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Du's Use of the Imagery of Rose in the Tale of Kieu - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Du’s Use of the Imagery of Rose in “the Tale of Kieu” and the Revelation of the Male Dominated Society’s Carnal Hunger In literature a flower or a rose is often associated with a woman and her beauty. Such practice of comparing a rose with beautiful women exists in almost every culture and society of the world…
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Dus Use of the Imagery of Rose in the Tale of Kieu
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"Du's Use of the Imagery of Rose in the Tale of Kieu"

Download file to see previous pages From a feminist perspective, the rose imagery can perceived as a part of the male dominated society imposed culture of stylizing the female body as well as female gender in a manner that serves the patriarchy’s purpose, the best, of subjugating and subordinating them for satisfying their carnal hunger. In Nguyen Du’s “The Tale of Kieu” the use of rose imagery and its comparison with the protagonist Kieu essentially depicts the patriarchal scheme of creating a culture that is supposed to stylize the female as weak, feeble and incapable to taking any difficult responsibility. I said this because Du depicts a woman’s sufferings in a society that is essentially ruled and dominated by Confucian patriarchal values and the imagery of ‘flower’ and ‘rose’ serves him the best to uphold the society’s view of women. In the “Tale of Kieu” the imagery of rose is fraught with a number of meanings and attributes such beauty, loveliness, sexual appeal, fragility etc. In plain eyes, an imagery of rose represents Kieu’s purity, chastity and a number of other virtues. In fact these virtues make the protagonist so lovable, desirable, pretty and admirable. The narrator describes her as a rose which has lost its home: “Alone with her dilemma in deep night, /…../ A rose afloat, a water fern adrift: / such was the lot her future held in store” (Du, line 216-220). Kieu’s beauty has been significantly symbolized by the rose imagery. Obviously the story of Kieu, who is as beautiful as a rose, is more heartrending and poignant. It instantly evokes the readers’ pity for the protagonist. At the brothel, while sitting by the window Kieu was watching a “washed out rose”. In fact Du has depicted such scene in order to intensify the pitiful situation of Kieu’s life: “Her feelings snarled like raveled skeins of silk. / Through window bars she gazed at mists beyond / a washed out rose, a willow gaunt and pale” (Du, line 40-44). In fact, in “the Tale of Kieu” a rose has been used as a symbol of lust. Kieu is not only beautiful but also she is sexually appealing like a “fragrant rose”. Once, Kim was attracted to Kieu sexually. But the protagonist had been able to save her rose-like chastity and purity. But her sexual beauty is as appealing as a fragrant rose is. The narrator of “The Tale of Kieu” describes the scene as following: “A fragrant rose, she sparkled in full bloom, / bemused his eyes, and kindled his desire. / When waves of lust had seemed to sweep him off, / his wooing turned to wanton liberties.” (Du, line 342-348) In the same fashion, the image of a rose has been used to refer to Kieu’s sexual attractiveness in the following lines: “He could not drive her from his haunted mind./………../ Silk curtains veiled her windows like dense clouds, / And toward the rose within he'd dream his way. (Du, line 245-250) Remarkably the ‘rose’, that is Kieu, in these lines seems to an object what a boy dreams of and the phrase “he'd dream his way” indicates that Kieu is a sexual existence, since a matured boy’s way of dreaming of a girl must be associated with sexuality. Ironically the similarity between Kieu and a rose is a reference to her weakness also. By drawing Kieu’s similarity to a rose, the author also reminds the readers of Kieu’s helplessness and weakness. Women’s fragility and weakness have conveyed through the rose ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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