Money as in most society's is pivotal to its survival. Money is sometimes valued much more than the human being itself is. Money and the thought of affluence often deter many humans from things one loves such as: family, spouse, and ones own feelings. Feng Meng-long's story, "Du Tenth Sinks the Jewelry Box in Anger,” is an authentic representation of how money is valued between Du Tenth and Li Jia. In the eyes of Du Tenth money is not what she values the most whereas, Li Jia seems to only think about money and the affect it has upon him. Li Jia consistent dwelling upon money along with him not trusting Du Tenth, is the reason that she does not survive. In this story, love is shown to have a price and that price literally cost Du Tenth her life. This notion of abandonment, love and money are significant to the theme of the play.
Li Jia is a man of little dominance and easy to manipulate. First, Li Jia lacks financial stability to support his wife Du Tenth; as a result, he is easily persuaded with the thought of financial gain. Love is an intense feeling of tender affection and compassion, something that Li Jia lacked. Du Tenth is in love with Li Jia to an extent that she does not consume herself with his unfortunate financial status. She willingly gives money to Li Jia out of the love and admiration she feels toward him. Although Li Jia in return loves Du Tenth, she feels betrayed. This betrayal is a direct result of Li Jia not trusting in her. Li Jia is trying to sell Du Tenth for his own financial gain and for his honorary status in his family. He does not deem Du Tenth worthy enough of going to his home because of her status as a prostitute. Li Jia also assumes with the influence of Sun Fu, a neighboring boatman, that Du Tenth will never be faithful to him and that she will become a huge embarrassment to him which will cause him to be ousted from his family. Li Jia fear of what his family would think and his fear of living in eternal penury is something that Li Jia does not want.