Gu Dasao – Water Margin

母大虫顾大嫂 - 《水浒传》

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Gu Dasao is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Nicknamed “Female Tiger”, she ranks 101st among the 108 Stars of Destiny and 65th among the 72 Earthly Fiends. Wikipedia
Significant other: Sun Xin
Notable aliases: “Female Tiger”, 母大蟲
First appearance: Chapter 49


Gu Dasao, also known as Guanyin Hong, is a character in the classic Chinese novel “Water Margin,” written by Shi Nai’an in the 14th century. She is the wife of the Liangshan Marsh bandit Wu Song and is known for her strong will and intelligence. Gu Dasao is one of the few female characters in the novel, and her story is both tragic and inspiring.

Gu Dasao was born into a wealthy family, but she was forced to marry Wu Song, a poor fisherman, when she was still very young. Despite their humble beginnings, the couple was very much in love, and Gu Dasao remained devoted to Wu Song throughout their marriage. When Wu Song was falsely accused of murder and sent to prison, Gu Dasao worked tirelessly to prove his innocence. She eventually succeeded in clearing his name and securing his release, but the experience left her with a deep-seated distrust of the legal system and a fierce desire for justice.

After Wu Song’s release, the couple moved to the city of Jinan, where Wu Song became a restaurant owner. Gu Dasao worked alongside her husband, managing the business and building a successful reputation as a savvy businesswoman. However, their happy life was shattered when Wu Song was betrayed by his business partner and killed in a violent confrontation. Gu Dasao was left alone, with no family or means of support.

Despite her grief, Gu Dasao refused to give up. She used her intelligence and business acumen to turn the restaurant into a thriving enterprise, earning the respect of her customers and employees. She also became a mentor and friend to other women in the community, helping them to navigate the challenges of life in a male-dominated society. Her strength and resilience made her a beloved figure in Jinan, and she was eventually granted an official position as a community leader.

However, Gu Dasao’s story takes a tragic turn when she is betrayed by a member of her own family. Her nephew, who had been left in her care, conspires with corrupt officials to steal her business and have her arrested. Despite her innocence, Gu Dasao is imprisoned and sentenced to death. In a dramatic scene, she manages to escape from prison and seeks refuge with the Liangshan Marsh bandits, where she is eventually reunited with her husband’s former comrades.

As a member of the Liangshan Marsh gang, Gu Dasao becomes a powerful force for justice and righteousness. She is instrumental in several key battles, using her intelligence and cunning to outwit the gang’s enemies. Her courage and leadership inspire the other members of the gang, and she becomes one of their most trusted advisors.

In conclusion, Gu Dasao is a complex and compelling character in “Water Margin.” Her story is a testament to the resilience and strength of women in a patriarchal society, and her determination to seek justice and right wrongs makes her a powerful force for good. Despite the many challenges and tragedies she faces, Gu Dasao never loses sight of her principles and remains true to herself and her beliefs. Her legacy is a lasting reminder of the enduring power of the human spirit.

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