East Asian Civilization
October 7th, 2013
The readings from the book The Death of Woman Wang, by Jonathan Spence provides an overview of what examples of life in ancient China was like during the 1600s. In Robert Van Gulik’s The Chinese Bell Murders, magistrate Judge Dee also gives a detailed description of Chinese Society; comparing and contrasting both writings by Spence and Judge Dee you are able to examine similarities and differences from both stories. In this compare and contrast paper topics that will be discussed are earthquakes, floods, murders and thievery, taxes, and women’s rights.
Striking the T’ang-Ch’eng County in North Eastern China, an earthquake attacks and destroys most of the T’ang-Ch’engs city and residents killing many of them. For T’ang-Ch’eng this only is the beginning of a series of problems for the land. Agriculture in T’ang-Ch’eng plays a large role in providing jobs and ways for the people to pay taxes. The main products cultivated in North-Eastern China is wheat, soybean, millet and other kinds of fruits and vegetables. Relating to the Judge Dee text, the post contrasts in this way because it describes farmers prospering, and that the land is fertile. In the Spence text you are able to interpret that the land has a more difficult time providing and growing crops. One of these reasons is from the disastrous earthquake that I described that tore up the land, caused flooding, and injured many people. Again in the Judge Dee expert he exclaims there has never been flooding in the district of Poo-yang,
or a drought that the land or people had to experience. From Robert Van Gulik’s The Chinese Bell Murders this is the quote from Judge Dee,
“Heaven has conferred its blessings on this district of Poo-yang. I see from the...