"Tale of Kieu" Analytical Essay by Professor Victor Verb

"Tale of Kieu"
This paper analyzes the Vietnamese epic poem by Nguyen Du, "The Tale of Kieu".
# 58614 | 1,680 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on May 17, 2005 in Asian Studies (East Asian Cultures) , Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis)

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This paper relates that epic poem, "The Tale of Kieu," which dates from the 17th century and is a classic in Vietnamese literature, is the story of Thuy Kieu, a Vietnamese middle-class teenager, both gifted and beautiful, whose life is turned upside-down when she is forced to break a vow to marry her betrothed and turns to a life of prostitution to save her impoverished father. The author points out that this work explores the conflicting virtues imposed on women by an authoritative and male-dominated Confucian society and the way these constraints adversely affected Kieu's life over the years. The paper concludes that this poem is a framework for understanding how people from another culture view many of the same issues, despite the vast distances and differences in culture, when women must turn to prostitution in order to earn a living.

Table of Contents
Review and Discussion

From the Paper:

"During her 15-year employment in this immoral capacity, Kieu manages to meet one "client" with whom she is able to establish something of a rapport and pleasure, despite the fact that she recognizes that this man is most likely married and consequently unavailable to her. Kieu says of the relationship, "But if the lady lords over you, I shall be tossed to her, your lioness" (71). After 15 years of this ordeal, Kieu is finally reunited with her original fiance, when "the waning moon shines more than at its full" (161); however, her former betrothed, Kim, has already married Kieu's younger sister. "But I believe/ that to her man a bride should bring the scent of a close bud, and the shape of a full moon./ Its priceless chastity by nuptial torch, / am I to blush for what I'll offer you?" (lines 3092-3096)."

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"Tale of Kieu" (2005, May 17) Retrieved July 12, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/tale-of-kieu-58614/

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