Happy Dreams Themes & Motifs

Pingwa, Jia
This Study Guide consists of approximately 58 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Happy Dreams.
This section contains 2,867 words
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Trash

Trash is the central motif of the novel and the symbol of the migrant worker's transformative role in the city. Trash is the antithesis of the city's luxury, it is the city's waste to be kept out of sight and out of mind. Whatever the city discards as used up, no longer valuable, is deposited in the trash. While trash accumulates, a new need emerges, the need to dispose of the growing number of discarded items. Trash itself is a product of the city, but it is an unwanted product. It represents the remainder and excess of consumerism. Wufu argues that the more the trash, the better the city. Xi'an is a center of consumption. The more residents spend and consume, the taller the trash heap grows. Although trash is the unwanted remnant of the city, it is a sign of its consumption and therefore, luxury...

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This section contains 2,867 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Happy Dreams Study Guide
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