Our first reading this semester was “Du Tenth Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger”. It is very easy to read the text. At the beginning there is a short historical introduction which explains what was going on at that time of period which I find a very interesting way to start the text. The characters of the story have very different backgrounds which emphasize the plot of the story, For example, on the one hand we have young master Li, who had everything ready for him, his entirely life, rich family, didn’t work for money, now he has to try hard find money in order to get Du Tenth, and fails to do so. On the other hand, we have Du Tenth, who was always working as a prostitute, waiting for Li to come and help her get out of this job, but in the end she was the one who helped him.
One of the reasons I find that this text is a “Great Work” is that you can read the text in many different ways, especially of the main characters. Some people will believe that Du Tenth was right for not telling Li about the Jewel Box, or maybe she should have told him about it, or maybe she used him rather than loved him. The same theory applies to Li, some will believe that he loves Du Tenth, others will be convinced that he wasn’t. One other thought I had about this text is how it is in the 17th century and the idea of how a relationship is, we can still find it happening even today. Some people can relate to the idea that the man should be able to financially support his wife, which is the main “problem” in the story.
One strong idea this poem has, is how the world spins around money. All of the characters had a financial transaction between them, even an exchange of Du Tenth for money. I think that this is happening today also in many romantic relationships, between friends and family. Especially at the end when she sinks the Jewel Box, I believe that the message that Feng Menglong might want people to learn is how money can control a person, and that it can ruin everything around him.
Finally, I think that a great work should have strong ideas and that we can gain something after finish reading it, even if this is a lesson to be taught or something that will open our minds to a new idea and I believe that this text had strong ideas such as money control people and a lesson that we learned.