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place part of The Death of woman Wang

The Death of Woman Wang, by Jonathan Spence is an educational historical novel of northeastern China during the seventeenth century. The author's focus was to enlighten a reader on the Chinese people, culture, and traditions. Spence's use of the provoking stories of the Chinese county T'an-ch'eng, in the province of Shantung, brings the reader directly into the course of Chinese history. The use of the sources available to Spence, such as the Local History of T'an-ch'eng, the scholar-official Huang Liu-hung's handbook and stories of the writer P'u Sung-Ling convey the reader directly into the lives of poor farmers, their workers and wives. The intriguing structure of The Death of Woman Wang consists on observing these people working on the land, their family structure, and their local conflicts.
Chapter one, The Observers, in the Death of Woman Wang demonstrates the accuracy of the local historian; Feng K'o-ts'an, who compiled The Local History of T'an-ch'eng in 1673. The descriptive context of the Local History helps the reader to understand and literally penetrate into people's lives. The use of records of the earthquake of 1668, the White Lotus rising of 1622 and rebels rising vividly described by Feng the extent of suffering the people of T'an-ch'eng went through. Jonathan Spence stresses on how miserable the two-quarter of the seventeen-century were to the diminishing population of the county.  The earthquake claimed the lives of nine thousand people, many others died in the White lotus rising, hunger, sickness and banditry. P'u Sung-ling's stories convey that after the loss of the wheat crops there were cases of cannibalism. On top of all of this came the slaughtering of the entire family lines by the bandits. The incredible records of women like Yao and Sun in the Local History present the reader the magnitude of savagery the bandits possessed.  All of these factors led to the rise of suicides. The clarity of events Spence given to the reader is overwhelming.
On the other hand, Spence losses his reader as he introduces the spread of Confucius and other superstitious believes through out the county.  He states that the Local History states that people became unusually superstitious in parts of T'an-ch'eng. Later on he presents the Confucianism and it influence. Confusion especially occurs then he quotes from many different sources and chapters. For instance during the exams of 1669, students were presented with quotes from different chapters, which were supposed to be placed in correct context. An entire paragraph mentions chapters, books and names without any logical order. Of course this may have occurred because of the limited knowledge I have about these chapters.    
Spence gives a reader a clear insight in T'an-ch'eng's economy and it's economic policies in chapter two, The Land. T'an-ch'eng government had a rather simple philosophy, the more you made the more you paid. The taxes were paid based on percentage of what you made or volunteer to work for the government. The government did take interest in its taxpayers only then people were unable to pay at all.  Local History showed that there was a schedule of nine tax payments.  People paid more during the harvest seasons and less during the hottest midsummer months.  Structured Chinese government devised a responsible and supervisory system, which insured that the taxes were collected at full without any spillovers. Theft and cheating was a common occurrence at city's market, thus government officials created collecting points for the farmers to avoid direct contact with middlemen. All of the factors presented by Spence give the reader a closer look on the financial struggle of an ordinary seventeenth century farmer.
Furthermore, in part tree, The Widow, Spence urges the reader of woman's values and her characteristics in T'an-ch'eng county. Through the Local History Spence defines the meaning of property in the seventeen century China. Women like any other piece of property belonged to their alive husbands. Unfortunately, because of the levels of disasters in the county, population of males dropped from 40,002 to 9881 males, leaving a lot of helpless widows. Because of the Legal Code in the county, widows alone had a little chance to inherit deceased husband's property. Spence's vivid use of P'eng's story opens the readers eyes ... more

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Andy Warhol

It is rare for an artist to become a celebrity, but Andy Warhol experienced much more than his fifteen minutes of fame, and became an icon of his generation. Andrew Warhola was born August Sixth, 1928, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He was the youngest son of Julie and Andrej Warhola, both immigrants from Czechoslovakia. In Fifth grade Andrew started attending the free Saturday classes that the Carnegie Institute taught. It is noted that even then young Andrew excelled at his art. Due to the bullying by his classmates he stayed inside a great deal, working on his art. Due to his aptitude in school, Andrew skipped two grades and was admitted into the Carnegie Institute of Technology at the young age of 16. Once in the school Andrew was admitted to the Department of Painting and Design. He studied various aspects of commercial graphic design.  Warhol graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949, with a degree in pictorial design. He then went to New York City to work as a commercial illustrator. Warhol was involved in many artistic fields such as painting, filmmaking and photography. . He got his first break in August 1949, when Glamour Magazine wanted him to illustrate a feature entitled "Success is a Job in New York". But by accident the credit read "Drawings by Andy Warhol" and that's how Andy dropped the "a" in his last name. He continued doing ads and illustrations and by 1955 he was the most successful and imitated commercial artist in New York. In 1960 he produced the first of his paintings depicting enlarged comic strip images such as Popeye and Superman, which were initially for use in a window display.
Warhol pioneered the development of the process whereby an enlarged photographic image is transferred to a silk screen that is then placed on a canvas and inked from the back. It was this technique that enabled him to produce the series of mass-media images - repetitive, yet with slight variations - which he began in 1962. Warhol incorporated such items as Campbell Soup cans, dollar bills, Coca-Cola bottles, and the faces of celebrities, which can be taken as comments on the banality, harshness, and ambiguity of American culture. His work and ideas both reflect and helped shape American mass media and popular culture.  




                         Later in the 1960s, Warhol made a series of experimental  films dealing with such ideas as time, boredom, and repetition; they include Sleep (1963), Empire (1964), and The Chelsea Girls (1966). In 1965 he started working with a rock band called The Velvet Underground formed by Lou Reed and John Cale. Andy introduced them to the model and movie star Nico, and she sang on their debut album from 1967 "The Velvet Underground and Nico". Andy would travel around the country, not only with The Velvets, but also with superstar of the year Edie Sedgwick and the lightshow "The Exploding Plastic Inevitable". Warhol's publications include The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again (1975) and America (1985), a collection of his scathing photographs of contemporary life in the United States. From 1969 until his death, he published Interview, a monthly magazine with illustrated articles about current celebrities. In 1994 the Andy Warhol Museum, the largest single-artist museum in the United States, opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.                On June 3rd, 1968, Valerie Solanis, a rejected superstar, came into the factory where Andy worked and shot him three times in the chest. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead, but after having his chest cut up and been given heart massage, he survived. Valerie Solanis turned herself in that night and was put in a mental institution. She was later given a three-year prison sentence. After recovering Andy Warhol continued to work. Andy Warhol died at 6:31 A.M. on Sunday, February 22nd, 1987, at the New York Hospital after a gallbladder operation.          I personally feel that Andy Warhols art will be a permanent part of American art, history, and culture. I think he was one of the most creative artists of our time. It is no wonder that he became famous, and he will not be forgotten. Bibliography          1. "Warhol, Andy," Microsoft ... more

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