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Hua Hua You Long is based on a novel. I never read it, but based on the spoilers it appears that all the romantic parts are in the second part. The manhua has all the smut. They fall in love and there's a realistic happy ending. Meaning, nobody dies and they are still together years after.
Yu Hua: It was chosen by more than a hundred literary critics and editors. My other novel, Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, has also been selected. The English version, published by Random House, came out in October 2003. It was translated by my good friend Andrew F. Jones. The fact that the two books have both been selected points to how important they are, and how the readers and professors appreciate my work.
The novel describes a series of tragedies based on the context, including Chinese civil war, the Land Reform, Great Leap Forward, Great Chinese Famine, Three-anti and Five-anti Campaigns, and the Cultural Revolution. It allows the readers to see the cruelty of war, witnesses the deified Chinese political figures, thoughts, and movements. Covered by Mao's government propaganda, the deployed innovative farming techniques encountered failure and led to mass starvation and death, along with various political campaigns and struggles , ordinary people like Fugui, was the greatest casualties.
From short stories to long ones, Yu Hua's stories have become more comprehensive. While dark humor is still a highlighting feature of his work, his focus has switched from blood and death to the reflection on the reality of society and the life of the general public. So his works of this period were well recognized by readers and received high praise.
As Zhang Xuexin comments it, "Yu Hua turned to a serious exploration of survival at that stage, and the novels of this period can be called 'survival novels': they are 'grounded in the breadth and depth of the writer's thinking and imagination about the state of human existence ', showing both 'a picture of the human state ' and expressing 'the inner voice of the human soul in front of suffering and fate.'" In short, Yu Hua's creative turn at this stage is characterized by a shift from "formal avant-grading" to "ordinaries' survival".
[Ca. early Autumn 1947? (see p. 80) ]: A year later, Fugui's mother gets sick (57). Jiazhen gives Fugui her last two silver yuans [coins] to go into town to fetch a doctor (57). In town, Fugui sets out to find Dr. Lin, but enroute is insulted by and gets involved in a fight with the town magistrate's servant (58-59). Bad luck!--senior official of a brigade of National troops in yellow uniforms happens upon this "pathetic" scuffle and commands Fugui and the magistrate's servant to help pull cannons (59-60). The protesting servant angers the official and nearly gets killed running away. Fugui, however, is caught: faced with the choice of getting shot or pulling the cannons, Fugui starts pulling the cannons, weeping as he feels Jiazhen's two silver coins in his pocket (62). Fugui is conscripted into the Nationalist Army (58-62). Thus is Fugui conscripted into the National Army, goes north with the cannon battalion, and veteran soldier Old Quan explains that escape is impossible, for deserters are regularly caught and shot (62-63). Old Quan's story: p. 63. The battalion crosses the Yangtze River, and Fugui's dreams of desertion die (63). Among the soldiers are teen-aged boys, including Chungsheng, from Jiangsu province, whom Fugui befriends (63-64). Mid-Winter [early 1948?], Surrounded by the [Communist] Liberation Army: The battalion finally stops at a deserted village--not even the company commander knows where they are--sets up the cannons, and prepares for battle, though no enemy is yet in sight (64). Within days, many more Nationalist Army units join them, totaling "a hundred thousand Nationalist troops" in a small "twenty li square area," and the company commander announces, "We've been surrounded" (64). The Liberation Army does not attack at first (65), and the Nationalist Army does not even fire a shot, but, surrounded, begins to run out of food and ammunition (66). They hide in tunnels, scrambling out and fighting among themselves over bags of rice and bread cakes dropped by plane (66-69). Fugui, Old Quan, and Chungsheng band together and help keep each other alive (68-70). Fighting commences; sounds of guns, cannons, and bombs grow closer; but the three comrades remain hunkered down in their tunnel, freezing, venturing out only when hunger drives them to seek food (70-71). [Later in 1948?] The size of the Nationalist Army has steadily shrunk, and thousands of wounded are no longer evacuated but are dumped, left for dead, in the vicinity of the three comrades' cave (71). One night: Hungry and cold, wounded and