According to Timothy Brook, in what ways did China's economy change over the course of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 AD)? How did the morally-minded scholar elite react to the startling transformations they witnessed? How does the metaphor of the four seasons illustrate the author's argument, and from what individual or text did he borrow this idea? Do you believe that Brook himself views the process of commercialization and the development of a consumer culture with sympathy, hostility, or ambivalence? What is your evidence to support this claim?
This paper will be blind graded. Do not type your name on this assignment, but make certain to include your C number.
Make certain to formulate a clear thesis statement and develop a well-structured argument to support your claims. You may want to use the four questions posed above to organize your essay, answering each in turn. Your grade will reflect (1) the accuracy of your understanding of the book, (2) the persuasiveness of your argument, and (3) the quality of your prose style. We will take into account whether a student's first language is English or not when assessing their writing. Both native and non-native English speakers should consider using the services of the university's writing center if they wish to improve their prose.
Your paper should be four to five double-spaced pages in length and written in Times New Roman 11- or 12-point font with the default margins in Microsoft Word. If you quote the book in your response paper, you should use quotation marks ("...") and a parenthetical citation in the following format: (p. 45). You do not need to cite other works for this assignment.
The Confusion of Pleasures
By Timothy Brook