Theme Of Sexual Control In Ha Jin's Waiting

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The effect of sexual control on human destiny also plays a major part in Ha Jin’s Waiting. Unlike Kafka on the Shore, the repression of sex dominates the love affair of Lin Kong and Manna Wu. Sex is a constant factor in their lives, even if they spend the bulk of the novel not in the act of it, it drives their action and inaction. For instance, if Lin and Manna had consummated their relationship during their initial stages of attraction, it is probable that Lin would have come to the realization soon after that he did not love Manna. The relationship would soon have soon fizzled out, and both characters would have moved forward with their lives rather that half-heartedly staying in a relationship out of habit. Instead, they stay stuck because …show more content…
While waiting for Lin’s divorce, she is in a perpetual state of spinsterhood without the protection of an engagement or marriage. Unfortunately Manna lives in a society where the confirmation of a male presence in her life willing to defend her honor is respected, instead of one that acknowledges her right to engage in sex as she see fit. The longer she goes without a commitment from Lin, the more likely others think he does not care enough about her to protect her. In addition, her status is leading to stereotypes regarding her female purity. As a single woman of an older age in a questionable relationship, Manna is viewed by others as promiscuous or as a perpetual virgin. Ether image subjects her to sexual fantasy or curiosity, which is seen when Lin and Geng Yang are discussing Lin’s relationship with Manna. Geng Yang wants to know if she is a virgin, and even when told that she is, he asks Lin if he is sure (Jin 164-165). Instead of keeping Manna safe within the confines of a socially acceptable relationship that would help men see her as off limits, Lin’s confirmation of her virginity has presented Manna as a sexual prize to Geng Yang. Even though Lin does not realize what he has done, this vulnerability leads to her being raped by Geng Yang. He tells her, ““Listen to me, my little virgin. Am I not a better man than Lin Kong? Why are you devoted to that sissy?” (Jin 179). This anger and disgust help to show that he rapes her to gain back control over his manhood, because it is threatened when a woman chooses a man he sees as inferior over himself. The complexities of the sexual relationships between Lin, Manna, Shuyu, and Geng Yang leads to revelations on how much control men and women have over their sexual relationships. While each is under some kind of control of the communist government, the men have the greater ability to choose their sexual partners. For the women those choices are

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