essay 2 - Kavitha Duvoor CM 2182 Modern China Section 2...

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Kavitha Duvoor CM 2182 Modern China – Section 2 From Filial to Freedom Throughout most of China's history, women where never considered apart of society. In general women were treated as objects and were never asked of their opinions, thoughts or desires. Due to the fact that as time changes, the human race develops; it is clear that things would eventually change for them. Indeed, after the May Fourth Movement in 1919, women started to gain a better lifestyle and more rights. It is important to examine the responses of Chinese women to the changing political and social standings in China. The books: The Man Awakened from Dreams by: Henrietta Harrison, Bound Feet and Western Dress by: Pang-Mei Natasha Chang, and Lust, Caution by: Eileen Chang, can be used to exemplify the transitions different women had towards the drastic modernization China underwent during the twentieth century. Under the orthodox Confucian view, women did not have as many rights as men did. Their role in life consisted of marrying at a young age, giving birth to a son, being a housewife, and taking care of their in-laws, husband, and children. Furthermore, a woman was not able to choose a husband of her own, instead it was the role of the daughter and sons parents, as well as a fortune teller to see if the marriage would be fit. Once married it was the wife’s duty to obey the filial piety. “The Classic of Filial Piety says that of the three thousand crimes that are punishable by death, banishment, detention, or fines, not one is greater than not being filial. Cao Dinghai’s wife was not filial to her mother-in-law. Her sin was great, so it is no wonder she was executed by Heaven.” (Henrietta 2005). This quote shows how strict the Confucian laws were towards not only men but to women as well because they believed that if a women did not fulfill
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her filial duties, she would certainly doom the marriage and end up dying. The relationship between the husband and wife under Confucianism can be described as distant. Because they were paired together by force through their parents it was difficult to create and maintain a true
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course VA 101 taught by Professor Kuo during the Winter '08 term at Rose-Hulman.

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essay 2 - Kavitha Duvoor CM 2182 Modern China Section 2...

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