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Read some stories and write a Essay I upload the requirement and all stories below. Total length:5 page, double-spaced pages of text (exclusive of bibliography). Longer assignments welcome. Standard format: Double-spaced; margins: 1 inch all around. Preferred font: Times New Roman 12 point. Title: Be sure to give our essay a title. Ideally, a title contains information about the content of the paper as well as the argument advanced by you. Structure: No matter what topic you choose to address, please turn your answer into a cohesive essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Outline your argument in the first paragraph and then proceed to illustrate it in the remaining pages. Topics:Choose ONE and ONLY ONE of the four topics outlined below to create an essay. Formulate an argument and illustrate it with close readings of the stories from our textbooks. You need not answer every sub-question listed below for your chosen topic as long as you can address some salient aspect of the topic. Number of stories: When you present your essay, use no fewer than three stories to make your case and no more than five. Assume that the reader knows these stories. In other words, it is not necessary to offer detailed plot summaries of the stories that you use to make your case.
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Final Examination Essay
FORMAT
Total length: Minimum of 6 full, double-spaced pages of text (exclusive of
bibliography). Longer assignments welcome.
File Name and Format: Your LASTNAMEFirstNameFEP.docx (or .doc, .docs) in MS
Word.
Standard format: Double-spaced; margins: 1 inch all around. Preferred font: Times
New Roman 12 point.
Title: Be sure to give our essay a title. Ideally, a title contains information about the
content of the paper as well as the argument advanced by you.
Structure: No matter what topic you choose to address, please turn your answer into a
cohesive essay with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Outline your argument in the
first paragraph and then proceed to illustrate it in the remaining pages.
ORIGINALITY and SOURCES
Citations: If you quote verbatim from a story, please put page numbers referring to the
English language textbook in parenthesis in the text. Example: “XXX” (p. 30) or (30).
You are welcome to use text excerpts from the Chinese original, but always make sure
that you also include the appropriate passage from the textbook.
References: You are not required to use secondary sources, but you are welcome to do
so. If you consult other secondary works in a print, digital, or any other format in any
language (English, Chinese, etc), provide citations in the text in a standard citation format
and append a bibliography.
Credit: It is fine to consult and incorporate secondary sources in English, Chinese, or any
other language to help you advance your argument. However, it is critical that you
reference them irrespective whether they appear in print, digital, or any other format.
Even if you do not cite them verbatim, but use ideas and information contained in them,
you need to give credit. If you do not acknowledge secondary scholarship that you have
consulted and incorporated into your argument, you will forfeit the points associated with
this assignment and you will open yourself to charges of academic misconduct.
Plagiarism: If there are any grounds to suspect that the paper is not an original effort by
the author, is ghostwritten, or uses other people’s work without giving credit, the paper
will obtain a failing grade and other disciplinary actions may obtain.
GRADING
Total number of points: 20 points
Grading Criteria: The topics presented are deliberately open-ended. In other words,
there is no standard way to answer them. On the contrary, you are encouraged to present
your own interpretation. However, be sure to ground your answers in close readings of
the relevant stories rather than in vague speculation or in generalities. Furthermore, be
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sure to express your ideas grammatically. Also, aim for clarity in argument and precision
in wording. Don’t forget to spell-check and proofread.
Numerical Breakdown of Points
5 points for accuracy/plausibility of argument presented
8 points for skillful use of detailed evidence from the corpus of stories to support
argument
5 points for structure, organization, and flow (introduction, paragraph structure of the
body, conclusion)
2 points for wording, style, and clarity
ALLOWABLE CORPUS OF STORIES
As you formulate your argument, limit your discussion to the stories that were assigned
for and discussed in this course. In other words, do not use any stories besides the ones
listed below in order to advance your argument. Using stories outside of the allowable
corpus will not count towards the category of “detailed evidence” listed above.
1. “Jiang Xingge Reencounters His Pearl Shirt,” Stories Old and New, pp. 9-47.
2. “The Courtesans Mourn Liu the Seventh in the Spring Breeze,” Stories Old and New,
pp. 207-221.
3. “Han the Fifth Sells Her Charms in New Bridge Town,” Stories Old and New, pp. 7693.
4. “Ruan San Redeems His Debts,” Stories Old and New, pp. 94-110.
5. “Three Devoted Brothers Win Honor by Yielding Family Property to One Another,”
Stories to Awaken the World, pp. 23-37.
6. “Scholar Tang Gains a Wife after One Smile,” Stories to Caution the World, pp. 450462.
7. “Yu Boya Smashes His Zither in Gratitude to an Appreciative Friend,” Stories to
Caution the World, pp. 7-20.
8. “Yang Jiao’ai Lays Down His Life for the Sake of Friendship,” Stories Old and New,
pp. 133-142.
9. “The Oil-Peddler Wins the Queen of Flowers,” Stories to Awaken the World, pp. 3877.
10. “Du Shiniang Sinks Her Jewel Box in Anger,” Stories to Caution the World, pp. 547565.
