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bentley
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Re: Favorite Passages? Epigram - Potential Spoiler



LisaSee wrote:
I have a few thoughts here:

I also love what Tang Xianzu wrote. In fact, it inspired me almost everyday when I was writing the book.

I once read a study that said that men will always save their wives and women will always save their children in life-saving situations.

Finally, to me Peony in Love is about all facets of love, not just that between a man and woman. Peony learns a lot about love for and from her grandmother, mother, and father. She also comes to experience the love of a mother with Yi, but that comes much later in the story.




bentley wrote:
If you have not read any part of Peony in Love: please do not read further - SPOILER.

Epigram:

The epigram to the book was very moving to me. I wonder who would you die for in the name of love? For your children, your spouse, your parents? Who would you rather save and who would be more important than life itself for you. Whose love makes your life worth living or more alive? Of course, we must also have self love...but when I think of my children,,I believe I would do anything to save them if I had to and/or could and most mothers I believe would feel the same way. Of course, in this case, the love discussed most likely deals with the love for a spouse or lover.

The preface to The Peony Pavillion by Tang Xianzu (1598) moved me tremendously especially these lines:

"Love is of source unknown, yet it grows ever deeper. The living may die of it, by its power the dead live again. Love is not love at its fullest if one who lives is unwilling to die for it, or if it cannot restore to life one who has died."

Very beautiful!







Lisa,

It is very interesting what you said about life saving situations...something really happens to women when they have children...you can see it in the wild with mother bears and their cubs for example. Nothing or nobody will hurt their cubs if they can help it.

What Tang Xianzu wrote cannot help but be inspirational with its beauty and simplicity..I know that I was moved tremendously after reading it for the first time.

I am glad that you mentioned that the book really deals with all facets of love.

Bentley
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vivico1
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Re: Favorite Passages? Epigram - Potential Spoiler


bentley wrote:


LisaSee wrote:
I have a few thoughts here:

I also love what Tang Xianzu wrote. In fact, it inspired me almost everyday when I was writing the book.

I once read a study that said that men will always save their wives and women will always save their children in life-saving situations.

Finally, to me Peony in Love is about all facets of love, not just that between a man and woman. Peony learns a lot about love for and from her grandmother, mother, and father. She also comes to experience the love of a mother with Yi, but that comes much later in the story.




bentley wrote:
If you have not read any part of Peony in Love: please do not read further - SPOILER.

Epigram:

The epigram to the book was very moving to me. I wonder who would you die for in the name of love? For your children, your spouse, your parents? Who would you rather save and who would be more important than life itself for you. Whose love makes your life worth living or more alive? Of course, we must also have self love...but when I think of my children,,I believe I would do anything to save them if I had to and/or could and most mothers I believe would feel the same way. Of course, in this case, the love discussed most likely deals with the love for a spouse or lover.

The preface to The Peony Pavillion by Tang Xianzu (1598) moved me tremendously especially these lines:

"Love is of source unknown, yet it grows ever deeper. The living may die of it, by its power the dead live again. Love is not love at its fullest if one who lives is unwilling to die for it, or if it cannot restore to life one who has died."

Very beautiful!







Lisa,

It is very interesting what you said about life saving situations...something really happens to women when they have children...you can see it in the wild with mother bears and their cubs for example. Nothing or nobody will hurt their cubs if they can help it.

What Tang Xianzu wrote cannot help but be inspirational with its beauty and simplicity..I know that I was moved tremendously after reading it for the first time.

I am glad that you mentioned that the book really deals with all facets of love.

Bentley


Something really happens to a woman too, when they can never have children.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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bentley
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Re: Favorite Passages? Epigram - Potential Spoiler



vivico1 wrote:

bentley wrote:


LisaSee wrote:
I have a few thoughts here:

I also love what Tang Xianzu wrote. In fact, it inspired me almost everyday when I was writing the book.

I once read a study that said that men will always save their wives and women will always save their children in life-saving situations.

Finally, to me Peony in Love is about all facets of love, not just that between a man and woman. Peony learns a lot about love for and from her grandmother, mother, and father. She also comes to experience the love of a mother with Yi, but that comes much later in the story.




bentley wrote:
If you have not read any part of Peony in Love: please do not read further - SPOILER.

