Was it Xu Shu's fault that his mommy died? (Novel)

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Unread postby Starscream » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:03 am

If I'm Xu Shu's mom, I'd say his stupidity killed me. As mom, I cared about his future and not wanting to endanger his career, but this little wimp chose to go into the tiger's clutches and made it seemed that I implicated him. So, I chose suicide to free him from any implications and therefore in conclusion, he's responsible for my death, the unfilial son he was. No amount of books or teachings of the ancient could get into his head!! :lol:
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:42 pm

Starscream wrote:So, I chose suicide to free him from any implications and therefore in conclusion, he's responsible for my death

That doesn't sound like freedom from implications to me. It sounds like implications implications implications! Xu Shu thought so, too: he didn't return to Liu Bei because of it.
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Unread postby Starscream » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:04 pm

Kong Wen wrote:That doesn't sound like freedom from implications to me. It sounds like implications implications implications! Xu Shu thought so, too: he didn't return to Liu Bei because of it.

I always thought Xu Shu could not return to Liu Bei because upon entering Cao Cao's realms, his movements would thereby be restricted. I don't think Cao Cao would let him escape so easily.

However, on the other hand, Xu Shu's mom killed herself and gave her son the freedom of not offering a single plan or strategy to Cao Cao. If she was alive and was hostage to Cao Cao, Xu Shu wouldn't have a choice and had to act as a faithful advisor. Since she killed herself, Cao Cao lost his hostage. He wouldn't want to kill Xu Shu for not being diligent either, because his objective was to use his talents.
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Unread postby Shield » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:56 pm

Starscream wrote:I always thought Xu Shu could not return to Liu Bei because upon entering Cao Cao's realms, his movements would thereby be restricted. I don't think Cao Cao would let him escape so easily.


I think it was Xu Shu's principle that did not allow him to return to Liu Bei. If he wanted to return I think he could have, but because he promised to serve Cao Cao, he couldn't go back to Liu Bei. His principle/honor would not allow him to. At least that is how I read it. I could be wrong though.

*Edit* Forgot to mention but if Xu Shu wanted to return during the battle of Chibi he could definitely escaped when Cao Cao was defeated.
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Unread postby Starscream » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:29 pm

Shield wrote:I think it was Xu Shu's principle that did not allow him to return to Liu Bei. If he wanted to return I think he could have, but because he promised to serve Cao Cao, he couldn't go back to Liu Bei. His principle/honor would not allow him to. At least that is how I read it. I could be wrong though.

*Edit* Forgot to mention but if Xu Shu wanted to return during the battle of Chibi he could definitely escaped when Cao Cao was defeated.


First of all, why would Xu Shu bind himself to the principle to serve the person who indirectly caused the death of his mother? I quote the lines from SGYY Chapter 48 here:
"I have never forgotten the kindness of Uncle Liu Bei, nor my oath to avenge the death of my mother at Cao Cao's hands. I have said I would never think out a plan for him. So am I likely to wreck yours now, brother?..."

Thereafter, Pang Tong offered him a plan for safety while Cao Cao fought Chi Bi. Xu Shu spread rumours in the camp that Ma Teng and Han Sui were restless in the north and he offered to defend the northern borders. In this way, Xu Shu placed himself even further away from Liu Bei. It was not as though he could escape from Cao Cao's lands just because Cao Cao was defeated I think. Though Cao Cao lost at Chi Bi, the rest of his borders and defenses were intact and Xu Shu wasn't the Guan Yu type who could hit and run Cao Cao's border guards to embrace freedom. :twisted:
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Unread postby Shield » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:59 pm

First of all, why would Xu Shu bind himself to the principle to serve the person who indirectly caused the death of his mother?


Honorable people often bind themselves to their principle, and while Xu Shu was tricked into service by Cheng Yu and Cao Cao, perhaps switching from one Lord to another in a lifetime was shameful enough for Xu Shu. He probably could not bring himself to switch back again.

As for the rest of the border being intact and Xu Shu could not escape, remember how many times did Cao Cao run into Liu Bei troops in the novel? It is not that difficult for Xu Shu to pass the word to Pang Tong that he will use the confusion after the defeat to get back to Liu Bei. Heck, if Pang Tong can come up with a plan for Xu Shu to be away from Chi Bi, surely he can tell him how to escape when Cao Cao is on the run. It is not like Xu Shu would have to break any border to be captured by Liu Bei troops. They were waiting for Cao Cao afterall. All Xu Shu has to do is run a little slower than the rest. :lol:
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Unread postby Starscream » Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:46 pm

Oh no... I'm gonna have a major headache answering this if you put in soooo many assumptions!!! :lol:

But I'll just point out one which I feel is quite questionable.

if Pang Tong can come up with a plan for Xu Shu to be away from Chi Bi, surely he can tell him how to escape when Cao Cao is on the run.


