This journal review intends to explore the various issues in literature that Eugene Eoyang (1982) wants to bring to light by analyzing the Chinese legend about Wang Chao-chün. From this week’s study, I have learnt that literature is crucial in diffusing myths and legends that may be found among different people of varied cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and geographic locations.
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Eoyang explores issues in such transformational stages, which the legend undergoes during the life of the main character. The author successfully does this by analyzing textual resources that contain information about Wang Chao-chün.
The author intends to make an examination of the various literally sources and analogies of the legend about Wang Chao-chün, so as to highlight the developments of literature over time. Eoyang (1982) notes that “the legend is merely a reference point; each version exemplifies the influence of one or more variables.”
A lot of literature materials on the legend have undergone notable changes after the ninth century. These literally materials and presentations differ both in content and thematic presentations in regard to the legend about Wang Chao-chün.
The character undergoes a number of transformations due to various circumstances which she faces. For example, at first, the legend is quite ambitious and full of high hopes. The main character is very beautiful, but gradually transforms into a proud person who refuses to bribe the painters, in an attempt to capture the Emperor’s attention. She moves from a supercilious being to a victim of political hostage.
The author refers to textual sources such as historical prose, classical poetry, vernacular fiction, annals, and literally poems. The various textual resources that the author uses for his study all have substantial differences in characters’ names, themes, content, and message they aim to pass on to the audiences. It is clear that no version examined was composed as a “classic”.
The Wang Chao-chün legend, exemplified by various literary manifestations, shows a remarkable pliancy. In order to trace the character’s changes in Wang Chao-chin, one has to understand her life history as well as her birthplace, and the areas in which she is brought up.
Her changes in character and personality indicate her infinitely to different cultural orientations and social setups. The literature type used depends on the perspective of the audience, which the various authors want to target.
In conclusion, the author succeeds in analyzing the legend by indicating the various transformations the main character undergoes and the way she is portrayed in different literally works. Reading diverse literally works enables us to acquaint with other people’s cultural practices, beliefs, myths, and history. We also get to learn about human values and aspirations.
For example, by reading about Wang Chao-chün, we get to learn about loyalty, sexuality, power, pride, and ambition. Information about the past events is thus passed on to future generations for their own personal development and knowledge acquisition.
Eoyang, Eugene. “The Wang Chao-chun Legend:Configurations of the Classic.” Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews(CLEAR),1982: 3-22.