Epigram:

The epigram to the book was very moving to me. I wonder who would you die for in the name of love? For your children, your spouse, your parents? Who would you rather save and who would be more important than life itself for you. Whose love makes your life worth living or more alive? Of course, we must also have self love...but when I think of my children,,I believe I would do anything to save them if I had to and/or could and most mothers I believe would feel the same way. Of course, in this case, the love discussed most likely deals with the love for a spouse or lover.

The preface to The Peony Pavillion by Tang Xianzu (1598) moved me tremendously especially these lines:

"Love is of source unknown, yet it grows ever deeper. The living may die of it, by its power the dead live again. Love is not love at its fullest if one who lives is unwilling to die for it, or if it cannot restore to life one who has died."

Very beautiful!







Lisa,

It is very interesting what you said about life saving situations...something really happens to women when they have children...you can see it in the wild with mother bears and their cubs for example. Nothing or nobody will hurt their cubs if they can help it.

What Tang Xianzu wrote cannot help but be inspirational with its beauty and simplicity..I know that I was moved tremendously after reading it for the first time.

I am glad that you mentioned that the book really deals with all facets of love.

Bentley


Something really happens to a woman too, when they can never have children.




That is most likely very true as well. I often wondered how I would have felt if I had not been able to experience being a mother and raising my children. My brother and sister in law for whatever reason were not able to conceive; they adopted a little girl from Asia and were so delighted with her and within three to four months of her arrival, they discoved that they were actually going to have one of their own (a baby boy). For some reason, we all felt that when the pressure was off and when they were so happy with the new arrival, that their stress level about not being able to have children went away and then they were successful without the pressure of trying. So many of us take for granted that these things will just automatically happen for us too.
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Re: Favorite Passages? Epigram - Potential Spoiler

[ Edited ]

bentley wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

bentley wrote:


Lisa,

It is very interesting what you said about life saving situations...something really happens to women when they have children...you can see it in the wild with mother bears and their cubs for example. Nothing or nobody will hurt their cubs if they can help it.

What Tang Xianzu wrote cannot help but be inspirational with its beauty and simplicity..I know that I was moved tremendously after reading it for the first time.

I am glad that you mentioned that the book really deals with all facets of love.

Bentley


Something really happens to a woman too, when they can never have children.




That is most likely very true as well. I often wondered how I would have felt if I had not been able to experience being a mother and raising my children. My brother and sister in law for whatever reason were not able to conceive; they adopted a little girl from Asia and were so delighted with her and within three to four months of her arrival, they discoved that they were actually going to have one of their own (a baby boy). For some reason, we all felt that when the pressure was off and when they were so happy with the new arrival, that their stress level about not being able to have children went away and then they were successful without the pressure of trying. So many of us take for granted that these things will just automatically happen for us too.


I had cancer so I couldnt have children. I am single too and I have nothing against adoption, my younger brother who i am closer to then my blood siblings is adopted. That (adoption) wasnt in the card for me either tho. I would be of no value in Peony's culture (to some in this culture too) and when I died I would be left to be a hungry ghost with no one to care about me, just not want me around. We can get into what I think about this whole otherworldly aspect of this book later.


Message Edited by vivico1 on 09-06-2007 02:18 PM
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Favorite Passages? Epigram - Potential Spoiler



vivico1 wrote:

bentley wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

bentley wrote:


Lisa,

It is very interesting what you said about life saving situations...something really happens to women when they have children...you can see it in the wild with mother bears and their cubs for example. Nothing or nobody will hurt their cubs if they can help it.

What Tang Xianzu wrote cannot help but be inspirational with its beauty and simplicity..I know that I was moved tremendously after reading it for the first time.

I am glad that you mentioned that the book really deals with all facets of love.

Bentley


Something really happens to a woman too, when they can never have children.




That is most likely very true as well. I often wondered how I would have felt if I had not been able to experience being a mother and raising my children. My brother and sister in law for whatever reason were not able to conceive; they adopted a little girl from Asia and were so delighted with her and within three to four months of her arrival, they discoved that they were actually going to have one of their own (a baby boy). For some reason, we all felt that when the pressure was off and when they were so happy with the new arrival, that their stress level about not being able to have children went away and then they were successful without the pressure of trying. So many of us take for granted that these things will just automatically happen for us too.


I had cancer so I couldnt have children. I am single too and I have nothing against adoption, my younger brother who i am closer to then my blood siblings is adopted. That (adoption) wasnt in the card for me either tho. I would be of no value in Peony's culture (to some in this culture too) and when I died I would be left to be a hungry ghost with no one to care about me, just not want me around. We can get into what I think about this whole otherworldly aspect of this book later.


