In the Pond by Ha Jin

In the Pond

Ha Jin

Shao Bin is a small fish in a big pond. You'll share his sense of injustice - an ordinary man fighting the petty jealousies of the Party bosses. Bin's satirical cartoons cause the conflict which escalates in a series of surprising and amusing events. This is an interesting example of Communism at work showing just how different Chinese society is. The ending might be a little over sweet, but it definitely proves that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Extract

The work accomplished, Bin felt joyful. Soon his joy was replaced by ecstasy. In his mind Chairman Mao's instruction began reverberating: 'The boundless joy in fighting Heaven, the boundless joy in fighting Earth, the boundless joy in fighting Man!' Those words representing the mettle of the proletariat, warmed Bin's heart and invigorated his blood; he felt younger, as though he had eaten a lot of ginseng or deer antler. Yes, with his brush, he was ready to engage the enemy.

Parallels
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel