Who Is Alienated In Lu Xinhua's The Scar

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One of Scar Literature’s defining characteristics is alienation, the manifestation of the conflicting family-state power structure found in Confucianism as compared to Maoism. Lu Xinhua’s The Scar includes one of the most effective portrayals of alienation. The Scar chronicles Xiaohua’s journey through alienation from, and eventual reconciliation with, her mother. The story begins with an adult Xiaohua riding a train. She is traveling to reunite her with her renegade mother, a woman Xiaohua has not seen or communicated with for decades. The story then cuts to Xiaohua’s youth, and continues chronologically from there. Xiaohua’s is only sixteen when she learns her mother has been declared a renegade and an enemy of the state. As a result,…show more content…
As previously stated, the Cultural Revolution was a time in which all enemies of the state were to be rejected, regardless of their statuses as family members or friends. When Xiaohua is forced to reject her mother, she is merely following this current, cultural norm. She needed to “[draw] a line of demarcation between herself and her mother,” and attempted to achieve this by running away from home, and refusing to open her mother’s letters (Lu 11). Xiaohua dutifully rejects Xiao in favor of Ren; however, following Mao’s advice only leads to her inevitable alienation. Xiaohua admits to struggling with her emotions; the state says she should hate her mother, and yet she thinks longingly about her “mother’s deep love for her, and the fact that her parents had treasured her… like a pearl” (Lu 11). Xiaohua’s conflicting thoughts betray her inability to completely eradicate the love she holds for her mother, despite her attempted rejection of Xiao. Confucius promoted familial love as primary to that of the state, as this tends to be the natural order – a child bonds with her parents long before she can begin to connect with the state. Perhaps this explains Xiaohua’s inability to completely relinquish the love she holds for her mother. Even within Mao’s new structure of state…show more content…
Confucian thought argues that without familial compassion, one cannot successfully interact with the state. Unless Xiao is successfully cultivated, connection and compassion cannot spread to society at large. If the roots of a tree do not exist, how can the branches be expected to grow? The issues Xiaohua has with the Party are a result of her familial issues and the rejection of her mother’s compassion. Xiaohua’s inability to connect with the Party is a manifestation of this. With the death of her roots, branches can no longer form in Xiaohua’s

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