Facing the other man: a reading of Kate Chopin's love affair stories from the Confucian perspective

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Facing the other man: a reading of Kate Chopin's love affair stories from the Confucian perspective

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Title: Facing the other man: a reading of Kate Chopin's love affair stories from the Confucian perspective
Author(s):
Wan, Xuemei
Date Created: 2012-04-18
Format: text
Item Type: Paper
Keywords: Chopin, Kate, 1850-1904
Confucianism
Marriage and family life
Abstract: In her love affair stories, Kate Chopin actually raises the question: “How to face ‘the other man’ out of marriage?” which reflects her own and some of her heroines’ inner conflicts. Her statement in the diary and some of her heroines’ attitudes to that question remind us of reading them from the Confucian Perspective. Both the stories and Confucianism have the same key words as “love” and “rituals” or “orders” or “laws.” According to Confucianism, everyone needs love, but the love with morals is more beautiful. For example, from these perspectives, we can see the love in the story of “A Respectable Woman” reflects the attribute of beauty of “Doctrine of the Mean,” and the relationship among the three main characters in the story accords with the “Five Orders”— the Confucian cardinal human relations that between the ruler and the ruled; parents and children; the husband and wife; siblings and friends. Therefore, we can consider that the heroine in the story has overcome the temptation of “the other man” out of her marriage. The desire between them has been restrained into a golden mean love with social ethics, which was advocated by Confucius (551-479BC) to be perfectly good and beautiful, enlightening moderns to live on the earth poetically.
Persistent Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10735.1/2209
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