Xiangzi, a robust and strong rickshaw puller, works very hard and finally buys a new rickshaw after three-year's painstaking efforts. Unfortunately, his new rickshaw is abducted by soldiers. In great grief and indignation, Xiangzi has to go back to the rickshaw rental agency of Master Liu, trying to stage a comeback which is interrupted by Master Liu's daughter Huniu who seduces Xiangzi after getting him drunk. On the birthday party of Master Liu, Huniu falls out with his father and tricks Xiangzi into marriage by pretending to be pregnant, and they leave the agency together. He buys a new rickshaw with Huniu's money, but in a short while later, he has to sell it to bury Huniu who dies of dystocia. Finally, his dream and ambition are smashed completely when his beloved woman Xiaofuzi commits suicide under the humiliation-stricken life. At last, Xiangzi, an honest and pure young peasant surrenders to the dark society and finishes his short life from a positive and unflinching man to degeneration.