Introduction to The Plum in the Golden Vase Or Chin Ping Mei Volume 4
“The Plum in the Golden Vase Or Chin Ping Mei Volume 4” is the final installment of a four-volume series translate by David Tod Roy and Xiaoxiao Sheng. The book is an English translation of the Chinese classic novel, “Chin P’ing Mei,” which was written during the Ming dynasty. This volume contains chapters 31 to 40 of the novel and continues the story of the protagonist, Ximen Qing, and his many lovers and business dealings.
Plot Summary of The Plum in the Golden Vase Or Chin Ping Mei Volume 4
In this final volume of The Plum in the Golden Vase Or Chin Ping Mei Volume 4, Ximen Qing continues to engage in various business dealings, including the purchase of a salt mine and the negotiation of a trade deal with a distant kingdom. He also becomes embroiled in a lawsuit with a former employee, which threatens to reveal some of his illicit activities.
Meanwhile, Ximen Qing’s wife, Lady Wu, becomes increasingly dissatisfied with her husband’s philandering ways and begins to plot against him. She enlists the help of several allies, including some of Ximen Qing’s former lovers, to try and take him down.
As the novel comes to a close, Ximen Qing is ultimately brought down by his own greed and arrogance. His many enemies, both within and outside of his household, finally succeed in bringing him to justice.
The translation by David Tod Roy and Xiaoxiao Sheng is both faithful to the original Chinese text and easy to read. The authors provide helpful footnotes throughout the text to explain certain cultural references or provide additional context for readers. Who may be unfamiliar with Chinese history or customs.
The writing style is engaging and descriptive. Making it easy for readers to picture the characters and settings in their minds. The authors also do an excellent job of portraying the various characters’ motivations and emotions. Allowing readers to fully understand their actions and behaviors.
Themes and Analysis
One of the main themes of “The Plum in the Golden Vase Or, Chin P’ing Mei, Volume 4” is the destructive nature of greed and lust. Ximen Qing’s insatiable desire for wealth and women ultimately leads to his downfall, as he becomes increasingly careless in his dealings and enemies begin to gather around him.
The novel also explores the complex relationships between men and women in traditional Chinese society. Women are often portray as being at the mercy of men’s desires and subject to their whims and fancies. However, the female characters in the novel are also show to be clever and resourceful. Using their sexuality and intelligence to gain power and influence.
Another important theme is the role of the law in Chinese society. Ximen Qing’s downfall is ultimately brought about by the legal system. As his enemies are able to use the courts to bring him to justice. This suggests that, despite its flaws. The legal system is an important tool for maintaining social order. And punishing those who break the law.
“The Plum in the Golden Vase Or, Chin P’ing Mei, Volume 4” is a well-written and engaging translation of a classic Chinese novel. The authors do an excellent job of conveying the complex themes and characters of the original text, while also providing helpful notes and explanations for readers who may be unfamiliar with Chinese culture and history.
Overall, this final volume provides a satisfying conclusion to the story of Ximen Qing. And his many lovers and enemies. It is a must-read for anyone interest in traditional Chinese literature or the history of Chinese society and culture.