Why Convict Took Own Life
Coming to terms with traumatic experiences can be a challenge to many. Literature actually plays a major role in such a situation. Usually, many nuances are kept alive through literature. This is just the greatest problem that political prisoners go through. In their bid to emancipate society or fight for a cause many have found themselves incarcerated. Under such conditions, freedom of expression is usually curtailed and the convicts hardly have space to express the deep thoughts that disturb them. Thus, the real feelings are suppressed, creating feelings of inner resentments.
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Literature goes ahead to reveal the hypocrisy in people: the convict in Grass Soup exposes us to the world of reality where we see a reflection of what goes on in society. Many people usually shy away from pointing a finger at the injustices that prevail.
Literature, through use of meaning which is usually hidden in several symbols and images, can communicate subtly while at the same time cannot be incriminating as the fictional nature cannot be admissible evidence to fix one. For instance, Zhang has employed a lot of humor in his memoirs that one may take it to be passing for entertainment. This is not the case since Zhang communicates serious issues. Literature actually parodies situations, and that is why in many instances it is very difficult for one to pin point a particular work to be either inciting the masses to a revolution.
The convict had faced everything in the camp. First the conditions were deplorable. Convicts worked under heavy supervision, as many also died in the face of others. They also performed hard tasks. Working in groups, being the order of the day, symbolized great dissatisfaction with the communist ideology. This would be seen with the way the prisoners would try to sabotage such arrangements. This show of rebellion is what was on the mind of every prisoner.
In real life this replicates itself in several forms. This confinement leads to anguish and despair. Many in society face situations which are forced upon them but they dare not raise their heads. Many have henceforth submitted to submission that has been impressed upon them through a kind of brainwashing by the leadership. Perhaps this deep frustration the convict goes through is what makes him kill himself at the end of the book. There were trauma’s that were suffered in the prison but no one dared address them head-on. Only silent rebellion could succeed. Thus, the convicts suffered silently, suppressing their emotional feelings.
Frustration is even seen to abound in places that one would expect freedom. For instance, when we see Zhang preferring prison rather that the outside world, one can only tell the degree of despair that the society has inflicted upon its people. The convict, having seen no respite out there, might have even felt it better to take own life since there was no better life to yearn for anywhere. This could also be explained as having emanated from the smashed egos that the prisoners had eventually gone through that one would actually feel embarrassed to join the outside world. So one could conclude that the other motivation that might have pushed the prisoner to take own life would be that fear of facing and having to adjust to yet another torturous life outside prison.