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The Plum and the Golden Vase Explicatory Essay

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Updated: Dec 26th, 2019

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Set in futuristic China, the story of Jin Ping Mei is adapted to take into consideration new social developments within the country. The one child policy has been abolished resulting in the rise of many prominent business oriented clans.

Located in the Qingdao region of China, the Ximen household rose to prominence over a period of 50 years as a direct result of lucrative government construction contracts as well as a monopoly over the regions tourism industry.

However, the heirs of the clan have squandered the wealth and success of their ancestors resulting in the slow and gradual deterioration of the household.

Ximen Qing, the current head of the Ximen clan, has done little to advance the stature of his household and is known as being a lustful perverse man who has taken an assortment of wives and concubines, all of whom do not have his best interests at heart.

Fortunately, Ximen Qing continues to have a steady stream of income from his clan’s numerous businesses and assets and, as such, is able to continue to live lecherously often taking numerous aphrodisiac pills and engaging in orgies with his wives and concubines.

It is only when his lustful ways lead him to develop an adulterous relationship with Pan Jinlian that Ximen Qing meets his ill-fated yet ironic death as direct result of a Viagra overdose (Dhume, 2003).


The story begins in the suburbs of Qingdao within the compound of the Ximen household. Despite the declining finances of the clan, their home is still the best looking within the Qingdao region.

Ximen Qing uses this to his advantage as a way of enticing beautiful yet financially underprivileged women from around the region to either marry him or become a concubine. Despite its large size, a chaotic murmur rings through the air as the voices of Qing’s 6 wives and mistresses echo within (Hardie, 1994).

Arguments can be heard, threats and even the occasional scream as these women clamor for prestige and attention within this gradually declining clan. Outside, Pan Jinlian can be seen, sweeping the front porch of the home she shares with her husband Wu Song.

For the past 10 years, Pan Jinlian and Wu Song have lived in the shadow of the Ximen clan’s home with many often assuming that the home of Pan and Wu is nothing more than a gatehouse for the enormous property in front of them.

Despite the wide gap in wealth and prestige, Pan Jinlian, Wu Dalang and Ximen Qing have been friends with Ximen Qing often inviting the two of them for dinner or lunch at his estate. It should be noted though that to look at Pan Jinlian and Wu Song is to see as horribly mismatched a couple as they come.

Pan Jinlian with her heart shaped face, long flowing black hair, alabaster skin and pert lips is considered far and wide as being one of the most beautiful women in Qingdao.

Wu Dalang on the other hand with this aged and wrinlked skin, crinkly eyes, balding head and hunched posture is far from what most would consider handsome.

However, the couple continues to love each other deeply and does not at all consider the invitations of Ximen Qing suspicious in the least, despite his lecherous comments and inquiries into the sex life of Pan and Wu which often illicits stammering and blushes from the two.

The birthday of Ximen Qing is to start the following day to which he invites Pan Jinlian and Wu Song to a night the two will never forget…..


Int. Opening Sequence – Party Scene

Close Up:

While the screen is dark a candle flame appears out of the darkness casting eerie shadows into the background. A slow blowing is heard and the flame is suddenly put out with the smoke trails spelling out the title of the movie “The Plum in the Golden Vase”.

Inside the Home of Ximen Qing

A sudden flash appears on the screen with the sound of a traditional camera clicking in the background.

The lens of an old style camera is shown and all of a sudden the camera is removed from the screen to reveal the party scene.

The background suddenly becomes much brighter with the sounds of people talking and enjoying themselves.

Numerous Background Characters

Happy Birthday Ximen Qing!

Pan: Scene Shows a Top-down View of Numerous Individuals Celebrating Within a Small Room With Several People Gathered Around a Birthday Cake With Candles.

Ximen Qing – Party Host

Awww…Thanks you guys!

Scene shows numerous people drinking and having a good time at a party. People are wearing hats, eating food from several trays and there is a large “Happy Birthday Ximen” sign placed prominently on the office wall.

Wu Song

Smile for the camera! *FLASH*

Pan Jinlian

Wu Song, put down the camera for a second and go get us something to drink!

Ximen Qing – Party Host

Aww Wu, if you get us some drinks I promise to give you a peck on the cheek.

Wu Song

Yuck! I’ll go just so I will not get kissed!

Watching as Wu Song walks away Ximen suddenly turns towards Pan

Ximen Qing – Party Host

Hey Pan! I have something to show you

Ximen Qing walks towards his computer which has a webcam with a red light that is on and looks for a file containing certain videos. As Pan looks through the videos shown to her by Qing her face goes from looking concerned to horrified…

Pan Jinlian

Oh God! (Horrified look on Pan Jinlian face as she watches the videos)

Zoom in: the Camera Zooms in Towards Pan Jinlian Eye Which Reflects the Webcam With the Red Light That’s on.

The scene pauses to show the webcam with the red light, then the red light goes off.

Fade to Black

Reference List

Dhume, S. (2003). The Plum in th Golden Vase, or Chin Ping Mei (Book). Far Eastern Economic Review, 166(7), 57.

Hardie, A. (1994). Dirty Ming soap opera. Far Eastern Economic Review, 157(24), 42.

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