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Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Studies

First Advisor

Yipeng Shen

Second Advisor

Janet Bauer

Third Advisor

Zayde Antrim


The Chinese novelist and short story writer Mo Yan received the Nobel Prize in Literature late last year. Due to the political nature of the Nobel Prize and Mo Yan’s official position within the Communist Party of China (CCP), Critics have argued over his deservingness of the prize. While the debate of his worthiness began with Mo Yan’s political decision, critics and supporters quickly extended the discussion to an examination of his literature. Taking up the discussion published in a series of online articles between two Chinese scholars, Perry Link and Charles Laughlin, I will examine the author’s novel, the Garlic Ballads. Analysis of the work suggests that the notion held by his critics that Mo Yan’s writing conforms to the wishes of the CCP proves to be hard found in textual examination. While a variety of political interpretation can be found, Mo Yan’s writing seems to be about the maladies of human weakness which is found in all fabric of society, in all times, and in all places.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Full text access is limited to the campus only.