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Explicating the Self: Life Narrative in Jia Pingwa’s I Was a Farmer

Abstract: I Was a Farmer,Jia Pingwa’ lengthy autobiography, narrates retrospectively his 19-year experience of rural life. It not only presents the unique living conditions and thinking patterns of farmers, reflecting the author’s insistence on such social concepts as fairness, dignity and justice, but also defines his unique position assumed in the quest for self and cognition. That is, the self, both social and acquired, is shaped and determined by the status of the subjectivity. This embodies the author’s understanding of the society and human life. 

Key words: I Was a Farmer;identity;life narrative


Dr. Lei Ying is Associate Professor at School of Culture Media and Law, Fuqing Branch of Fujian Normal University. She teaches Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature. Email: leiying512@126.com