This chapter presents a reconstruction of the social order as expressed the laments of a woman called Pan Cailian. The bride imagines the social order as a cleavage between rich and poor, educated and uneducated, between those with property and those without, between officialdom and those with no official connections. She conjures up the domains of the niangjia (home of her mother) and the pojia (home of her mother-in-law) through sharply contrasting images of residences, furniture, food, cooking equipment, clothing, household objects, notions of education, and literacy. The niangjia is conceived as impoverished but familiar and free, whereas the pojia is perceived to be wealthy and powerful, but also harsh, restrictive, and alien. The irony of the bride's poetic grievance is that, in order to realize the dream of social mobility implicit in her movement towards the pojia, she will have to abandon the cozy but poor surroundings of her youth and enter the domain of this feared elite.
Hawaii Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.