Document Analysis by Shanice C.

Source: Exam Questions as a Mirror of Chinese Values (type: informative)—Found in Chapter 22, page 493

Author: Unknown

Time period: about 1644-1911

Society: The Chinese Society

Political, Social, Economic characteristics at time written: 
Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911)- Nomadic people from the lands northeast of China, known as the Manchu, took over as the Qing dynasty. China was once again under the rule of foreigners for the second time. The Manchu’s made an effort to mimic Chinese culture and bolstered many aspects of Chinese government. They started the Confucian civil service exam system. The Manchu’s still preserved their own ethnic and cultural beliefs by forbidding intermarriage between Manchu and Han Chinese, as well as forbidding the Chinese from traveling to Manchuria and learning their language. They also forced Chinese men to wear their hair in a braid known as a queue. It was a sign of submission. 

This was to give them insight into the behavior and attitudes expected of the literate, ruling classes of what was perhaps the best-educated preindustrial civilization. The sample questions tell a good deal of what sorts of knowledge were considered important and what kinds of skills were necessary for those aspired to successful careers in the fields of administrative service in imperial bureaucracy. 

This document was written in more of a calm, informative way. The person just wants to get their point across and inform the society of what is taking place.

The Chinese society or the upper class consisting of bureaucrats or highly educated people.

Point of View:
They are mostly using facts and statistics to help others understand the point of the document. It was written in 1st person because they use the word “us” in the article.

Important Content:
They use the sample questions and statistics to hypothesize the different categories and levels the society is at based on their answers to the questions. They used the skills in which they were able to brush the characters to reflect the emphasis the Chinese elite’s place on a refined sense of aesthetics.

Evidence of bias:
There some evidence of bias based on gender. “The very fact that such a tiny portion of the Chinese male population could take the exams and an even smaller number could successfully pass them says a lot about gender roles and elitism in Chinese society. 

Assessment of validity:
The document was mainly based off of statistics and facts, so I’d say it is valid and not a lie.