— Eunice Ojedele
“Du Tenth Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger” by Feng Menglong, is one of the texts I’ve found very interesting in our readings. This text is about a young man Jia Li from a rich family, who falls in love with a prostitute named Du Tenth but ended up losing her due to his indecisive and naive nature. I found this text very unique as it is nothing like the love stories I’ve read before. Most love stories have a happy ending, but this one had a very tragic ending.
In this play, contrary to the attributes that men are generally expected to be possess like assertiveness, strength, and a sense of responsibility, Li was the total opposite, and this really drew my attention to the play. Jia Li’s father was a rich and strict man, and I believe these factors contributed to his irresponsibility with money, and his naiveness as he had everything served to him on a platter of gold. Du Tenth on the other hand, was also nothing like a prostitute was. She was nice, understanding and selfless, and I felt like this twist Feng used was her way of getting us engrossed in the play. Apart from that, I also felt that Feng was trying to break the stereotypes placed on men that all men are strong and assertive through Li, and prostitute that they don’t have emotions, through Du tenth.
One thing I really loved about this play, was the deep lesson behind it, which was to accept people for what they show you they are, and not try to paint them into what you want them to be. My reason for saying this is because Jia Li proved to Du Tenth various times that he was not responsible, but she was blind to it all because she was “in love” with him, and this later cost her life, and in today’s world we still hear stories like this happen. I have heard a lot of stories of women who stayed with men during their low times, but they still ended up betraying them. Although this behavior is not just subject to only men, but one can say that the percentage of men behaving in such manner is high compared to that of women. Another thing I absolutely loved, was the genuine friendship Du Tenth and her friends had. They were there for her when she needed them, and I could relate to that, because I have genuine friends who have been there for me in good and bad times, so their friendship was something that really spoke to me. I found this play very unpredictable from the beginning to the very end, and there are various lessons to learn from it, and because of this, I strongly am of the opinion that this piece is a great work