February 14, 2013
Spring Silkworm and An Old and Established Name
The comparison themes from Spring Silkworms by Mao Dun and An Old and Established Name by Lao She, are the confrontations between old traditional and new modernize society. The changes within society from old traditional values to new modernization explained how the western world is having an influence on Old Tong Bao and Xin Dezhi businesses. The changes on modern machinery and provincial craftsmanship, between western know how and native values, between capitalist monopoly and the rural struggle for cultural and socio-economic autonomy. These seemingly unique themes are not unrelated to each other; rather they are strongly intertwined to formulate one central idea in which the east collides with the west. The articles will follow the story of Old Tong Bao and Xin Dezhi from changes to old tradition to the new modern form of capitalism and competition. The confrontation between modernity and traditional in the articles portray how modernity and traditional have influence the way the main characters on conduct their business in the socioeconomic times.
The main characters in the story Old Tong Bao, Spring Silkworm, Old Tong Bao is a patriarch who owned a silkworm family business in the village of Zhejiang. Old Tong Bao refused to adapt to modernization and he believed in the old traditional way of farming. Xin Dezhi, An Old and Established Name, Xin Dezhi was a senior apprentice of operations in the Fortune Silk Store. He witnessed the change within his business from honest Manager Qian to the hustler Manager Zhou. Old Tong Bao and Xin Dezhi believed in old traditional values when it came to the silkworms industry. The articles focused on the changes from old traditional to new modern and how these changes are affecting the businesses. Old Tong Bao viewed on modern machinery is the inventions by the “foreign devil’. Old Tong Bao thought it was the symbol of the west and it had no traditional values. For example, from the article of Spring Silkworm, “The foreign devils have swindled our money away (page 59)” was the remark of Old Master Chen. Old Tong Bao believed that the remark of Old Master Chen was right about the foreign devils Old Tong Bao hated the foreign devils but he has never met a foreign devil. Old Tong Bao believed the reason for his low income was of the cause of the foreign devil.
In the article An Old and Established Name, Xin Dezhi was a senior apprentice who operated of the Fortune Silk Store; the Fortune Silk Store was universally recognized and well established in the community. Xin Dezhi believed that the Fortune Silk Store should be conducted with honesty and righteousness. He believed in the old traditional values on giving the customer an honest service when they came into his store. The article An Old and Established Name focused was not on the business aspect part rather the focus was on the characters response to the changes that is happening around them and learning to adapt to the new modern changes in society. The article Spring Silkworm, Old Tong Bao wanted to stands firm when it came to the old traditional value of conducting his operation. The economic changes from foreigners coming into the country and steadily raising taxes convinced Old Tong Bao that foreigners was the cause for his economic struggle. Due to steadily rise in taxes and the market lowering prices for local silkworm, Old Tong Bao was an economic struggle to sell their product to the customers. The people used their money to buy food rather than silk products. It had a general impact on Old Tong Bao silk business.
Old Tong Bao was bitter when it came to using modernize machinery. He believed that machinery was a western influence and had no traditional values. For example, in the article Spring Silkworm, a small oil-burning riverboat sailing through the canal, while tugging three large crafts in its