Chinese 410: The Chinese Novel // Outline Assignment (Sample)

Name: R. VanNess Simmons  // Date: 1/20/00

The Scholars by Wu Jingzu (1701-1754) -- Chapter 1

I. English translation of the title couplet: II. Main character(s) in this chapter: III. Outline of the story developments in this chapter:
  1. The story of this chapter takes place in Zhejiang in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368).
  2. Wang Mian's father dies when he is seven, after which he is only able to continue school for 3 years.
  3. Then his mother is no longer able to support him, so he goes to work as a buffalo heard boy.
  4. He ends up becoming a famous painter of flowers.
  5. But Wang Mian is an eccentric, uninterested in official position.
  6. Fearing Magistrate Wei's anger over his action, Wang Mian moves to Jinan, Shandong, in the North, leaving his mother in Zhejiang.
  7. Six years after he returns home, Wang Mian's mother dies.
  8. On her death bed she has her son promise to never become an official.
  9. A year after his three-year mourning period, Wang Mian is visited by Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398), the future founder of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
  10. The Ming dynasty is established.
  11. Later Wang Mian, alarmed by word that he will be offered an official appointment, slips away to live as an anonymous recluse in the mountains.
IV. Of note in this chapter:

Guidelines for the construction of your outlines: