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Chinese Literature
Leiyu 雷雨 "The Thunderstorm"


The "Thunderstorm" by Cao Yu 曹禺, published in 1936, describes a family tragedy the at the beginning of 20th century. Coal mine director Zhou Puyuan 周朴園 once had two children with a servant maid named Shiping 侍萍. For social reasons, he later married a girl of a family named Kuo, and Shiping was forced to leave his household. Trying to drown herself with her son Dahai 大海 , she was rescued and married a man named Lu Gui 魯貴 with whom she had a daughter, Sifeng 四鳳 . Lu Gui kidnaps Sifeng and bring her to the household of Zhou Puyan where she had to serve as a maid. Sifeng is in good relationships with Zhou's son Zhou Ping 周萍 , but his mother, Fanyi 闊蘩漪 , does not agree with the good relationship of the two young people. Looking for their daughter and sister, Shipin and Lu Dahai come to the household of Zhou Puyan where Shipin, for the first time since 30 years, meets Zhou Puyan. Sifeng, learning that her lover Zhou Ping, is her half-brother, kills herself by touching an electricity wire. While Zhou Ping chooses suicide, his mother Siping and his step-mother, Fanyi, fall in insanity.
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July 18, 2010 © · Ulrich Theobald · Mail