Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Critical analysis of the Use of Fate Imagery in “the Tale of Kieu’ Imagery is one of the primary elements of literature, which plays an essential role in the development of a theme in any literary piece. Since in poetry, one of the poet’s primary purposes is to articulate and convey the highest and the best through the minimal wordplay, the effective of use of imagery is a must…
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In most cases, abstract imagery bears imposed characteristic. Fate imagery is one of the abstract imageries that have been traditionally used in literature all over the world from the very beginning of human civilization. In Nguyen Du’s “The Tale of Kieu” fate imagery plays a very crucial role in the development of the theme of the poem. I say this because in “the Tale of Kieu” fate has been portrayed as a villain that inflicts pains, sufferings and miseries upon the protagonist, Kieu. Indeed it is fate that takes a test of Kieu’s virtues and psychological strength. To a great extent, fate appears as a scapegoat which, in a number of ways, serves as the replacement of the oppressive patriarchy. Very often Kieu tends to blame her fate for the pains and sufferings in her life. In a male dominated society she is conventionally accustomed to accept the male hegemony as it is. Though her sufferings are mainly induced by her male counterparts, she fails to acknowledge them as the root cause of her sufferings. She accuses fate of causing sufferings to women, while ignoring the inferior position women subjugated by men: “Since ages out of mind, / harsh fate has cursed all women, sparing none. / As I see her lie there, it hurts to think / what will become of me in later days.” (Line 106-110) Kieu believes that women are cursed by fate for ages. She is fully aware of the legacy of the social injustice that women have had to face. She knows that she is also destined to face the same fate: “As I see her lie there, it hurts to think / what will become of me in later days” (Line 109110). Indeed Kieu’s view of “cursed womanhood” is the reflection of what Confucian patriarchy teaches them to think of themselves. In Confucian women are viewed as some existence that is both physically and mentally fragile and frail. They are beautiful but weak. Therefore they should be under tutelage of their male guardians such father, brother or husband. They should go against the decision of their male guardians. A girl needs the guardianship more than a boy does, because she is fated to be such. For Kieu, fate is somewhat that equals to God to a great extent. In some cases fate seems to be God’s decision. She believes that either fate or God is responsible for cursed womanhood. When Dam Tien’s lover mourns at her deathbed saying, “Harsh is the fate that has kept us apart! / Since in this life we are not meant to meet, / let me pledge you my troth for our next life” (Line 74-76), he essentially refers to heavenly decision. Indeed fate’s association with God’s decision is evident in the following lines in which she directly accuses God of being cruel: “How sorrowful is women's lot! -she cried / We all partake of woe, our common fate. / Creator, why are you so mean and cruel / blighting green days and fading rose-fresh cheeks?” (Line 82-5) In these lines, “Creator” or God is directly held responsible for “women’s sorrowful lot”. Kieu considers God’s decision as women’s “common fate”. She believes that god is responsible for “fading rose-fresh cheeks”. Indeed the frequent of fate imagery in “the Tale of Kieu”, contributes a lot to the portrayal of the faith of Confucian society
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“Critical Analysis of the Use of Fate Imagery in The Tale of Kieu Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1434677-kieu-essay-theme.
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