Frontmatter 02

zhufu front

前言 #


Preface #

“The New Year’s Sacrifice” describes the simple female worker Xianglin’s wife. After the death of her husband, she comes to Luzhen to work in the household of Landlord Lu to escape the fate of being sold off. But before long, she is kidnapped by the family of her mother-in-law and forced to remarry into a mountain village. “She howled and cursed the whole way”, and later also “bumped her head against the corner of the incense burner table”, to resist to the oppression of old society and old Confucian ethics with her own life. She appears for a second time at the Lu household after her second husband died of illness and her son was carried away by a wolf. Because she remarried and became a widow again, Mr. Lu considers her an inauspicious object and secretly tells his family members not to let her lend a hand in preparing the sacrifices. Poisoned by feudal Confucian ethics, the other people in town follow suit to sneer at her. Auntie Liu further threatens her with the torture of dismemberment in the “nether world”, and tells her to donate a threshold to the Temple of the Village God to be stepped on and passed over by 10.000 people as her replacement, in order to atone for her sins. She ceaselessly struggles for her survival and manages to donate a threshold. But it is of no use, the landlord still would not let her set out the sacrificial offerings. From then on, she is mentally deranged, as dumb as a puppet. Before long, she is thrown out by Mr. Lu and becomes a beggar. In the end, harboring terror and uncertainties about the “nether world” in her mind, she dies on the street at the time of the “New Year’s Sacrifice”.