To Live is a novel by Chinese author Yu Hua that tells the story of Fugui, a man who witnesses and survives the tumultuous events of 20th century China. The novel is divided into four parts, each corresponding to a different historical period: The Land Reform Movement, The Great Leap Forward, The Cultural Revolution, and The Reform and Opening Up.
In chapter 12, the last chapter of the novel, Fugui is an old man who lives alone with his ox. His wife Jiazhen and his daughter Fengxia have both died, and his son Youqing has moved away to work in a factory. Fugui spends his days tending to his fields and talking to his ox. He also visits his old friend Chunsheng, who has become a wealthy businessman after being released from prison. Chunsheng offers to help Fugui financially, but Fugui refuses, saying that he is content with his simple life.
One day, Fugui receives a letter from Youqing, who tells him that he has a grandson named Kugen. Fugui is overjoyed and decides to visit his son and grandson. He takes his ox with him and sets off on a long journey. Along the way, he meets many people who are curious about his ox and his story. He also encounters some difficulties, such as being robbed by bandits and being caught in a storm. He finally arrives at Youqing's factory, where he is warmly welcomed by his son and grandson.
Fugui spends some time with his family and enjoys playing with Kugen. He also learns that Youqing has married a woman named Xiangyang, who is pregnant with their second child. Fugui is happy for his son and hopes that he will have a better life than him. He also tells Youqing about his past and advises him to cherish his family and be honest and kind.
After staying for a few days, Fugui decides to return to his village with his ox. He bids farewell to his son and grandson and promises to visit them again. He also gives Kugen a wooden horse that he carved himself as a gift. As he leaves, he feels a mix of sadness and joy. He reflects on his life and realizes that despite all the hardships and losses he has endured, he still has something to live for: his love for his family and his ox.To Live is a novel that explores the themes of fate, resilience, and human nature. Yu Hua uses Fugui as a representative of the ordinary Chinese people who have suffered and survived through the turbulent times of modern China. Fugui's life is full of tragedies and misfortunes, but he never gives up or loses hope. He accepts his fate and adapts to the changing circumstances. He also maintains his dignity and integrity, even when he is oppressed and humiliated by others. He shows compassion and forgiveness to those who have wronged him, such as Long'er and Chunsheng. He also values his family and friends above everything else.
The novel also depicts the contrast between the rural and urban life in China. Fugui is a farmer who lives in a small village. He is attached to his land and his ox, which symbolize his connection to nature and tradition. He is also loyal to his ancestral roots and his cultural identity. He does not care much about money or material possessions, as long as he has enough to live on. He is content with his simple and peaceful life. On the other hand, Chunsheng is a city dweller who pursues wealth and power. He is ambitious and opportunistic, taking advantage of the political and economic changes in China. He is also corrupt and greedy, exploiting and cheating others for his own benefit. He is dissatisfied with his luxurious and extravagant life.
To Live is a novel that challenges the reader to reflect on the meaning of life and death, happiness and sorrow, love and hate. It is a novel that celebrates the human spirit and the will to live. 29c81ba772