Shen Fu

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Shen Fu
The book Shen Fu’s Six Records of a Floating Life is both an autobiography and love story of a man named Shen Fu, who was educated toward the path to grow up to be a scholar, but he kept on failing the exams. He went on to earn his living as secretary for a magistrate and also selling off his wife’s artwork. His wife is the girl that he fell had fallen in love with as a young child. Together, they had a very weird and odd relationship (at least compared to our modern day idea of a relationship).

I think that Shen Fu really wanted the big job as the magistrate, but it also seemed like he didn’t really want to work very hard for the position. Perhaps he was a tad on the lazy side of things. He grew up in a rather scholarly middle class family and he spent much of his life trying to pass the exam. The only problem was that he kept failing it over and over again, and did never actually get around to passing it. Shen Fu seemed to focus a lot of his attention on status, and I think that it was mostly due to his family and his social class that he was born into. It seems to me that the higher status you had back then, the more you focused on status and put being born of high class up on a pedestal. Shen Fu his whole life was seeking this “Floating Life” which basically means that you’re economically secure, and that life is a more of a “dream” rather than actual reality. I thought he was always seeking this because he was always trying to figure out how to make a good deal more money, or to get a desirable scholarly position. Shen Fu, in my opinion, was rather greedy and materialistic, and was generally out for himself. Although, to be fair, he did provide for his family by taking on many different kinds of jobs, loans, and even by attempting to sell his wife’s artwork.

This book is actually better known being a love story. Though it is much different then what we think a love story should traditionally consist of. Shen Fu was known for...
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