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Stories from a Ming Collection

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Stories from a Ming Collection

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  • December 2005
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Stories from a Ming Collection is a work which reveals clearly people's life in various levels in traditional China. How does the book portray different levels of people's life (including scholars, peasants, military men, working men and women, beggars etc.), and from their life how do you perceive Chinese society?

Our society nowadays has many traits from the Chinese society. We share many things in common from the law to the way we act as human beings. I can say that we are not far from each other in ways like the feelings we have towards others and loved ones. Greed, stupidity, dominance and cruelty are bad characteristics that age-old Chinese people expressed towards each other in some cases. They had no regard for human life as if it meant nothing; even the authorities were cruel in their own ways of punishment. I'm not saying that the Chinese people where heartless, they expressed extreme love towards their family members and grief when those have passed.

There are many examples of the book portraying different kinds of people and where they stand in society. We all know that the scholars where as some would say it, on the top of the food chain, meaning that they were the top people in society. They were looked up to as leaders and intellectuals, which was important back then. As for men who were part of the military and the authorities were also big people. They kept everything and everyone in order. I feel that they were able to do what they wanted and had the last say in anything. Under interrogation of a suspect, if they felt that the questions being answered did not satisfy their needs for answers, the suspect would be beaten repeatedly. This was usually done to get out the truth or a confession, which was usually forced by all this beating. Sometimes if the person was innocent, the one interrogated would even give a false confession and give in so that the beating would stop.

I feel that the military men had the greatest...