Lecture 1

Lecture 1 - 8/25 The Self-less Friend Hsun chu-po Tartars...

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8/25 The Self-less Friend Hsun chu-po Tartars taught the chinese how to ride on horseback. They were also expert at archery on horseback Formidable enemy. Used to fighting on bodies of water. Didn't have any concept of private property. The Chinese grew to fear and detest these Tartars In the eyes of the Chinese, they were blood-thirsty The attitude of the author tis that these people are despicable The choice that Hsun chu-po has is to either stay with his friend or escape the Tartars with everyone else. Logically speaking, it would make more sense for him to escape. “Safety versus danger” safety being staying with his friend. Eventually, the Tartars come out as human beings! They are reformed by the Chinese, namely Hsun chu-po Professor thinks that there are a lot of bias in this type of story. Chinese are the moral instructors of Asia, and that's how the Chinese saw themselves. ..as the inheritors of a morally-based civilization. Their civilization was “higher” than the rest. They felt the moral obligation to educate the rest of Asia. (Reminds me of the “White Man's Burden”) Wu Pao-An/ Kuo Chun-Hsing Southwestern Barbarians are presented as cruel. They capture Chinese and hold them for ransom. What was remarkable was that the two individuals had never met face-to-face. Kuo sees the tone of writing in the letter. He's educated and could write good Chinese. The Chinese were accustomed to judging others by their writing styles. Kuo felt that it was a compliment that he was asked to write this letter. He felt that he was a man of judgment and influence. The basis of the friendship is that Kuo does a favor for Wu. We must learn that for the Chinese, a favor must be re-payed, sooner or later. The repayment is exaggerated. We have to understand that in the traditional chinese view, that man as father and husband, spoke for and decided for the wife and children. He was in command. If he sacrifices himself, it may include his immediate family. The author feels that this man went all out when repaying his dues to Kuo. Risks the welfare of his own son. (Reminds me of Abraham and Isaac) Wu becomes a merchant, sacrifices the comfort of himself and his family, all to earn money for something. This man reflects the opinion of the author, as well in the Chinese themselves, at least when the story of was written. An example of a man who goes to the extreme to repay a favor. Kuo never looks for Wu, his benefactor. After the death of his father, Kuo then turns to Wu, and tries to find out about him. It was too late, however, because Wu and his wife were already buried.
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Kuo's reaction, again is extreme. He takes off his own clothes, and gives them to their son, whom Kuo meets at the gravesite. Puts on a type of white hemp-cloth. The cloth denies himself the comfort of normal clothing. Demonstration of great mourning. He seems to be taking the
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This note was uploaded on 11/02/2011 for the course ARLT 100 taught by Professor Thompson during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Lecture 1 - 8/25 The Self-less Friend Hsun chu-po Tartars...

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