Read The Cloudy Mirror: Tension and Conflict in the Writings of Sima Qian by Stephen Durrant, chapter 2: “Sima Qian's Confucius.”
Then answer the following questions:

1.What is the thesis, or main point, that Stephen Durrant makes in this chapter?

2. What are the two criticisms of Sima Qian's biography of Confucius?

3. What are the sources of these criticisms? When were the written? (List as many as you can identify).

4. Besides Sima Qian's biography of Confucius, what other early sources are there for information on the life of Confucius?

5. How does Sima Qian's biography differ from these other sources?

6. What are the four basic themes in Confucius' biography?

7. Why does Stephen Durrant think that Sima Qian made Confucius the hero of the Records of the Historian (Shi ji)? Do you agree with Durrant's argument? Why or why not?

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1.What is the thesis, or main point, that Stephen Durrant makes in this chapter?

Siam Quian was not an opponent of tradition as he was accused. He helped to construct the tradition of Confucius and thought he was someone to be emulated....
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