Mid-term Essay Q2
Cheung Chung Yan
Loving relationships and structure in Young Shen Nong
In Mr. DungKai-Cheung’s story “The Young Shen Nong”, not only do the two characters Shen Nong and Lei portray us a fantastic story with a whole series of adventures, but also a romantic and exotic love story that may confuse the readers whether what real love is. In this essay, I attempt to discuss the loving relationships and how they are portrayed in the story by the structure of the text.
First, the loving relationship in “Young Shen Nong” seems to be doubtful and unsure. In Part I of the story, Shen Nong mentioned that Lei carried him after he tried some herbs and fell on the grass, “Without another
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What’s more is that there is a shift in mindset. In Part I of the story, after Lei died, Shen Nong was so depressed that he said “My world no longer existed; I no longer existed. All that existed was Shen Nong of the ancient books.” Shen Nong seemed to question his own identity when Lei died; it seemed that Lei was already part of his life and the evidence to show his existence that when she died, he would lose identity as well. For Lei in Part II, when Shen Nong was sent to hospital, she told the paramedic that “But he’s Shen Nong! He can’t die like this!” It contrasted before when she was fed up because Shen Nong really treated himself as the legend Shen Nong when he was seen as a screwball in others’ eyes. The change in these two people’s attitude may show that the disequilibrium in love relationships can really turn their world upside down and even agree some concepts that they never accepted before. The paradigmatic structure of the two parts link the story back together and this resemblance can convince the readers how these two lovers treasure each other in the end.
In “The Young Shen Nong”, the theme of loving relationships between Shen Nong and Lei is portrayed through their actions and the structure of the story. The double narrative structure can let the readers rethink the