Life and Death in Shanghai Setting & Symbolism

Nien Cheng
This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Life and Death in Shanghai.
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Cheng's home before the Cultural Revolution

At the start of the novel, Cheng enjoys a lifestyle unlike that of the rest of the Chinese population. Thanks to her husband's employment with Shell Oil and her position as an assistant to the manager after his death, she enjoys a luxurious lifestyle with many Western comforts, including teas and coffee that the rest of China does not have. Her home and wealth symbolize all that is bad in Chinese society to the Cultural Revolution and its Red Guards.

Cheng's home after prison

Although her living conditions are better than the prison cell she had, Cheng is given only the upstairs two-bedroom portion of a home. However, for a single woman living with a servant, her living accommodations are still much greater than what the rest of China has. She is given special accommodations after her detention sentence by the Chinese...

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This section contains 591 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Life and Death in Shanghai Study Guide
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