Philosophy Essay Example - Confucian Ideas Versus Social Realities

Date:  2021-06-01 07:24:27
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George Washington University
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

History has been haunting China over some decades now and the specter of the past dictatorship has cast a shadow over the demonstration held in the Tiananment square. The demonstration was made out of a commitment to remember the history of 1989 with the previous movement of democracy as it proceeds. The understanding of the reality surrounding China can be best described from the Book of Jonathan D Spence, The Search for Modern China and the Death of the Woman Wang.

The search for Modern China can be viewed as a challenge and a way of adapting the western thinking on the issue of contemporary China. The book is written for those who attempt to judge China from her developments and her involvement with Europe and the Soviet Union (Spence 2013, 5 ). Dense reaction would be totally meaningless without the understanding of the Confucian statesmen who has been said to make tireless efforts in saving the Chinese spirit from the reliance on the western technology.

A long tradition of China has been in debt of the voice of conscience with relation to Confucian humanity. The heritage has allowed many to inform a lot of people on the anguish pf the individuals who could not speak (Spence 2013, 9 ). The Confucian sense of responsibility helped them to endure in the works of the contemporary social critics like what was noted from the journalist Liu Binyan. Although the journalist was persecuted from 1957 throughout to 1987, he did not stop speaking against the essence of power abuse, corruption and other vices in the society.

Also, he could express the moral obligation that is inherent in the tradition.

He made it known that the peoples voice should be listened to so as they can talk about their moral responsibility that is inherent in the Confucian tradition. The fact remains that the people are the judges and also the plaintiffs and the questions that they pose should be answered in the right manner (Spence 2013, 12 ). Since people are considered judges in this context, the speech indicated that before they are handed over the script, and the answers to their questions, learning should take place first.

The intellectuals of Confucian are not the only one that can be trusted with the obligation of being the editors, in the courtroom of history. The western scholars of the Chinese history can do that as well. The issue of opium has been in the discussion, while the historian wonders why the Chinese were smoking much opium in the mid and late years when there was no history of the British sales in the 19th century (Spence 2013, 19 ). The exploration of the western views of China had the same critical eye that was cast upon the opium problem, with the rise of Christian missionary like the parents of Pearl Buck, Bolshevik, and secular philosophers, they were all focused in remarking the ancient culture in the image of West.

Jonathan Spence had also presented a vivid re-creation of history through his book, the death of woman wang. The book focuses on average people pf the China community. The community includes the farmers, their wives and the other non-educated people (Spence, 1979, 25). The great focus lies on the role of men and women and the family. The book reveals how the men referred to the married and unmarried girls and how they should not ride up the hill in a carriage but rather stay home and raise children. The men also could rent out their wives for money (Spence 1979, 25 ). The book mainly deals with the role of women and how they set out to be loyal to their husbands and their characteristics in being chastity, tenacity, and death when necessary. The book enlightens on how families acted and also the way the children were raised and treated.

Despite the title, the story does not involve a single individual but a picture of a whole rural county in Eastern China during the Mid-17th century. Spence main theme is the role of women in late imperial China and about which Woman Wang gives a great deal and the role of Confucian magistrates. Spence gives the reader the fantasy of the triumphant His-lu and also the real life tragedy of Woman Peng. Huang Liu-hung gives out some terms in handling the outlaw of Wang family. Huangs success indicates the length that one had to undergo so that they could execute the practical affairs that the involve the Confucian magistrate risking his life to protect the innocent people (Spence 1979, 89). The crucial contention against the possibility of a Confucian civil society was marked by a familist orientation which is expressed in substantial family commitments, relationships and the associations that are grounded in the familial values.

The picture that Spence paints contains that of hardship, violence, greed and occasionally it could be that of human feelings. Under the harsh conditions, the human relation has been said to deteriorate and undergo a process that has been observed by contemporaries (Spence 1979, 33). There are three themes that Spence introduces in his book the death of the woman Wang. He identifies the plight of women including the fact that there were widows who committed suicide out of their loyalty to their husbands.

In another context, he established the fact that there were women who defied their husbands and society and they ran away. The last theme involves the woman Wang of the title whereby the woman ran away with her lover and unfortunately, she was abandoned and later return to her husband who murdered her (Spence 1979, 107). After the death, the man dumps the womans body in the street and accused the man who was feuding with her of the affair. If not for the intelligent detective who permitted a rough justice to be done, the crime would have gone unpunished.

The other example involves the perverseness of how the lawlessness and disorder were done with the feuds between two families. The magistrate known as Huang led the attack personally to protect the innocent (Spence 1979, 116). Although all these are examples of how truth even if not necessary stranger than fiction is considered as interesting, the result is a richness of detail and a texture seldom found in works on Chinese history.

Work cited

Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. , 2013. Print.

Spence, Jonathan D . ""Review Of "The Death Of Woman Wang" By J. D. Spence" By Lillian M. Li". N.p., 1979. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.


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