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Gender Equality in Ancient Chinese Literature

Autor:   •  November 5, 2018  •  Essay  •  638 Words (3 Pages)  •  113 Views

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Ancient China is a country with extremely strong feudal ethics and canonization of Confucianism. Under the system of patriarchy,women's human rights and values are weaken and denied. “Women were subordinate to first their fathers, then their husbands, and finally, in the case of being left a widow, their sons in a system known as the “three followings” or sancong. ” (Woman in Ancient China) In the traditional Chinese literature,such as “The story of Ts’ui Ying-ying ”,“The Painted Skin”, and “The Courtesan’s Jewel Box”, female always play a “victim” role. The male characters in this literature were unfaithful or cowardice in love. By contrast, the female roles dedicated themselves to pursue love and they are even willing to accept the responsibility and consequences of love on their own. This literature reflected that feminine consciousness gradually awakens and the barriers was inevitable when they tried to be independent in a feudal patriarchal society.

For thousands of years,the majority of female have been like Chen in “The Painted Skin”. They have no individual self and human dignity. The most important things for them is maintaining the marriage and raise up children. Chen was a typical “ideal” wife in the patriarchal society because she was virtuous,submissive and her husband was her whole world. “His wife suspected had been given a rich family as a concubine. She urged Wang to send her away, but Wang wouldn’t listen.’’(CP185/170) When Chen was informed that Wang had brought back a woman with an unknown background, she was not angry. She tried to persuade him as kept the “secret”. After Wang was dug heart by a ghost, Chen would do everything to save her husband's life. “Grieved by her husband’s tragic death and full of remorse for having swallowed the phlegm and letting herself be humiliated, she wept her heart and wished she could die and end it all.” (CP189/178) Wang was

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