Language Arts

Essay by tanwshengA, April 2007

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The extract is about a young rickshaw puller called Hsian Tzu who hopes to obtain a rickshaw of his very own. The author introduces him by his profession, describing how ‘he ran from dawn till dark, east to west, from south to north.’ From the beginning of the extract, he is portrayed as hardworking and committed. The author writes, ‘he was like a top someone else was spinning . . his eyes certainly had no spots before them nor was his mind confused’. As a rickshaw puller, he had to obey the instructions and directions of his passenger. However, he knew that this would lead to purchase of his personal rickshaw ‘that would make him free and independent.’ Thus he was a diligent worker in order to pursue his ambitions.

Hsian Tzu’s motivation to own a rickshaw was to be independent from the rickshaw agencies he to rent rickshaws from.

This was because ‘he would no longer have to put up with the bad temper of rickshaw agency owners or be hypocritically polite to others . .’ This shows that he disliked dealing with the city people, possibly due to background as a country boy. For example, ‘he was also, therefore not inclined to copy the spiteful lips and wicked tongues of the city folk.’ My impression of Hsian Tzu is a slightly reclusive but determined person who desired to work independently. This may have been due to ‘he lost both parents . . . He came to the city when he was eighteen.’ Since his parents’ deaths, he had to fend for himself and go to the city to find a job. Thus he was forced into independence from young. Therefore ‘He did not fear hardship and had none of the bad habits of the other rickshaw men .