Essay OVerview of Ding Ling's The Diary of Miss Sophia'

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Published in 1928, 'The Diary of Miss Sophia', is a short novel, that converges on a diminutive period of a terminally ill young women's life, intricately focusing on the complexity of women during the early 1900's, through her relationships with other characters. The novel also explores the turmoil's of the young woman's country - China, through her unconventional pursuit of love. Written in first person, which was a way many May Fourth writers expressed individualism (K. Denton, 1998: 164), in diary format, the author, Ding Ling, aims to create an intermit relationship between the diary writer: Sophia, and the readers, and suggestively to provide a contextually rich piece of literature.

Ding Ling, (born 1904, Hunan Province), became
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Kuhlman, 2002: 362), with its demonstrations against the government's political weak stance (R. Powers et. al, 1997: 315) and the New Culture Movement, aimed at rising up against the traditional Confucian ideals, denunciating the old and embracing the new Western models to consolidate Chinas strength (M. Goldman, 1988: 7 - 8). Embracing Western ideals, such as the name of the main character, emphatic punctuation and the format of the novel, Ding Ling etched her story as a view of Western ideals being modern. "I can say that if I have not been influenced by Western literature, I would probably not have been able to write fiction, or at any rate, not the kind of fiction in this collection. It is obvious that my earliest stories followed the path of Western realism." (D. Ling, translated by W. Jenner, 1985: 2)

In relation to the New Culture Movement, calls for women's liberation, an end to the patriarchal society and a place where women could freely express themselves, were heard, (A. Commire 1999:508) as a means of removing the old Confucian ways and moving to a modernized China (P. Ebrey & A. Walthall, 2013: 420). With the Civil war between the Communist party and the Goumingdang, fresh on the doorstep, China was in a state of turmoil (R. Powers et. al, 1997: 315) and with the introduction of new ideals of self realization that created confusion in many (E. Widmer & T. Wang, 1993: 169), the country was in an

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