not) address people, what women are allowed to do, not do, how to speak, how not to speak and beyond, etc., it is clear that it was a very different time in China as compared to what is seen now, at least for the most part. For sure, there are cultural practices and norms that have changed with time or due to political or cultural pressures. Even so, much of the world still behaves very much (if not exactly) the same way that is depicted in the Granny story (Wang).

The arranged marriage angle with Fu Ping, to which Granny was a witness as she was the maid, is just one thing that is quite vexing. Even with that, Granny and Fu Ping had a lot in common. Granny was widowed quite early and she had no sons. Similarly, Fu Ping has lost a huge part of her family in that she was an orphan and was raised by her aunt and uncle. Fu Ping was there to be a prospective spouse as part of an arranged and approved marriage. Her mannerisms and way of speaking (or not speaking, to get to the point) was quite telling. Her head was lowered, she didn't speak out of turn and beyond. Not only was she allowing herself to be part of the arranged marriage courting process, so to speak, she was making very sure to not "rock the boat" or give offense. As the woman/girl in the equation, this was her part to play and she did it best to play it well. As the story itself notes, she was "vigilant" in doing so. On top of that, there is the explicit mention of the fact that the prospective husband was not a blue-collar or working poor person and….....

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Works Cited

Houghton, K. (2016). What We Can Learn From Arranged Marriages. The Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 November 2016, from

Prabook. (2016). ANYI WANG. Retrieved 25 November 2016, from

Wang, Anyi ''Granny'' in 'The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature.' 2nd Edition.

Ed. Joseph S. M. Lau & Howard Goldblatt. New Yorkcolumbia University Press, 2007. pp. 462-469

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