Thoughts on Wang’s “Images”

The content of Part One of Robin Wang’s book, Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture, was comprised of many beautifully-versed poems full of imagery. These poems, including Book Twelve of the Lessons of States or Guofeng, are quite beautiful and fluid. For example, Ode 143 states:

“The moon comes forth in her brightness;

How lovely is that beautiful lady!

O to have my deep longings for her revealed!

How anxious is my heart!”

The great significance involved in the superstitious ritual of Oracle Bones is also mentioned in Book One of Wang’s text. Here, she gives us four examples of how the ancient Chinese used Oracle bones to predict the future.

The Classic of Changes is incredibly important in respect to Chinese philosophical thought. Section 2.4 of Xici Appended Statements, discuseed the yin and yang of numbers; how yin represented odd, or female numbers; whereas the yang symbolizes the even, or male numbers.

Confucian ideology permeates through many of the poems that are included in this text. This is most notably apparent in the section entitled, “The Record of Rites.”

The most popular belief is that the idea that women’s subservient position in the world was a purely Judeo-Christian one, but indeed it becomes steadily apparent after reading Wang’s book, that it truly is a more global concept and has existed for millennia.

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