Life and Death in Shanghai Characters

Nien Cheng
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Nien Cheng

The narrator and main character of the autobiography, Cheng is the strong driving force of her life. She does not allow the negative situations that are put upon her to break her spirit or will. Despite the seemingly insurmountable charges brought against her by the Chinese government, she never breaks down and confesses to trumped up charges against her interactions with foreign capitalists. Her home is ransacked by the Red Guards working on behalf of the Cultural Revolution, and she loses nearly all of her material goods, including precious goods and books.

Cheng does not confess to anything in the Detention House and eventually realizes she is a mere pawn in the Chinese government. Jiang Qing is using her possible confession as a way to demote another member of the political party, Chairman Zhou, in order to promote her own personal political gain. When Cheng does...

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This section contains 1,404 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Life and Death in Shanghai Study Guide
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