Chinese Civilization Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #21216222 Related Topics: Civilization, World Civilization, Middle Ages, Literary
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Chinese Civilization

China during the Tang dynasty was a period of beauty and regality among the Chinese citizenry. One of the art forms which took on new importance during the era was in writing. Literature both in the form of stories and poetry became artistic and beautiful. Those who could write best were elevated themselves to the pantheon of artists. This attitude about the importance of writing is visible in some of the stories of the ear. In the tale "Yingying's Story," the main character of Zhang finds himself completely enamored of a young seventeen-year-old girl. The only way that he is able to woo her is through his writing and in turn she is unwilling to show him her own writings for fear of how he will perceive her.

Zhang declares that he is physically unable to stand the three-month long wait it would take for a proper engagement and a marriage ceremony between the two to take love poetry which she at first decries as lecherous and encouraging molestation rather than love. Her initial poem back is a trick which was designed to get him to her home so she could berate his language. However, the words of love finally breach her sense of purity and she comes to Zhang. The two become lovers for a series of months and he continues to keep her interest through his writings, but she never shows him any of her own. The only time the reader sees Yingying's writing is when she sends a letter to Zhang thanking him for his gifts and telling him how she misses him and how she wants him with her.

Zhang, rather than keep such private papers to himself, shows all his friends the letter of love which Yingying had sent him. In turn, the friends composed various poems which were about the affair and about the beauty of this young girl. Yuan Zhen writes, "Zhang showed her letter…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited:

Zhen, Yuan. "Yingying's Story." The End of the Chinese 'Middle Ages': Essays in Mid-Tang

Literary Culture. Ed. Stephen Owen. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP. 1996. 192-204. Print.


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