My Life As Emperor By Su Tong Essay

1840 Words Oct 25th, 2016 8 Pages
My Life as Emperor by Su Tong tells the story of a young emperor’s rise to and fall from power. The main idea of this novel seems to be that the fictional Xie Empire, like most real historical empires, was doomed to fall apart within a matter of a few centuries due to internal and external complications. The grim prophecy that “calamity will soon befall the Xie Empire” repeats throughout the novel until the empire is indeed destroyed, giving credence to this. At the start of the novel, fourteen-year-old Duanbai, the fifth son of the newly deceased emperor, falsely ascends to the throne through the machinations of the late emperor’s mother, Madame Huangfu. Throughout his reign, Duanbai is incapable of properly dealing with various problems, having not been raised to succeed to the throne. He often feels powerless – and sometimes even entirely helpless – when attempting to deal with the women of his court; his brothers, Duanwen and Duanwu; the conflicts on the border of the Xie Empire; and the rebel uprising within the empire. Overall, Su Tong quite successfully presents us with a realistic perspective of a young self-centered emperor who fails to act the part of a strong emperor and consequently falls victim to circumstances that move beyond his control.
Su Tong organized this novel into three distinct parts. The first part covers Duanbai’s ascension to the throne and his time as a child-emperor, controlled by his grandmother. Su Tong characterizes Duanbai as a somewhat…

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