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An Analysis of the Character Du Tenth in the poem

Du Mei is the lead female character in Feng Meng-Long’s poem “Du Tenth Sinks the Jewel Box in Anger”. She was a well-known courtesan belonging to one of the brothels positioned in the Northern capital of China through the Ming Dynasty. Du Mei was also recognized as Du Tenth by advantage of being the “tenth-born of her generation” (837). She was described to be extraordinarily attractive and alluring. Her beauty was mentioned to be flawless and will only be compared to what is most stunning in nature.

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Below is an excerpt from the poem: Two arcs of eyebrow traced with green of distant hills;

a pair of eyes brilliant with welling autumn floods. Face like a lotus bud – identical to Wen-jun of the Zhou clan; Lips like cherries… (837) Her reputation was so famend that a jingle was composed in her honor which remarked on her impact on men and how different girls pale beside her. Du Tenth exhibited no qualms about taking advantage of her charms.

She was extra cunning than coy. From the age of 13 when she lost her virginity and up until the age of 19 when she met and chose her favored lover Li Jia, she enthralled males and managed them to squander their fortunes on her.

Her cunning once more got here to the fore as she negotiated the terms of her freedom. As her grasping madam was attempting to control her to eliminate Li Jia who by that point had run out of cash, Du Tenth outmaneuvered her and pounced on the prattle of her madam about Li shopping for her freedom.

She worked on the madam’s innate skepticism and managed to get the price down and lengthen the deadline from three days to 10 days. She even obtained the madam to decide to her word. She likewise labored on Li to decide to his word to buy her freedom and to take her away with him as his wife and begin a new life.

More so at that time, having a former whore as a spouse was unacceptable to well mannered society and most particularly to political families to which Li Jia was a member of. Du Tenth additionally confirmed her romantic side and her sense of loyalty by sticking beside Li regardless of his lack of economic capability, his weak persona and quite a few shortcomings. She nudged him on and inspired him by placing up half of the buy-out cash and permitting him to keep away from wasting face by giving him the opportunity to complete the opposite half. She was able to accomplish this without inflicting undue embarrassment to him.

She was level-headed and confirmed power in her demeanor not even as soon as shedding tears of frustration unlike Li who cried in torrents. Not once did she waiver on her objective. She was in a position to deliberate her actions, carefully plan every step and anticipated every want that may come up in her quest for a brand new life with Li. She additionally expressed gratitude freely and solid lasting relationships along with her sisters in the quarters instead of envy and enmity for being far stunning than they. Du Tenth’s intelligence and woman’s guile additional manifested itself during her journey with Li.

She made suggestions as a substitute of outright instructions on the most effective steps to take to achieve acceptance again into his household. She demonstrated a keen sense of self-control. She saved her playing cards close to chest and didn’t reveal all her plans to Li maybe within the hope that he simply might be able to come up with a plan on his own that might profit them each. However, in return, he betrayed her instead to Sun Fu. Sun belonged to a household of salt retailers who harbored a malicious intent towards Du Tenth after listening to her excellent singing. Li betrayed her to Sun by revealing her as a whore and he once more betrayed her by selling her off for a thousand taels.

Upon learning of this betrayal from Li herself, Du Tenth continued to outwardly look calm and collected whereas seething inside from disappointment and rage. True to form, Li missed the sarcasm of her comment, “The man who devised this plan for you is actually a great hero. The fortune of a thousand taels will allow you to revive your place in your beloved ones, and I will go to another man so as to not be a burden to you” (852). Regardless, she continued to harbor hope that Li may see the error of his ways and battle for his or her love as she did. However, as soon as the thousand taels exchanged palms, her anger boiled over.

She was a woman scorned and she or he confirmed her anger in the identical deliberate means she acted all her life. Her actions have been managed and measured. She didn’t scream and throw a fit. Instead, the embarrassment that she had been saving Li from, she finally used against him to most effect. She used her cunning and maneuvered to gather as a lot of a crowd as she will by progressively producing her treasured jewelry and with spectacle, threw them overboard one after the other. Once she had the attention of the gang, she cursed Sun and unleashed her disdain for Li. She announced his betrayal of the devoted and everlasting love that she supplied.

She drove home his error in accepting the thousand taels and made it recognized to him that with her, he could have had extra had he solely proven the same loyalty and faithfulness. She had coped with a shameful life and Li additional shamed her by casting her aside. In revenge, she shamed both by leaping into the river and drowned herself. Yet, even in dying, she confirmed her gratitude for the kindness she had received whereas living. Liu Yu-chun, Li Jia’s friend who actually raised the remaining half of the buy-out money, discovered himself at the different finish of Du Tenth’s eternal gratitude.

It was due to him, he who believed in the power of the love and devotion that she had for Li, that she was capable of experience life of a free lady, albeit fleeting, with out the indignity of being a whore. In return, Du Tenth gifted him with the remaining contents of her jewel field. Du Tenth was a cunning and strong-willed woman. She knew what she needed, had the ability to devise plans and was willing to work on the means to get it. Regardless, she had not failed to level out appreciation to all those who helped her along the way. Her expertise as a courtesan ought to have left her jaded. Yet, deep inside, she remained a romantic at coronary heart.

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