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East Wind: West Wind (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck) Paperback – April 5, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
Buck describes how difficult it is for one to accept change in age-old rituals. Although many of the traditions are seen as unnecessary, foolish or just plain sadistic, it's difficult to question them after growing up in a culture where these traditions have been practiced for thousands of years. The narrator is a good vehicle to show how upsetting, confusing and frustrating it can be to incorporate these changes into one's life. Time and time again the theme of the generation gap is revealed, showing how many people simply cannot be changed.
Although many of the following issues came into strong play in this novel, it wasn't so much a search for better opportunity, nor political freedom, independence, nor education, that was the big catalyst for change, as was the simple concept of romantic love.
This was a lovely, bittersweet story with a seemingly very realistic portrayal of how a family rooted in tradition would react to their children, who want to break from tradition. A classic issue, regardless of what era or culture in which one lives.
Having the world of her marriage being revealed through Kwei-lan's eyes provides a deep understanding of her reactions and difficulty in exchanging the old ways for the new. Kwei-lan's brother returns, married to an American woman, which now provides a living model for what her husband wishes her to become.
Throughout Kwei-lan's understandable bewilderment, her husband treats her with gentleness and compassion. All that she has been taught, even the oldest of traditions, is now brought into question. Ingrained beliefs are so difficult to push aside and the discomfort Kwei-lan feels is something the reader can relate to as we all have to confront change at some time in our lives that can push us way beyond our comfort zone, and accepting such change often involves much internal conflict.
Kwei-lan's biggest struggle becomes her greatest personal triumph in this marriage. The unbinding of her feet, while originally an abhorrent idea to her, ends up setting her free. Kwei-lan ultimately becomes an equal partner in the marriage and learns she has so much more to offer than she originally thought. It is almost as though she takes a deep breath for the very first time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This gem of a novel is presented as a narration. Kwei-Lan, a young aristocratic woman living in the waning days of "Old China", confides in her "Sister,"a foreign... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bibiana
Another wonderful story, beautifully told by PS Buck. And that is all I want to say, but the seller is thanking me for my review by requiring me to write more words.Published 2 months ago by R. Guthrie
Well-written! Fine language, wonderfully descriptive. Full of fragrance and vivid colours.
Gives an excellent impression of what it was like to be female in the China of old -... Read more
Not a single disappointing word in any of her books. Worth every penny!Published 4 months ago by Lynda G. Lindblom