In 1956, Hu Shi and his wife jiangdongxiu lived in New York
As early as when he was studying at the Shanghai China public school, the young Hu Shi wrote an article on family education, which was published in the competition Xunbao on September 6th, 1908, It said: “the most important thing for the official to know is that the mother is the most important part of family education. As a father, he can never stay at home without working outside. So the task of teaching his son is the responsibility of the mother… Now to improve family education, the first step is to set up a women’s school.”
Unfortunately, Hu Shi’s later wife, jiangdongxiu, did not go to school. According to Hu Shi, she could not be a competent mother.
Hu Shi and Jiang Dongxiu have three children. Although his eldest son huzuwang received higher education, he was far from meeting Hu Shi’s expectations. Hu Zuwang’s achievements were not commensurate with his status as “the son of a famous father”. Husidu, the youngest son, was completely defeated. He failed to graduate from two universities in the United States and got a lot of bad habits. Finally, he was driven home by the U.S. authorities. When his daughter Sufei was 5 years old, she fell ill, but died prematurely due to improper treatment.
Hu Shi is busy on official business and has no time to take care of and discipline his children. His wife, Jiang Dongxiu, has no education and is not very good at raising or discipline his children. Hu Shi seems to have a lot of complaints about his wife’s “failure to teach children”. This feeling can also be seen in his letter. On february5,1927, Hu Shi, who was far away in New York, USA, wrote a letter to Jiang Dongxiu, in which he talked about his dead daughter. Hu Shi said, “I think I’m sorry for her. If I had asked a good doctor to treat her earlier, I might not have died. I made her worse. It’s a bit of a sin. I don’t love my children and don’t pay attention to their affairs, so there’s such a thing. Today I cry for her, just because I don’t live with her. I’ll write this poem for you.”
In this letter, although Hu Shi only blamed himself, he believed that his daughter was “ruined” because of improper treatment. The father is to blame. Is there no responsibility for being a mother?
Hu Shi’s views on family education remained unchanged throughout his life. In his later years, he once said to his secretary: “if you marry a wife, you must have higher education; if you have a wife with higher education, you must have shortcomings in other aspects, but you must manage and educate your children well. If your mother is patient, your children are not taught well; if your children are not taught well, it is because you are impatient as a mother.”