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Robinson Midterm Grammar Check Essay

1421 words - 6 pages

The Han Dynasty was a major beneficiary of Confucian values. Because of its introduction, a ruling system was established that accounted for morals and ethics. Specifically, Confucianism is an ethical and philosophical concept. Developed by Confucius, its core is founded upon the idea of humanism. Humanism focuses on human values and real-life concerns, as opposed to divine and supernatural intervention. Confucianism is the practice of virtue. 1 One main virtue of Confucianism is ren. Ren is “innate goodness and benevolence.” 2 Confucius regarded that a person who is devoted to ren is “not motivated by personal profit but what is moral.” 3 Strong relationships are central to Confucianism. ...view middle of the document...

This resulted in offspring having limited control of their life.
In Confucian culture, the role of family and hierarchical values must not be understated. Rigid familial relationships were considered the lynchpin in society and must be strictly adhered to. Thus, it is essential to recognize the importance of the family throughout the Chinese culture, particularly women. Pruitt portrayed Ning as family centric-a women who dedicated her life to the cherishing relationships with her children and grandchildren. Her dependents were a point of pride for Ning. Ning made great sacrifices to ensure her family was awarded the best life they could receive. Ning put her daughter first and arranged a marriage that looked promising.
A main tenet of Pruitt’s text was documenting the plight of the woman. However, disappointingly, many women embraced the idea of destiny and accepted their position in society-Ning conceded that “truly my destiny is not a good one. I was not born at an auspicious time.” 6 Ning experienced an epiphany as she grew up believing her situation in life was predetermined by the context of her upbringing-Ning admitted she was “young” and “did not know enough even to beg.” 7 Consequently, she was dependent upon her husband to provide income and necessities. However, as she matured, Ning felt a sense of empowerment that allowed her to take control of her life and assert her independence. This transition was evident as Pruitt later presented Ning as a hard working woman who served many families. Ning worked tirelessly to provide for her children in hopes that they would have a better life than she did. As her children moved on, she became the center of the family. Ultimately, Ning kept the family together through good and bad times.
Gender roles in during the Han Dynasty were reinforced through universal social practices. These Confucian gender values transcended centuries and were deeply disseminated into the stratification of lesser classes. Moreover, Ning found herself further conforming to the gender roles of her time through the practice of foot binding-even stating that “a woman could not go out of the court we women knew nothing but to comb our hair and bind our feet and wait at home for our men.” 8 The practice of foot binding was the custom of applying tight cloth bindings to the feet of young women to prevent them from growing. This custom originated in upper classes and grew in popularity during the Song Dynasty. Foot binding, if done correctly, provided social mobility for women. For lower classes, women had the opportunity to improve their social status by binding their feet. As a result, many women took advantage of this as it was one of the few ways women could garner rights and respect. Small feet were seen as “a bodily marker of status, purity, and good breeding.” 9 Unlike courtship of present day, beautifully bounded feet alone could ensure marriage as a small foot was highly sought after. As a Chinese woman recalled,...

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