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In Broad Daylight: Message and Moral Essay

After hunger, sex is the most powerful drive in humans. In the event of non-fulfillment of this drive, one may turn to evil ways of life by which is meant resorting to actions not considered right and attendant with unpleasant consequences. Though the story “In Broad Daylight” is not purposely intended to be a story with strong social message, its author, Ha Jin, unwittingly establishes a universal truth that evil begets evil. The term evil has two connotations, one at purely personal and individual level and the second at collective and societal level. On an individual level, human emotions and desires demand freedom of satisfaction.

One does not mind defying customs and systems and wants absolute rights as a human being. Mu Ying, principal character of Ha Jin’s story and a lady past her prime, indulges in prostitution as she has been dissatisfied with the physical aspects of her relationship with her husband Meng Su (Jin 84). She pleads with other woman to consider her case on human basis (Jin 84). Physical gratification is a matter of personal choice but it comes into conflict with regulatory aspect of society which to promote a stable system denounces physical gratification outside wedlock and makes it punishable as adultery.

The more primitive and backward the society, like China during times of Communist Revolution, the more barbaric the punishment. Mu Ying’s thrashing a red guard for not paying her money results in her public humiliation and atrocious death at the hands of Red Guards and suicide of her husband (Jin 88) – evil begetting evil. The author Ha Jing has not raised any question of morality. He has simply described the incompatible conduct of a person and its disastrous repercussions.

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