Message Edited by vivico1 on 09-06-2007 02:18 PM




Sorry vivico for your troubles and situation. I guess we all have something in our lives which we never understand in terms of others unless we have a chance to walk in their shoes. The Asian culture specifically the Chinese one can be very rigid and appear unforgiving to some. I was struck in my travels how in some instances even today they treated foreigners better than they treated each other in every day life. There are just so many people and maybe that in itself does not put a high value on their fellow citizens...I am not sure. When I was in China just recently, a bus hit a young man on a bicycle and killed him and nobody came. The bus kept going and people just walked over him It was very upsetting. Even now girls are still not as valued as boys so customs and cultural beliefs do not change easily. There are also so many beautiful beliefs and customs and rituals that make up the belief system such as the reverence for the old, their ancestors, their parents and their heritage. I am sure that you would have found and felt worth in Peony's culture and when you died you would not have been a hungry ghost because many would have still wanted you around. I especially love the beliefs regarding the ancestral tablets and how the soul divides itself, etc. Later on these topics..and take care.

Bentley
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Re: Favorite Passages? Epigram - Potential Spoiler


bentley wrote:





Sorry vivico for your troubles and situation. I guess we all have something in our lives which we never understand in terms of others unless we have a chance to walk in their shoes. The Asian culture specifically the Chinese one can be very rigid and appear unforgiving to some. I was struck in my travels how in some instances even today they treated foreigners better than they treated each other in every day life. There are just so many people and maybe that in itself does not put a high value on their fellow citizens...I am not sure. When I was in China just recently, a bus hit a young man on a bicycle and killed him and nobody came. The bus kept going and people just walked over him It was very upsetting. Even now girls are still not as valued as boys so customs and cultural beliefs do not change easily. There are also so many beautiful beliefs and customs and rituals that make up the belief system such as the reverence for the old, their ancestors, their parents and their heritage. I am sure that you would have found and felt worth in Peony's culture and when you died you would not have been a hungry ghost because many would have still wanted you around. I especially love the beliefs regarding the ancestral tablets and how the soul divides itself, etc. Later on these topics..and take care.

Bentley


No, think about it Bently, from what you read, I would have no value there then at all, other than maybe as a finger and tho we can talk about this more in depth later, the stuff you like about the spirit splitting into three, I really hated LOL. But let me say this, I think since its a general idea , we can here. Speaking of starving yourself for control in your life of something, either then or as some girls do today, that act of having some control, even if its destructive, also makes their philosophy of the afterlife something I really dislike a LOT too. Because man, if you have virtual no control of your own life here as a woman, I will be darned if i want what I am or how I am taken care of, dependent on the living "dotting my tablet" right, or offering me clothes and food because i would need them there?? FORGET THAT! Peony goes from no control here about herself to worse in death! (at this point in the book anyway ok) But in general, I find it just another way of being controlled when you should be free of this life's troubles and horrors. NO THANK YOU. I dont need the living "venerating" me and keeping me from being a starving ghost with no clothes! I know this life is but one part of my eternal journey and what I learn here will go with me to the next,but I dont want or need to be dependent on those still here in this realm. Geesh what a depressing thought!
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Favorite Passages? Epigram - Potential Spoiler

br>

I had cancer so I couldnt have children. I am single too and I have nothing against adoption, my younger brother who i am closer to then my blood siblings is adopted. That (adoption) wasnt in the card for me either tho. I would be of no value in Peony's culture (to some in this culture too) and when I died I would be left to be a hungry ghost with no one to care about me, just not want me around. We can get into what I think about this whole otherworldly aspect of this book later.

Message Edited by vivico1 on 09-06-2007 02:18 PM




Vivico,

Thank you for sharing this. You give us a real insight and visceral feeling about what it would have felt like to be in the China back 300 years ago. I think many people read the book and think, oh, that must have been tough or that's sad. But reading your experience I think gives all of us an immediate connection to what it must have been like for women -- actual individual women -- in the past. Thank God it isn't like that now -- either here or in China!
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Re: Favorite Passages? Epigram - Potential Spoiler



vivico1 wrote:

bentley wrote:





