Whose side was Chen Deng on?

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Whose side was Chen Deng on?

Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Jun 13, 2003 8:38 pm

I'm just really confused about this personality (as in the novel). He was the main catalyst for Lü Bu's downfall (being an agent for Cao Cao), but he's changed sides quite often.

First he was under Tao Qian, and when Tao Qian died he worked for Liu Bei (chpt 12). After Liu Bei got booted out of Xuzhou by Lü Bu, somehow Chen Deng started working for Lü Bu (why though? It seems that he knew Lü Bu wasn't a good ruler already.)(chpt 16). Though as soon as he saw Cao Cao, Chen Deng started to plot for Lü Bu's death (chpt 16). Then after Lü Bu died, he kept his position in Xuzhou, and seemed to be working for Cao Cao. However, when Liu Bei attempted to take Xuzhou by surprise, Cao Cao ordered Che Zhou to ambush Liu Bei. And who leaked the plot to Liu Bei? None other than Chen Deng(chpt 21)! And after that, who suggested to Liu Bei to get Yuan Shao to attack Cao Cao(chpt 22)? Chen Deng again.

So was Chen Deng on Cao Cao's side or not? If he was, then it was surprising that he would betray Cao like that at the end. So perhaps he was on Liu Bei's side. But then why did he defect to Lü Bu's side when Liu Bei lost to Lü Bu? He definitely wasn't on Lü Bu's side. So was he schizophrenic or what? :eek2:
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Unread postby Tianshan Zi » Fri Jun 13, 2003 9:16 pm

What a great topic! :) The Chen Deng/Chen Gui relationship always fascinated me while I read the novel, especially in terms of their "service" to Lu Bu. (Are the father and son even on the same side? Do they or do they not know it? Hmm...) I am going to have to read the novel again just to discuss this topic! :?
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Unread postby Mengdez New Book » Sat Jun 14, 2003 5:07 am

How about Chen Deng loyal to Han instead of loyal to those Lords? He served Liu Bei because Liu Bei was the only one he knew who want to restore Han :lol:. For Lu Bu, wouldn't it be dangerous to let this person fooling around? So, he decided to join him and find a good time to get rid of him. And, Lu Bu had destroy Liu Bei army at Xuzhou and brought huge destruction to it, maybe a sweet revenge was in his mind too. In order to do so, Liu Bei cannot be counted as he lost Xuzhou to Lu Bu, Cao Cao came into his mind. After destroyed Lu Bu, i don't think he had any excuse to decline Cao Cao's offer, remember that Han Xian Di was in Cao Cao hand, if he was loyal to Han then Cao Cao order should be obeyed. Then, chance came as Liu Bei wanted Xuzhou, here the loyalty to Han (Liu of Liu Bei :lol:) against help him to decide. For Yuan Shao case, he needed to find a good candidate to destroyed Cao Cao like what he did to Lu Bu. He knew Cao Cao's intention not only didn't want to restore Han but to build a new empire by his own. And, Yuan Shao was famous with his family background who served Han for many generations, he should be the one who can restore Han also :lol:. So, he advised Liu Bei to join the mightiest Yuan Shao :lol:. Futhermore, Liu Bei and him killed Che Zhou, they definitely cannot join Cao Cao. 8-)
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:56 pm

Mengdez New Book wrote:How about Chen Deng loyal to Han instead of loyal to those Lords? [...]Futhermore, Liu Bei and him killed Che Zhou, they definitely cannot join Cao Cao. 8-)

Yeah but at the end he surrendered with all of Xuzhou to Cao Cao (chpt 24).... :roll:
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Unread postby Mengdez New Book » Sun Jun 15, 2003 6:15 am

Lady Wu wrote:Yeah but at the end he surrendered with all of Xuzhou to Cao Cao (chpt 24).... :roll:

Well, if base on loyal to Han view, what else can he do? Cao Cao represent the whole Han. :roll:
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:53 am

Mengdez New Book wrote:Well, if base on loyal to Han view, what else can he do? Cao Cao represent the whole Han. :roll:

So what you're saying is, when Liu Bei regained Xu Zhou, Chen Deng didn't think that Cao Cao represented Han and so he had Liu Bei kill Che Zhou; but later when Liu Bei lost Xu Zhou to Cao Cao, Chen Deng thought that Cao Cao represented Han again, and so surrendered to him? :eek2:

What surprises me is that Cao Cao didn't take the head of this double-crosser.
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Unread postby Mengdez New Book » Mon Jun 16, 2003 6:43 am

Lady Wu wrote:So what you're saying is, when Liu Bei regained Xu Zhou, Chen Deng didn't think that Cao Cao represented Han and so he had Liu Bei kill Che Zhou; but later when Liu Bei lost Xu Zhou to Cao Cao, Chen Deng thought that Cao Cao represented Han again, and so surrendered to him? :shock:

:lol: You catch me here...
Well, suddenly you remind me about the Chinese phrase 牆頭草,隨風到. When Liu Bei regained Xu Zhou, i don't really think Chen Deng didn't think that Cao Cao was not represented Han. IMO, Chen Deng thought that Liu Bei was far more suitable than Cao Cao to restore Han as Liu Bei was from Han family, even he was not, with Liu family name, he looked more convince than Cao Cao. And remember that Cao Cao had killed the citizens of Xu Zhou before, with this incident, there is no wrong for Chen Deng to put high hope on Liu Bei's shoulder. Unfortunately, Liu Bei's force was too tiny if you compare to Cao Cao. So, when Cao Cao regained Xu Zhou, he chose to surrender. Here, one thing need to be cleared up, Chen Deng thought that Cao Cao represented Han doesn't mean that he agreed with it. Same case applied to Yuan Shao, when Cao Cao used Han Xian Di's name to scold him, what can he do? He certainly not agreed with it but Han Xian Di was in Cao Cao's hand and the Emperor's influence still there.

Lady Wu wrote:What surprises me is that Cao Cao didn't take the head of this double-crosser.

Well, if the 'tool' still usable for Cao Cao, he will never drop it or destroy it. (I don't know how useful Chen Deng to Cao Cao, maybe just to calm Xu Zhou situation down.)
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Jun 17, 2003 6:33 am

Mengdez New Book wrote:Well, if the 'tool' still usable for Cao Cao, he will never drop it or destroy it. (I don't know how useful Chen Deng to Cao Cao, maybe just to calm Xu Zhou situation down.)

Heh, Chen Deng died at the ripe young age of 39 anyway. Probably his merits from destroying Lü Bu cancelled off his temporary betrayal.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:37 am

I'm reading Moss Roberts translation of SGYY now, which is interesting to me partly because Roberts translated a fair bit of the Mao commentary in the endnotes. One of these notes says: "Chen Gui's heart was with Liu Bei, but Chen Gong was with Cao Cao" (or something to that effect).

So perhaps the times when Chen Gong helped Liu Bei was when his dad ordered him to (and he was too filial to disagree). I wonder what Cao Cao thought of Chen Gui though... :roll:
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hmm...

Unread postby Peter » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:54 am

interesting, didn't SGYY memtion the pair (you know, father and son team) are suppose be rich and powerful people (locally, have human resources...and so on). Even though they want to follow Liu Bei but they have to preserve their family first thus constant changing sides. It's like the Robert the Bruce in the movie Braveheart (although it's huge misleading).
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