“Handsome, ambitious, dreamer of the fine dreams, selfish, individualistic, sturdy, great Hsiang Tzu. No one knows how many funerals he marched in, and no one knows when or where he was able to get himself buried, that degenerate, selfish, unlucky offspring of society’s diseased womb, a ghost caught in Individualism’s blind alley.” (Lao She, Rickshaw, p. 249)
What do you make of the above concluding paragraph of the novel? What is the narrator’s diagnose of Xiangzi (Hsiang Tzu)’s problem? How has the narrator’s attitude toward Xiangzi changed over the course of the novel? What has Xiangzi done wrong? What could possibly be his way out of his series of misfortune? In 400-500 words, address as many of these reading questions as you can. Your engagement with other parts of the novel (any quotation from the novel should be accompanied by page numbers, to be cited parenthetically) is encouraged.