Spring Moon, the protagonist and title character. She is the wife of Glad Promise and the niece and mistress of Bold Talent. Under Bold Talent’s tutelage, Spring Moon learns to read and write. Though a rebellious youth, she becomes enamored with the idea of marriage and yields unexpectedly and almost enthusiastically to tradition. Only her husband’s antipathy for tradition prevents her from becoming a traditional Chinese wife. Throughout her life, Spring Moon adapts to her surroundings, never afraid to change but never eager to abandon the ways of her ancestors. Her pliability represents a sensible mean between the antitraditionalism of Lustrous Jade, her daughter, and the traditionalism of Golden Virtue, Bold Talent’s dutiful wife.
Lustrous Jade, the daughter of Spring Moon and Glad Promise. As a child, she is taunted by her peers for having big (or unbound) feet. Her grandmother, Lotus Delight, nicknames her “Worthless Jewel” because she is not a boy. Her grandfather, Fierce Rectitude, refers to her as his “son” on his deathbed, and from that moment on Lustrous Jade is condemned to be her “father’s daughter” and her “grandfather’s son.” Her identity crisis manifests itself as fanaticism, first for Christianity, then for Communism. As an adult, she is a stubborn zealot, disdainful of tradition and often unbending in her convictions.
(The entire section is 469 words.)