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The Assassin and Her Revenge: A Tale of Moral Heroism and Female Self-Fashioning in an Age of Mass Communication

Eugenia Lean

in Public Passions

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780520247185
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932678 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247185.003.0002
The Assassin and Her Revenge: A Tale of Moral Heroism and Female Self-Fashioning in an Age of Mass Communication

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Just after killing Sun Chuanfang, Shi Jianqiao distributed a poem to witnesses at the crime scene. Shi's obsessive dedication to avenging her father is evident in the first line and the mention of her mother's graying temples conveys her filial dedication to her mother as well. In noting how she was deeply troubled because the retribution had remained unfulfilled for ten years, the poem expresses the urgency of the matter and underscores the intensity of Shi's hunger for revenge. The poem presents filial devotion as the motive that drove Shi to such an extreme act of revenge. In an era of modern communications, Shi Jianqiao managed to tap into the array of cultural and technological resources at her disposal to weave a highly compelling tale of ethical revenge.

Keywords: Shi Jianqiao; Sun Chuanfang; revenge; filial devotion; modern communications

Chapter.  10884 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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