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Themes and Symbolism in Chinese Folktales
Transcript of Themes and Symbolism in Chinese Folktales
"Chinese Flowers." What's Your Sign. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. <http://www.whats-your-sign.com/Chinese-flowers.html>.
"Chinese Legend of the White Snake." Chinese Fortune Calender. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. <http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/whitesnake.htm>.
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"Symbolism in Chinese Folktales." New Media Art & Second Life Art From China. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. <http://lilyhonglei.wordpress.com/folktale/symbols/>. Chinese Folktales use symbolism just like the Western literature that we are used to. In Chinese literature, animals and objects are symbolic of larger themes. In Madame White Snake, a white snake, such as Bai Suzhen- the white snake spirit- symbolizes luck and peace. An Example: Symbolism- n. A device used in literature where certain objects represent something else Examples: Madame White Snake A green snake represents growth and serenity. The only difference is interpretation. But the most reoccurring are creation, nature, moral issues, and ancestor worship: ideas that closely resemble and follow the leading philosophies at the time. On the flip side, in Chinese culture, white means death and mourning. Creation Stories The Dragon King's Daughter After being saved, the daughter becomes a widow, and falls in love with Liu Yi- the rejected scholar. After being married two times, he realizes he loves the daughter as well, and unknowingly marries her, only to find out who she is after she gives birth to their first child. Cranes symbolize longevity: a long life. A dragon symbolizes immortality and power. A phoenix symbolizes renewal and fertility. Flowers are bit more complicated.... Each flower represents fertility, as well as a seasonal association. For example, the Lotus symbolizes ultimate perfection and purity because it rises unblemished and beautiful from mud, and every part of the plant- from it's petals to it's roots- has a purpose. Moral Issues Ancestor Worship Nature The theme in this story is an old proverb: 'A man of good will would not leave a deed of merit unfinished.' This basically says a man who is kind and benevolent would not leave a respectful and praiseworthy task undone.Yiu Li carried a message to the Dragon King which saved the Dragon King's Daughter, and as a reward, was gifted with many riches, and eventually, the daughter as well. "Chinese Myths." British Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. <http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/Chinese_myth_1109.pdf>.
"The Dragon King's Daughter." Cultural China. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. <http://Traditions.cultural-china.com/en/211Traditions8867.html>.