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Is source F more reliable than source E as evidence about the lives of women in China after the first revolution?

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Introduction

Is source F more reliable than source E as evidence about the lives of women in China after the first revolution? Life was hard for most women in China before the first revolution. In this essay I will be observing both sources; E and F, stating which I think was more reliable after having compared them. Source E was written by Jonathon Spence, a British author, in 1981. It is based on 'The Gate of Heavenly Peace.' The purpose of this source was to educate people as it was taken from a textbook. The fact that the source was taken from a textbook meant that the author would have to be neutral in his interpretations; giving a fair account for both sides. Therefore, this would mean that the source is reliable, in one aspect, as it has a balanced story line. In addition, taking into consideration that source E was in fact written by a British author, who uses the word 'abuse' for the events of the Chinese culture, shows that source E has a one sided, western, perspective. ...read more.

Middle

80% of women were poor peasants and the lifestyle still remained extremely hard, even after the revolution in 1911, which is another aspect of unreliability. The author also says that most people were ending the practices of foot binding and infanticide, which I know is true because these two things were outlawed in 1912. Therefore this implies that the source is reliable. Source F was unreliable in the way that it was highlighting the positive aspects of communism; to persuade people to join their party. This is merely because it was written by a communist, Hu Yepin. Source F was written in 1930 about life in the communist province of Jiangxi. Hu Yepin only talks about one area of China, therefore, it is not particularly reliable as it does not show and explain the overall lives of women. The fact that source F was written for a story is also another aspect in which we can question its reliability. ...read more.

Conclusion

I would say that I disagree with it. Source E and F are both unreliable in the sense that source F is written too close to the event and source E is written far away from the event. This is both a good and bad thing as source E has the benefit of hindsight, but at the same time information could have been lost and altered. In addition, source F is unreliable as it is written too close to the event so enough information could have not been collected; however, it would also be coming from a person who experienced the revolution. I say that I think source E is more reliable as there is more evidence and facts, whilst source F is vague. Source F is also polemically written and manipulates the women. I think that source E was also more reliable as the author, Jonathon Spence, was neutral in his interpretations and was writing for the purpose of education. ...read more.

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