Instructor: Ms. Kate Liu
As we know, this is an short story about the Chinese coolies were sold oversea as slaves.
Although the content of this story is not all believable, it still could be a reference of the situation at that time.
As to the author, Jack London, he liked to travel and adventure around the world. So his experience was often an important element in his works of literature.
Therefore, " The Chinago" might be his experience or hearing from somebody and added his ideas and emotion.
In "The Chinago" we can see the clear social status and how did those upper class people extracted and mistreated the Chinese coolies.
From the story, we can assume that Jack London objected capitalism.
In fact, he really objected it. So in the story, we can see how those capitalists extracted the coolies and he also used the innocent Chinese to satirize the companies and those upper class people.
Although Jack London objected capitalism, he agreed Social Darwinism. That is the white man is the best race in the world.
In other word, he believed that human being has social levels and white man advantaged over all human races.
This belief conflicted with his standpoint in "The Chinago."
I consider that there are three levels in this story, the companies, and the overseer and Chinese coolies. Those foreign companies cooperated each other in order to get the benefit.
They paid little money to the overseers and coolies but the proceeds are huge. The benefit and the salary of coolies can't place on a par.
However, those Chinese coolies in story thought that they were better than the people in their countries were and they would be wealthy when they went back home.
Separate from the story, during that time in history, the Chinese coolies who emigrated oversea only a few people went back their countries because they were death on the ship or tortured to death in the colonies.
So the dream of the innocent Ah Cho was an irony to the capitalism. The overseer, Schemmer Karl also sold his body to the companies.
He worked hard to manage the coolies for the companies but his salary was so tiny of the benefit that the capitalists got.
In other word, he was also extracted by the capitalists but in his opinion, he had the power to control the coolies and plenty salary. It is the magnificent fantasy that the capitalists used to give the labor class.
However, the labors were used to the pie in the sky that the capitalists make.
The labors still think that they have the benefit, like Ah Cho and Schemmer in the story, they had never aware of that the capitalists extracted them because in their mind, they were already better than others.
At last, the power and money always drifted toward the upper class. The last victor is the capitalist.
At last, the guillotine awoke Ah Cho's fantasy that everything was a pie in the sky. Not only Ah Cho but also all the coolies and workers are the victim of capitalism.
Jack London showed sympathy for the labor class because he also had a poor background.
Maybe the coolie was also his portrayal. Nowadays, the capitalism is still popular even more worse.
We can see the combine or cooperation between the gigantic industries. In order to get the cheap labors, they set up their factories in the backward countries.
After they extract those labors and countries, the remainder is pollution. Also our salaries are only a tiny part of the industries' benefit that the labors bring.
Why are we used to it? Are we like those Chinese coolies? Yes, we are; because we think that we are better than other people and we have steady life. But we are extracted by the capitalism.
The capitalists become wealthy and wealthy, but the labors become poor and poor.