Chinese Literature Modern Fiction: 1950s-1970s
After the founding of the People's Republic (PRC), socialist realism became the only acceptable form of literature. Unlike "critical realism" which attempted to provide a critical, yet real view of life, socialist realism sought to use literature as a tool to build the ideal classless society. Hence, literature was expected to describe life not so much as it was than as it should be. In 1956, Mao Zedong also briefly launched the "Hundred Flowers Campaign" to experiment with freedom of expression but he terminated it quickly due to its extreme success in generating criticism of his policies. A purge of writers followed. But the worst was yet to come.
The world of modern Chinese literature finally hit bottom during the Cultural Revolution, a span of ten years of madness during which all intellectuals were suspect and sent for "reeducation".