Presentation on theme: "Understanding Families in Times of Stress Widows and Family Feuds."— Presentation transcript:
Understanding Families in Times of Stress Widows and Family Feuds
The Story of Hsi-liu Kao and Hsi-liu marry. She is 19; he is 20. Their children: –Ch’ang-fu, Kao’s son, aged 5, from former marriage –Ch’ang-hu, born one year after marriage. Hsi-liu takes on the management of the house. At age 25, Kao falls from horse and dies. ….
Hsi-liu’s Life as a Widow Her dilemma: to raise her sons to adulthood and provide economically for the family. Her problem: – Ch’ang-fu, aged 10, neglected his studies. – Ch’ang-hu “was incredibly stupid.”
How Hsi-liu Raised her Sons: Ch’ang-fu Ch’ang-fu rebels and refuses to study. She has him beaten and sends him to work at hard labor. Neighbors gossip, but she does not relent. After months, Ch’ang-fu returns and begs to be taken back into the household and to be able to study again. She agrees; he returns to his studies and does well on his exams and receives the Governor’s favor.
How Hsi-liu Raised her Sons: Ch’ang-hu Ch’ang-hu is stupid and also rebels, and he works poorly at farming. She has him beaten. He asks to become a merchant. He gambles away his capital. Ch’ang-hu asks to join a group of traveling merchants. She provides him capital and fake gold, believing he will again get in trouble. Ch’ang-hu spends the gold on a prostitute. He is thrown in jail and beaten when the fake is discovered. His-liu sends Ch’ang-fu to save Ch’ang-hu.
How Hsi-liu Raised her Sons Ch’ang-hu and Ch’ang-fu return home. Ch’ang-hu repents and becomes a successful merchant. Ch’ang-fu passes the provincial and metropolitan exams. His-liu is honored for bringing up her sons successfully.
The Dilemma of Woman P’eng Woman P’eng is a widow. Her Family: –Her son, Lien –Her son’s second cousins: Ch’en Kuo-lin; Ch’en Kuo-hsiang, and Ch’en Kuo-lien. The cousins want her property and harass her.
Legal Code of the Ch’ing Provisions on widows... –If a widow remarries, her husband’s property, as well as the dowry that she originally brought with her, shall become the property of her former husband’s family… (Spence, p. 72) –A woman whose husband dies shall inherit his property when there is no son to receive it; but in such cases the clan head must choose an heir to inherit the property in accordance with the degrees of family relationship…(Spence, p. 73)
Legal Code, cont. –If a grandparent or parent is killed by an assailant, and the son or grandson, without reporting the matter to the authorities, acts on his own initiative and kills the murderer, he shall be beaten sixty strokes; if he kills the murderer immediately, he shall receive no punishment…(Spence, p. 74)
Legal Code, cont. Murder in the family… –Whenever a grandparent or parent is being attacked by an assailant, and the grandson or son immediately intervenes to protect him and attacks the assailant in return, if the son or grandson causes no injury, he shall receive no punishment; if he causes injury, he shall be punished in accordance with the laws on assault, lessened by three degrees; if he causes death, he shall be punished as in regular cases of homicide…. (Spence, p. 74)
The Dilemma of Woman P’eng Her Family: –Her son, Lien –Her son’s second cousins: Ch’en Kuo-lin; Ch’en Kuo-hsiang, and Ch’en Kuo-lien The cousins kill Lien They claim revenge on their father The claim is rejected and the cousin is convicted and sentenced to death.
The Dilemma of Woman P’eng Woman P’eng lost her property and heir through her husband’s family. The clan head named an heir from a different branch of the Ch’en family.
Family Feuds: The Wangs and the Lis Family Head: Wang San, known to be a bandit and gang leader Son, Wang K’o-hsi marries Chiang’s daughter + receives 60 acres of land Family Head: Li Tung-chen –Son: Li Yuan (in separate house) –Six sons in family compound –The Lis wanted the land
The Provocations Li’s pigs feed on Wang’s land Wang K’o-hsi kills the pig and curses Li Tung-chen Li Tung-chen curses Wang Wang kills Li Tung-chen and sons 5,6,7.
Proceeding by Indirection Lis accuse Chiang of the crime Wang San vouches for Chiang and frees him Li Yuan refiles the charge with no accused identified Huang summons Kuan Ming-yu and Kuan Ming Pao who also have had a relative killed by Wang San
Devising A Military Strategy Huang –assembles a military force –enlists Kuan to divert Wang San –marches to Wang San’s compound Wang –Wang and his followers run for the border –Huang and Kuan pursue –Wang San and Wang K’o-hsi captured
Resolution The Wangs confess; Wang San dies; Wang K’o-hsi jailed. Lis attempt to claim Wangs property. But the property has transferred to a degree holder, Chu, in Kiangsu.