Water Margin Themes

Shi Nai'an
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Corrupt Government

The fall out from a corrupt government is one of the major issues dealt with in this novel. The reason that the bandits have formed their coalition in Liangshan Marsh is because they have been wrongly accused of crimes, or have been forced to commit crimes in an effort to protect themselves or others. For instance, Song Jiang kills Poxi because she is trying to keep a letter from Chao Gai that could endanger both Song and Chao.

In this society, government officials are more apt to be swayed by a bribe than the truth. It doesn't help that most of the government officials consider Song and his bandits as enemies since most of them are outcasts as a result of actions by those same government officials. Although the emperor at the time that the Liangshan Marsh bandits are finally given amnesty is not crooked, he still...

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This section contains 894 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Water Margin Study Guide
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