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ThiConsider how these works — analects and poems — contributed to the formation of the collective Chinese identity. You cite many good lessons. How might Chinese culture today reflect these values?

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Consider how these works — analects and poems — contributed to the formation of the collective Chinese identity.  You cite many good lessons.  How might Chinese culture today reflect these values?

                                         
(Original question)Confucius, Laozi, Classic of Poetry
It is assumed that Eastern works have influenced the West only very little.  I would beg to differ.  Benjamin Franklin, for example, could easily be seen as an American Confucius as he wrote his own “analects” in Poor Richard’s Almanac.  We might call his brand of knowledge as well as the brand of knowledge we get from Eastern works, secular intellectualism as the goal is not to attain salvation but enlightenment instead. Of interest to us is the world economy in Eastern poetry.  In other words, the Eastern poets are able to say so much by writing so little as evidenced in the classic anecdote that the perfect poem is a blank sheet of paper: nothingness, blankness, infinite possibilities for interpretation. Choose a couple of poems and some of Confucius’s analects or sayings and discuss between you what they might mean.  Keep in mind that more is said by saying little.  Each poem or analect is only the tip of the iceberg.  The vast meaning of the poem, then, is below the surface of the sea waiting to be discovered.

Answer:
Confuciuss analects provide an interesting view on several aspects of life including the relationship between parents and children, being humane, culture, and politics. For instance, Confucius affirms that the need to behave gently and humanly when one is dealing with fellow human beings (Confucious and Huang 45). Being virtuous in thoughts and actions is highlighted as a critical element of human character. He also asserts the importance of culture and rituals in terms of laying down the right procedures and rules that enhance peaceful and orderly coexistence among members of a community.

Thoughts in the silent night is a famous Chinese poem that was written by Libai of the Tang Dynasty. This poem describes the loneliness, solitude, and wistfulness that people sometimes face in their lives. Largely, the poem provides a comprehensive description of the in-depth feeling of nostalgia that crops up in the mind of people during their low moments (Wang 1). The other poem written by the Tang dynasty poet Lisham is the Toiling of a farmer. This poem describes the challenges that farmers face in the pursuit of their peasantry livelihood. In a broader sense, the poem describes the livelihoods of the peasants and low-income earners in Chinese society. The poem intended to highlight the challenges that farmers face even though they play an important role in producing food for the society. Finally, the seven steps verse, a poem written by an ancient poet known as Caozhi described the political oppression and mistrust that existed in the Eastern world during the ancient days (Wang 1). It describes an oppressive emperor who forced his younger brother to come up with a poem or be executed.

Works Cited:

Confucious, Kongzi, and Chichung Huang. The Analects of Confucious (Lun Yu), New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print.

Wang, Jinna. 5 Famous Poems That Every Chinese Kid Knows. Accessed from http://blog.tutorming.com/mandarin-kids/5-famous-poems-that-every-chinese-kid-knows, 2016. Online source.

 

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