11. “Shan Fulang’s Happy Marriage in Quanzhou,” Stories Old and New, pp. 290-301.
12. “Young Mr. Song Reunites with His Family by Means of a Tattered Felt Hat,” Stories
to Caution the World, pp. 341-363.
13. “Three Times Su Xiaomei Tests Her Groom,” Stories to Awaken the World, pp. 226241.
14. “Shen Xiaoxia Encounters the Expedition Memorials,” Stories Old and New, pp. 718752.
TOPICS
Topics: Choose ONE and ONLY ONE of the four topics outlined below to create an
essay. Formulate an argument and illustrate it with close readings of the stories from our
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textbooks. You need not answer every sub-question listed below for your chosen topic as
long as you can address some salient aspect of the topic.
Number of stories: When you present your essay, use no fewer than three stories to
make your case and no more than five. Assume that the reader knows these stories. In
other words, it is not necessary to offer detailed plot summaries of the stories that you use
to make your case.
Topic 1: The Rhetoric of Fiction
Modern scholars have argued that traditional Chinese fiction should be appreciated in its
own right rather than being unfavorably compared to modern fiction either in China or in
the West. As you know, Feng Menglong’s three story collections known under the
collective title Three Words Collection was a first in many respects. Given that he
published his series of story anthologies (Stories Old and New, Stories to Awaken the
World, Stories to Caution the World) in an expanding and ever more competitive book
market, Feng Menglong had to develop strategies to attract readers’ interest to this new
form of short fiction. In this essay, discuss how Feng Menglong deployed different forms
of commentary (e.g., storytellers’ commentary in the story, poetic inserts in the story
proper, and authorial auto-commentary in parentheses among other things) to engage
seventeenth-century readers. When you discuss specific stories, be sure to explain how
the different forms of commentary relate to each other within a given story. In other
words, do the different commentaries reinforce each other or do they contradict each
other? And how do they relate to the story proper? In short, does commentary serve to
make the stories a forum for competing ideas? Or does commentary assist in
consolidating a story around a single message? Or does it depend on the story? And how
do you think the presence of different forms of commentary affected potential readers?
Topic 2: New Reading Publics
Modern scholars have suggested that the late Ming period entered an “age of silver” that
produced enormous anxiety around the idea of the idea that money (in the form of
“silver” or “cash” would override both traditional status hierarchies and proper Confucian
conduct. These anxieties were all the more acute as traditional marginal social groups
such as merchants, courtesans, and educated women become more visible in the public
eye and ascend to the ranks of readers. Given that Feng Menglong sought to reach both
literati and commoner audiences, how do Feng Menglong’s stories negotiate the anxieties
around money, wealth, and materialism? Is money an important plot device and/or
theme? Is the pursuit of wealth an admirable goal or is such a quest deeply problematic?
Are people who have money intrinsically suspect or are they represented as paragons to
be emulated? Are people who are poor morally unworthy or are they equally capable of
moral action? Do the stories differentiate between particular uses of money? In other
words, does the purpose to which wealth is tied lead to different outcomes? Can the
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problems developed in the stories be solved by money alone and if not, what are some of
the other values that determine whether or not the protagonists attain a happy ending?
Topic 3: The Language of Romance
Modern scholars have credited Feng Menglong with being one of the key figures in
fostering a “cult of sentiment” in late Ming China. One particular facet of this cultural
trend concerns the importance of “authenticity” (真) and “sincerity” (誠) of emotional
expression in relation to other people, including romantic partners. Insofar as marital
relations in Ming China were typically arranged by the elders in the family and/or in the
community, young people only had limited say over the choice of their marriage partners
and were expected to be filial in honoring their parents’ selection. Do Feng Menglong’s
stories follow the norm of arranged marriage? If not, what are some of the alternative
scenarios? How do Feng Menglong’s stories portray the older generations’ (parents,
community elders, senior scholar-officials, etc) response to the younger generations’
bonds of love? Do the parents who insist on their traditional authority prevail or do the
families whose parents show more flexibility have better outcomes? Do the stories
showcase sympathetic elders who aid and abet the younger generation’s desires? In these
stories, is filial piety necessarily at odds with marriage choices or can filial devotion and
non-arranged marriages happily co-exist, albeit in unexpected ways?
Topic 4: The Question of Politics
Modern scholars have suggested that late Ming scholars increasingly used the new forms
of fiction and drama to voice their frustration with imperial policies, with the examination
system, and with the conduct of officials on the one hand and to offer potential remedies
on the other hand. Discuss how Feng’s stories engage with flashpoints in Chinese
governance of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. What kinds of shortcomings of
governance do Feng’s stories identify? In these stories, what are the negative
consequences of failed government policies and personnel choices? What are the
hallmarks of good governance? What kinds of conduct make for an exemplary official?
Are people who are not part of the scholar-official elite significant actors in political life?
Did Feng create political heroes and if so, what attributes do they possess? Do Feng’s
stories contribute to a potential vision of justice or are they products of factional feuding?
Do Feng’s stories offer a bleak view of the political process or do they have faith that
justice will prevail in the end?
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