“What is love?” – The hilarious high school entrance essay that got the perfect score

Every year, numerous students in China give their all during the entrance exams so they can test into the best high school within their reach.  This year, one particular essay not only got a perfect score, it reached thousands of computer screens as it was shared from person to person.

The topic for the essay question this year is: “What is love?” (問世間情為何物).

The answer reflects how the new generation in China views their world, a world where dating shows dominate television ratings and the guy to girl ratio is getting to be a little crazy.  Here is my translation attempt so you can see it too.  Just know that in Chinese, it rhymes and is sometimes in an amusing archaic language.  It’s also a great example of how just a few Chinese words requires a whole English sentence to explain.

love with paper heart

What is love?

Cars yearn for roads, plants thirsts for rain,
Souls desire salvation, spirits yearn to return,
Yet all I desperately want is a wife.
I searched for her hundreds and thousands of times in the crowds, flattening the roads beneath me,
Suddenly I turn around for a close examination, to see numerous aunties.

They say that a man’s tears don’t trickle down
But that’s definitely because they’re not heartbroken yet.
Who knows how many times the windows to my heart have been blurred with tears?
Besides we are all just a drop in the ocean,
So why can’t I land on the shore of love?
And I can only keep eating vinegar (= be jealous)?

Life is short to began with,
How can I silently fritter away my time?
So that I’ll find a home to return to soon,
I decided to pursue at all costs and by any means necessary.

Mistake, mistake.
This kind of thinking ultimately led to my inescapable fate.
Who would have thought that my momentary lapse in judgement,
Would result in such a tragic play.

That was because I had reached the end of the road,
And seduced a married woman.
Who knew that my crime would be exposed,
And I’d be captured at the scene.
I just regret that I don’t know martial arts,
And wasn’t able to fight my way out.
Helplessly wangled
Tragically meeting with physical vengeance.

They flew into a rage out of humiliation,
Attacking with a sense of justice that does not allow a chance for reflection.
The knife blades looped around again and again,
The bricks greeted me repeatedly.
Blood poured out like a fountain all over my body,
And my two legs continued to twitch.
Having wrongfully taken that sinful step,
I almost would have died with my eyes open (with unfinished business).

Frightening, frightening.
It’s truly fortunate I was still able to keep my life.
That self directed and self acted episode to serve as an example for others,
Have deceitfully and deeply moved me.
The past experience clearly flashes before my eyes,
I currently trace my past back to each event.
The awareness I achieved after my experience with pain and struggles,
Finally raised me to the height of salvation as never before.

To ask What is love,
I’m really at a loss,
When it comes to love, it looks like you really can’t be too blind.
If it’s yours you can’t prevent it from happening, if it’s not yours you can’t keep it no matter what you do.
No matter how wonderful other people’s girlfriends are you still shouldn’t rashly approach them.
The learned texts say without the skin the hair has nothing to adhere to (a thing cannot exist without its basis),
If I finish playing, where would I go to find my virtuous good wife?
What’s more life is short,
There is still a lot of things worthy to be cherished and protected.
Even though the halo of love is dazzling,
Still it isn’t everything in life.

After writing this much, seems that the word count is not enough.
Then allow me, to fabricate some more.
After all this discussion, I couldn’t help to reveal my heartfelt thoughts.
On Double Seven Festival (Chinese Valentines Day) dudes all have plans, I a bachelor, is on the verge of suffering from stabs of pain.
Aiya oh no!
The test is almost over, there’s still numerous questions to answer, and I’m a getting restless.
At the end a sentence to summarize, then I’ll end the essay right there。
Answer to what is love, to quote the Book of Songs: useless, useless.

汽车渴望公路,花草渴望雨露,

灵魂渴望超度,心灵渴望归宿,

而我则迫切渴望着有个媳妇。

众里寻她千百度,踏平脚下路,

蓦然回首细环顾,大婶大娘无数。

都说男儿有泪不扑簌,

但那绝对是未到伤心处。

有谁知道泪水已经多少次模糊了我心灵的窗户?

况且咱都是沧海一粟,

凭啥我就不能在爱情的海岸登陆?

只能一口一口地吃着干醋?

人生本来就短促,

我又怎能就这样默默地虚度?

为了尽快给自己找一个归宿,

我决心不择手段的全力以赴。

错误,错误。

这种想法最终成了我难逃的劫数。

没想到我一时的慌不择路,

竟上演了那样惨绝人寰的一幕。

那是我走投无路,

勾引了有夫之妇。

谁知道罪行败露,

被人家当场抓住。

只后悔不会武术,

没能够杀出血路。

无奈的任人摆布,

惨遭了打击报复。

他们恼羞成怒,

打得义无反顾。

片刀循环往复,

板砖频频招呼。

我浑身血流如注,

两腿还不住抽搐。

走错那罪恶一步,

差点儿就死不瞑目。

恐怖,恐怖。

真庆幸我还能把命保住。

那场我自导自演的前车之覆,

带给了我贼深贼深的感触。

往事历历在目,

我此刻一一追溯。

经历了苦痛挣扎后的觉悟,

终于上升到了前所未有的高度。

问世间情为何物,

我算是 髲卮笪颉 br>
感情上的事儿看来还真不能过于盲目。

是你的挡不住,不是你的留也留不住。

别人的女友就是再好也不能轻易接触。

有道是皮之不存毛将焉附,

我要是玩完了还上哪去找我的贤内助?

更何况人生短促,

还有很多东西值得我们珍惜和呵护。

爱情的光环固然炫目,

也毕竟不是生命的全部。

写到这里,似乎字数不够。

那就容我,再些编构。

说来说去,心声止不住流露。

七夕哥们儿都有节目,我这个单身人物,即将刺痛苦楚。

哎呀不好!

考试就快结束,试卷还有问题无数,我有点儿坐立不住。

最后总结一句,作文便就此打住。

问世间情为何物,诗经曰: 废物,废物。

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1 Response

  1. February 28, 2013

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