The six years that Ha Jin spends on the Sino-Soviet border as a People’s Liberation Army soldier hands him an extra-ordinary experience. He reflects these dramatic, humorous yet educating encounters in the Ocean of Words short stories. His first philosophical influence under scrutiny is the struggle of humankind and nation for survival. This is a struggle from the dogmatic communism that traps a nation and its people in a cell of slavery of expression and belief. The soldiers, in the Ocean of love, struggle through Montgomery (revolution of psychology) which is in possession of their spiritual freedom and love. They have no freedom to express their desires. An example is the ban on visiting prostitutes, which leads to a severe punishment. As a way, of resolving the value, a soldier in the Ocean of Words opts for a mule instead of a prostitute. In reality, a society and its occupants will always opt to suffer or evade from demanding its rights just to avoid conflicts with the ideologies of the powerful.
Liberation of a nation that is under a Cultural Revolution and attack from a powerful society is a stake that comprises of several obstacles. In the Ocean of words, Ha Jin portrays soldiers on the Sino-Soviet border who have a task of guarding China against the attacks and influences of the Russians. However, the soldiers’ activities are under observation to protect China from unpatriotic liberators. To accomplish this, the Chinese authorities confine their soldiers (tools of liberation) with Maoist ideologies. This depicts a non-liberated humanity in pursuit of liberating a society. Although the society sets rules against humanity to counter any conflicts of interest, humanity is at risk on its own. This leads to liberation of a society from its neighbours but still confines its members away from personal liberation.