Chinese Maze Murders

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Chinese Maze Murders

By | April 2013
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The book The Chinese Maze Murders by Robert Van Gulik is written in a Confucian view point. Even though it is written from this view point it does not hesitate to establish other religious views as well. Such as how Judge Dee is indeed a Confucian man. Not an Ideal Confucian, but a Confucian nonetheless. Judge Dee is a strict prefect which is not so much a Confucian way of ruling, but a legalist way. He uses both Confucian and Legalist teachings in order to run Lan Fang effectively. Also, this book establishes other religions such as Buddhism and Daoism. Based on my knowledge of these two religions I really do not think Buddhism was represented as fairly as Daoism. I feel as though the representation was flawed due to the book being written within a Confucian point of view.

Judge Dee is not only strict, but also understanding. He is smart and does not just act upon what is perceived to be the case. He studies each situation and listens to all stories before he makes his final deductions as to the truth and how he should judge. This is how he is represented in being an ideal Confucian man. When he asks Chiao Tai to bring him the leader of the robbers he asks him his reasons for doing what he did. The criminal asks Judge Dee why he would like to know, since he already knows he is guilty and is ready for Judge Dee to sentence him to death as is written by law. Judge Dee says, “I never sentence a criminal until I have heard his full story. Speak up and answer my questions!” (Page 24). This is an example of how Judge Dee is a good Confucian man. He is willing to wait and hear this man out before sentencing him to such a harsh punishment shows how fair and just he is. Confucian teachings speak of how to be fair to all and Judge Dee follows that very closely. Another example of how ideal of a Confucian man Judge Dee can be is when he gives those with just causes for wrong doings a second chance. He does this with the leader of the highway men, and with the few men...