Book Report: Waiting, by Ha Jin

Essay by smilesf0rsaleHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2008

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1. Title: Waiting2. Author: Ha Jin3. Genre: Fiction4. Pages Read: 3085. Main Setting: China - during the cultural revolution6. Identify two main characters and give an insightful description of each, including the function or purpose of the character in the story.

The main character of "Waiting," is Lin Kong. He lives in Muji City in China and graduated from military medical school to become a doctor in the army during the China's Cultural Revolution. Lin was forced into an arranged marriage at young age by his parents. Shuyu, his wife, lives in Goose Village, far from Muji city where Lin works and lives. Every summer Lin returns to Goose village to try and divorce Shuyu, but by China's law a couple is not allowed a divorce before 18 years of marriage. Lin and Shuyu have one daughter, Hua, who is twelve years old. Lin feels obligated to his marriage with Shuyu, but has a girlfriend at the hospital in Muji City.

The second main character of the novel is Manna Wu, the head nurse of the hospital that Lin works at in Muji City. Manna is Lin's girlfriend, but they cannot act like it outside of the hospital because of the strict regulations. A couple who is not married or engaged cannot walk together outside the compound, and if they are caught, they will both be expelled from the army. Manna was a young energetic woman, smart and more attractive than Shuyu, and this is what interested Lin. Manna had gone through a tragic incident before she met Lin. Geng Yang, a retired officer of the hospital had raped Manna and got away with it. Years later Geng Yang became rich and well-known, while Manna was left with a scar forever. Manna is left with a promise each...