Zhenbao grew up in a poor family but made a living by becoming a successful businessman in the textile industry.
He studied abroad in Europe and falls in love with a young woman named Rose. He gets a job at a textile and weaving company and lives with his younger brother, Dubao who is currently attending school and hopes to his brother in the industry.
When Shihong went on a business trip, Zhenbao and Jiaorui end up having a passionate love affair.
Zhenbao decides to leave Jiaorui because the affair could ruin his chances of climbing the social ladder. So he marries Yanli, a dutiful and submissive woman who contrasts from the women Zhenbao dated.
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Zhenbao suspects Yanli of having an affair with a tailor which le him to depression. One day, while riding the bus, he encounters Jiaorui. He learns that Jiaorui remarried and now has. Zhenbao has some resentment and envy towards Jiaorui and her new life because his married life is falling apart.
Zhenbao has a mental breakdown and lashes out at Yanli. Soon after, he turns back to normal and acts like a good man the very next day. He also seems to have standards and boundaries when selecting a wife.
But …this would not do. Rose, after all, was a decent girl.
Turning, she fled from the room. Zhenbao felt that she had been completely defeated. In front of people, Zhenbao is a good man, but behind closed doors, he shows his demons to his lovers. Personally, I found Zhenbao to be a bit full of himself since it seems that he wants to control the women that he is surrounded by.
I have no sympathy for Zhenbao. I think that karma caught up to him once he left Jiaorui and so, he got what he deserved. Zhenbao followed the path that was constructed for him, but in the end, it brought him to his own demise. Chang, Eileen. Karen S. New York Review Books,pp. Book Reviews.
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