Chinese Maze Murders Essay

1741 WordsMay 13, 20137 Pages
The book The Chinese Maze Murders by Robert Van Gulik is written in a Confucian view point. Even though it is written from this view point it does not hesitate to establish other religious views as well. Such as how Judge Dee is indeed a Confucian man. Not an Ideal Confucian, but a Confucian nonetheless. Judge Dee is a strict prefect which is not so much a Confucian way of ruling, but a legalist way. He uses both Confucian and Legalist teachings in order to run Lan Fang effectively. Also, this book establishes other religions such as Buddhism and Daoism. Based on my knowledge of these two religions I really do not think Buddhism was represented as fairly as Daoism. I feel as though the representation was flawed due to the book being…show more content…
Although he is fair and understanding he can also be cruel. When he is strict, harsh, and cruel you see the legalist side of him. Judge Dee shows quite a few Legalist qualities throughout the entire novel. Such Qualities are shown when during Liu Wan-Fang’s testimony of the previous magistrate, Judge Pan‘s, death and his master Chien’s connection to it Judge Dee concludes that he is lying and orders him to be whipped. After Judge Dee says, “Give that dogshead twenty-five lashes with the whip!” (Page 74), Liu is then punched in the face stripped of his robe and lashed twenty-five times because of his lies. If Judge Dee is not satisfied with the testimony given the criminal is often tortured and if the charge is severe enough they are made an example of and killed. Another example of his harsh punishments are when he has the dishonest Buddhist monks whipped 20 times each with a bamboo stick. By making an example of these three Buddhist monks he instilled fear into the towns people of Lan Fang that he is strict and consequences will be issued to those who deserve it. Another incident where he showed how ruthless he was when he was intent on getting the information he wanted was when he tortured Woo for information on Headman Fang’s daughter White Orchid. As a result of Woo not telling Judge Dee the information he wanted Judge Dee said, “You are guilty of contempt of court!” (Page 161) which triggered his constables and Headman Fang to whip Woo

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