dying men screaming and moaning outside their cave, the three realize the "Generalissimo" [Chiang Kai-shek] won't be coming to save them; but when Fugui and Chungsheng begin to despair, veteran Old Quan bucks them up, telling them they've got to live, and they will so long as they believe they will make it (72). All Fugui can think about is his family (72-73). The next morning: All is silent. When Fugui, Chungsheng, and Old Quan stick their heads out, they see that all the wounded men around them are dead - "It's terrible" (73). Old Quan goes out among the field of dead to investigate, finds four soldiers he knows, then falls, hit by a sudden outburst of flying bullets (74); then, not even knowing the name of the place, he dies (75). Dressed in civilian clothes and trying to escape, the company commander is also shot down (76). Chungsheng leaves Fugui in search of food By noon that day: Along with all the other survivors hiding in the tunnels, Fugui is taken prisoner by the communist Liberation Army, marched south, fed, and given the choice either to join the Liberation Army or to go home (77-78). Fugui is astounded: "The Liberation Army let me go home, and they even paid my travel expenses. Heading south, I rushed the whole way home" (79). [Early 1949?] Fugui's rush to get home is delayed at the Yangtze River, for Mao Zetung's communist Liberation Army had not yet "liberated" the south (80). Fugui's progress is slow, "Keeping behind the Liberation Army as it fought its way south" (80).[Early Autumn 1949?]: Nearly two years after leaving home and being conscripted into the Nationalist Army, mud-covered Fugui finally reaches home (80). He breaks into a run when he nears their thatched hut (80). Fugui first comes across his children cutting grass: Fengxia, "around seven or eight" years old, and Youqing, "around three" years old (81). Fengxia smiles but does not speak and Youqing hides, not recognizing his father (81). Crying out Fugui's name, Jiazhen runs to her husband (80). Amid the tearful reunion, Fugui is devastated to learn that his Mother died just two months' after he was forced into the Nationalist army two years' earlier (81). A year later [ca. 1948], Fengxia had contracted a high fever, lost her voice and hadn't spoken since (81). Fugui is overjoyed to be home again with his family (81).[ca. 1950?]: "After I got home, the village began land reform, and I was given five mu of land, the same five mu that I had originally rented from Long Er. Long Er was really in deep trouble--he was labeled a landlord, and after not even four years of putting on airs. Liberation came and he was finished. The Communist Party confiscated his land and divided it among his tenants. But Long Er would rather die than admit he was finished. . . . In the end he was executed" (83). The day Long Er was executed, Fugui goes into town to watch (83). Fugui is chilled, recognizing this irony of "fate" (84, 85): had he not gambled away the Xu estate, it would have been Fugui, rather than Long Er, being executed as a landlord (84-85). Seriously shaken, Fugui vows, "I've got to keep on living"; then later calms down, figuring "it is all fate," and hoping that "good fortune" will follow (85). Jiazhen responds, "I don't want any kind of good fortune. . . I'll be happy if I'm able to sew you a new pair of shoes every year" (85). Fugui understands his wife's words to mean that nothing mattered more than that "our family could be together every day" (85). Fugui's Turning Point: "When we first meet Fugui, he is an old man, alone with his ox plowing a field. A traveler prompts Fugui to tell his life story. In this way, we see the character development of Fugui from his eyes - what he learned, what he experienced, and what he valued. He began as a prodigal son gambling away his family's fortunes (land and home). He became a lowly worker after having put his whole family into poverty. He is then conscripted into the Nationalist Army under Chiang Kai-shek without being about to contact his family. 'All I thought about was my family. I imagined Fengxia sitting by the door holding Youqing, and I pictured my mom and Jiazhen. I thought and thought about them until I was all blocked up inside and couldn't breathe. It felt as if someone were holding my nose and covering my mouth' (Yua 72-73). Miraculously, Fugui survives the war by surrendering to the Liberation Army under Mao. He reunites with his family and quickly realizes his life long goal is the same as that of his remarkable wife, who always knew what she wanted. Jiazhen wished only "to live" a quiet and peaceful life (Agatucci 2). Fugui and his family continue to struggle and starve, battling to stay alive and together under the communist structure mandated by Mao Zedong" (Hage; emphasis added). Historical Background: 2b1af7f3a8