Novels of the Ming and Early Ch'ing Dynasties Criticism: Cultural And Social Themes - Essay

Robert E. Hegel (essay date 1981)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hegel, Robert E. “Man as Responsible Being: The Individual, Social Role, and Heaven.” In The Novel in Seventeenth-Century China,, pp 105-39. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981.

[In this essay, Hegel examines the portrayal of individualism and self-indulgence in novels, including The Merry Adventures of Emperor Yang and Forgotten Tales of the Sui. Hegel finds that themes of fatalism and responsibility to the larger community counter individual expression for seventeenth-century Chinese authors.]

Loyalty and integrity are lost in times of chaos; uprightness and honor become obscured. Today a subject of this contender,...

(The entire section is 18168 words.)

Yenna Wu (essay date 1995)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Wu, Yenna. “Condemnation: Other Fiction.” In The Chinese Virago: A Literary Theme, pp. 106-23. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

[In this excerpt, Wu focuses on cruel, violent women in seventeenth-century novels, including The Saga of Emperor Wu of the Liang, Marriage Destinies, and The Forgotten History of Buddhists. Such women contradict the social values of Confucian and Buddhist morality with outrageous and grotesque crimes, but many authors drew a complex portrait of the virago that was not without sympathy.]

While cruel palace women and officials' wives often appear in fictionalized histories, viragos from among the common...

(The entire section is 9398 words.)