Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon Paper Topics - The Pillow Book...

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The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon Paper Topics Women Behavior 28: The women are astounded at the “lecherous behavior” of men imposing themselves on women. They squeal and exclaim how unpleasant and absurd the behavior is as a form of their gathering and social activity – gossip 39: Shonagon “cannot bear men who believe that women serving in the Palace are bound to be frivolous and wicked.” Women and men alike make their presence known in the Palace and in this sense are immodest. 91: Women are admired for independency and boldness, strong and dignified, not submissive and unladylike – Example: playing hard to get 180 & 216: Expressing dislike of gossip 245: “When a group of ladies-in-waiting are on leave from Court and have gathered in a room, it is delightful for the master of the household to hear them exchanging flattering remarks about their mistresses and gossiping about the latest news from the Palace.” Beauty 129: Elaborate and colorful arrangements of attire is most admired: Shonagon esteems, “The colour of her clothes went perfectly with her complexion and, as I gazed at her, I was impatient to have a proper look at the Shigei Sha to see whether she was equally as pretty.” 172: Shonagon envies, “Women who have beautiful hair with tresses that fall splendidly over their shoulders.’ 216: “There is something really fascinating about beautiful faces.” 221-2: “The Empress and the other ladies were dressed in the most splendid costumes made of glossy, plum-blossom material, some with heavily figured designs, others decorated with embroidery.” “Several of the women gathered to talk about the costumes and fans they would use on the day of the ceremony, each being determined to outdo the others in elegance.” 253: “Once I saw a girl of about eighteen with magnificent hair that hung in thick tresses all the way to her feet, she was nicely plump and had splendid white skin.” – The standard attributes in the Heian period High Standards and Praise for Refinery, and Elegance 83: Rarity of “a person who is in no way eccentric or imperfect, who is superior in both mind and body, and who remains flawless all his life.” – Example of how refinement and immaculateness is valued. 117: Embarrassing things: “An ignoramus who in the presence of some learned person puts on a knowing air and converses about men of old. “ “In the presence of a skilled musician, someone plays a zither just for his own pleasure and without tuning it.” 172: “People of high rank who are always surrounded by respectful attendants are most enviable.”
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201: “Nothing annoys me so much as someone who arrives at a ceremony in a shabby, poorly decorated carriage… a very inelegant carriage is bound to make a bad effect.” 205: The appearance and arrangement of writing utensils is very important, cannot look untidy and dirty.
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  • Fall '11
  • Roberts
  • History, Murasaki Shikibu, The Pillow Book, Shonagon

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