Out of the Crucible offers an informative and inviting study of the novels and short stories of the lives of the zhiqing - the Chinese urban youths sent to rural areas during the rustication movement in the second phase of the Cultural Revolution. Zuoya Cao, a former zhiqing herself, covers the works, authors, themes, characters, and plots of zhiqing literary writing from the late 1970's to the late 1990's. She draws out the significant themes of zhiqing literature: heroism and idealism, suffering and internal transformation, moral dilemmas and the loss of innocence, love and cultural difference, sexual and spiritual oppression, zhiqing-peasant relations, the relationship between man and nature, and the conflict between the desire to leave the countryside and the attachment to it. Through a perceptive analysis of the treatment of these themes, drawing on her extensive of knowledge of Chinese literary and social history in addition to her own experiences, Cao reveals the emotional aspects of the rustication movement and the humanistic significance of the zhiqing experience, and she enriches our understanding of modern Chinese literature and history.
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Tragic Heroism and Idealism
Suffering and Internal Transformation
The Zhiqings Relationships with Peasants
The Loss of Innocence
The Three Types of Zhiqing
The Description of Love
The Theme of Sex
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Page 4 - It is very necessary for educated young people to go to the countryside to be re-educated by the poor and lowermiddle peasants. Cadres and other people in the cities should be persuaded to send their sons and daughters who have finished junior or senior middle school, college or university to the countryside. Let us mobilize. Comrades throughout the countryside should welcome them.