Then, why didn't Pang Tong advise him thus? Why did he tell Xu Shu to defend the northern borders instead?

As for the honour part, I feel there's room for debate though it seems to be quite an assumption to think that Xu Shu did not consider switching sides because he held too many past employment contracts... I always think that there's no shame if you switch to the 'good side'. In the novel, Zhao Yun served 3 rulers but was still deemed to be loyal. Ma Chao joined Zhang Lu, fought against Liu Bei but finally honoured as one of the five tiger generals. :D
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:50 pm

I know this is a novel discussion, and I hates to bring in history, but sometimes actions in the novel make no sense (Xu Shu staying with Cao). Usually it's because Luo Guanzhong basically had to make things happen that way to reflect history, and the amount of spin he could put on the event was limited. Historically, Xu Shu willingly left Liu Bei to join Cao Cao (he wasn't tricked into it) and then waste away. To give that the Shu-spin he needed to in the novel, Luo Guanzhong had to make it look like Xu Shu wanted to return to Liu Bei without ever actually doing it. Luo Guanzhong plays with history quite a bit, but it's interesting that there are some lines he won't cross (like sending Xu Shu back to Liu Bei to live happily ever after).
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:53 pm

zhuge liang still respects xu shu whn he was in wei
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Unread postby Shield » Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:01 pm

Then, why didn't Pang Tong advise him thus? Why did he tell Xu Shu to defend the northern borders instead?


That might go to support that Xu Shu did not want to return to Liu Bei and that's why Pang Tong advise him to move away from battle instead. Beside, how did Pang Tong get away from Cao Cao after offering him his advise? If Pang Tong can get away and Xu Shu is his friend, wouldl he not want to help Xu Shu get away also? The only explanation as to why he didn't is because Xu Shu did not wanted to. So instead Pang Tong advise him how to stay out of harm way.

As for the honour part, I feel there's room for debate though it seems to be quite an assumption to think that Xu Shu did not consider switching sides because he held too many past employment contracts


Maybe he was too shameful to switch back and forth, or maybe he was too embarrass as to how he was easily tricked. Either way there is no denying that he did not want to go back to Liu Bei. I figure I need to refresh my memory so I went and re-read Xu Shu SGYY bio again and found this:

In the sixth month of Jian An 13 (July AD 208), Cao Cao assumed the office of Han Prime Minister and resolved to keep Xinye under close scrutiny. For this purpose, he ordered Xiahou Dun, Yu Jin, Li Dian, Xiahou Lan, and Han Hao to march to Bowang with one hundred thousand men; however, Xun Yu and Xu Shu warned against underestimating Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang. Xu Shu had already been described as ten times more talented than Cheng Yu, so Cao Cao asked him about Zhuge Liang’s ability. Xu Shu said “I am a firefly; he, the full-risen moon.” Xiahou Dun ignored Xu Shu’s warning and insisted on an immediate attack. He marched on Bowang but suffered a major defeat. When Cao Cao followed up Xiahou Dun’s failed attack with a larger force, Liu Bei evacuated Xinye and stationed his men at Fan. Cao Cao wanted to make a direct attack, but Liu Ye suggested that he give Liu Bei the opportunity to submit, for the sake of the safety of the people of the area. Cao Cao summoned Xu Shu. He knew that Liu Bei would not surrender to him, and he knew that Xu Shu would not try to convince his friends to submit. In this way, he contrived to gain popular support by appearing to be concerned about the people, all the while ensuring that he would ultimately be able to attack Fan. When Xu Shu met with Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang at Fan, he informed them of Cao Cao’s scheme to win approval, and shared information about the invading army. Liu Bei wanted him to stay with them, but Xu Shu was not willing to bear the scorn that such an act would bring him. He returned to Cao Cao and informed him that Liu Bei did not intend to submit.


There we have it. Xu Shu was sitting next to Liu Bei. If he wanted to come back it was as easy as a flip of a hand, but he could not do it as it would be too shameful. So it would appear that honor and principle were what keeping him from leaving Cao Cao and returning to Liu Bei, no?
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