The process of their adjustment to life in London is what the book is about, and it pulls no punches in describing the anti-Chinese prejudice - racism, really - that was prevalent at the time. The reader should be prepared for a book that gives the Chinese perspective on Westerners - yet the characters aren't all stereotypes, or rather, the Chinese characters in the book are also mocked and their weaknesses also exaggerated or mocked for comic effect. These three caricatures of Western involvement in China, and Lao She's bitterness towards how Chinese people are treated in the West, stand alongside his own disillusionment with the Chinese themselves. Lao She's novel is at its heart a piercingly-accurate satire not only of comedies of manners in which crossed wires and misunderstandings plague the protagonist, but also of Chinese and British attitudes towards each other. Wedderburn:] "Mum, you're always on about patience and trust. Can't they find a way of getting rid of money? There men there hold their heads very high, because they're wearing two-inch stiff collars and their necks have no chance whatsoever of slumping, and as they wave their big, fine, lily-white, hairy hands, they're shouting with might and main, 'Down with the socialists! A rather poor imitation of Western Literature by a Chinese author, its only reason for existence being to prove the world that Chinese can do it nonetheless.