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Lecture 6

EN 208 Lecture 6: Feng Menglong- "Du Tenth Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger"

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EN 208
Juan Reyes

Feng Menglong “Du Tenth Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger” September 10th, 2013 Historical Context Ruling dynasty is not “ethnically Chinese” Ming Dynasty (1368-1644): Open society (ethnically) Qing Dynasty (1644-1911): Vernacular precedent, rejection of confucianism Menglong text between two dynasties Europe: -Moving away from Latin Bible -Martin Luther -Bibles in different languages (heresy) -Wanted “control over God” Text Summary Story about young man (Master Li) and prostitute Main character living in the capital for the Academy Li & friend wanted to run off together- needed 300 silver; decided to raise money togeth- er Master Li = spineless; sells Du Tenth out for 1,000 silver to man on boat Du Tenth was secretly rich; kills herself Test of “who loved who” Vernacular text Meant to reflect a typical conversational tone Some parts of speech do not reflect “everyday speech” How does this Text Reflect/Satirize Chinese Traditions? Father = more important than wife -Therefore it is reasonable to sell out wife to maintain relationship with father Woman ends up with power & money Translation from Chinese Word “romantic” can also mean either “lover” or “whore” “Romantic” refers to both characters; both were in love, Li just didn’t have the courage to go through with it What are the Characters’ Motivations Sun Fu- Status Li- Lust/sex/love Du Tenth- Love/freedom What are the Similarities between this Text & Texts of other Enlightened Authors? Voltaire- Candide: -Similarities: 1. Wandering- listless voyage -No clear plan for settling 2. Hapless protagonist (dependency) -Differences: 1. Tied to a philosophy vs bereft of philosophy **Lecture** “Du Tenth Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger” The vernacular The professional courtesan Instabil
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