Sorry vivico for your troubles and situation. I guess we all have something in our lives which we never understand in terms of others unless we have a chance to walk in their shoes. The Asian culture specifically the Chinese one can be very rigid and appear unforgiving to some. I was struck in my travels how in some instances even today they treated foreigners better than they treated each other in every day life. There are just so many people and maybe that in itself does not put a high value on their fellow citizens...I am not sure. When I was in China just recently, a bus hit a young man on a bicycle and killed him and nobody came. The bus kept going and people just walked over him It was very upsetting. Even now girls are still not as valued as boys so customs and cultural beliefs do not change easily. There are also so many beautiful beliefs and customs and rituals that make up the belief system such as the reverence for the old, their ancestors, their parents and their heritage. I am sure that you would have found and felt worth in Peony's culture and when you died you would not have been a hungry ghost because many would have still wanted you around. I especially love the beliefs regarding the ancestral tablets and how the soul divides itself, etc. Later on these topics..and take care.

Bentley


No, think about it Bently, from what you read, I would have no value there then at all, other than maybe as a finger and tho we can talk about this more in depth later, the stuff you like about the spirit splitting into three, I really hated LOL. But let me say this, I think since its a general idea , we can here. Speaking of starving yourself for control in your life of something, either then or as some girls do today, that act of having some control, even if its destructive, also makes their philosophy of the afterlife something I really dislike a LOT too. Because man, if you have virtual no control of your own life here as a woman, I will be darned if i want what I am or how I am taken care of, dependent on the living "dotting my tablet" right, or offering me clothes and food because i would need them there?? FORGET THAT! Peony goes from no control here about herself to worse in death! (at this point in the book anyway ok) But in general, I find it just another way of being controlled when you should be free of this life's troubles and horrors. NO THANK YOU. I dont need the living "venerating" me and keeping me from being a starving ghost with no clothes! I know this life is but one part of my eternal journey and what I learn here will go with me to the next,but I dont want or need to be dependent on those still here in this realm. Geesh what a depressing thought!




Vivico, I think Lisa answered some of this in her reply. I do think that women who did not marry in Peonys day also had value. In the 20th century, of course much later, amahs gained economic independence and chose not to marry. As far as the soul living on; it is really not that much different than organized religion's beliefs today (although in what I am accustomed to); there are no ancestral tablets. I still like the concept that was presented.

I don't think that I have read the book that way in terms of the starving ghosts. Let me give you an example, I am RC and there are days where prayers are offered up for those who have passed on and in some ways the dead depend upon prayers as well. We are all in life dependent upon others and I think honoring those who have passed on with masses, etc. is still very much with us today. I can understand your strong feelings about these things and I certainly do not want to stoke the fire; but I did want to respond. I personally find the ancestral tablets very interesting and intriguing. And I read for the fun of it and to exchange thoughts and to be exposed to new ways of thinking or different thoughts and ideas. I think Peony in Love exposes you to another culture and time where these things were very ordinary and that is interesting in of itself.

Take care,

Bentley
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Re: Favorite Passages? gods and demons-Spoiler for I really dont know how much, some general ideas.

Bentley wrote:
Vivico, I think Lisa answered some of this in her reply. I do think that women who did not marry in Peonys day also had value. In the 20th century, of course much later, amahs gained economic independence and chose not to marry. As far as the soul living on; it is really not that much different than organized religion's beliefs today (although in what I am accustomed to); there are no ancestral tablets. I still like the concept that was presented.

I don't think that I have read the book that way in terms of the starving ghosts. Let me give you an example, I am RC and there are days where prayers are offered up for those who have passed on and in some ways the dead depend upon prayers as well. We are all in life dependent upon others and I think honoring those who have passed on with masses, etc. is still very much with us today. I can understand your strong feelings about these things and I certainly do not want to stoke the fire; but I did want to respond. I personally find the ancestral tablets very interesting and intriguing. And I read for the fun of it and to exchange thoughts and to be exposed to new ways of thinking or different thoughts and ideas. I think Peony in Love exposes you to another culture and time where these things were very ordinary and that is interesting in of itself.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Bentley, like I said, I am a Mormon, so I am very familiar with the idea of doing something for the dead. We have temples where we do baptism by proxy for those who have gone before us, we are sealed as eternal families there. We do this because we do believe in the spirit world and that the soul goes there awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. And we believe those there dont just sit around awaiting judgement but are still busy learning, teaching, but also here is the difference with what we do and how they are dependent on us and how Peony's ancestors are. We believe you still have your free agency and anything we do here, such as baptize by proxy for you, you still have the right to accept or not. YOU have control of your life and what you believe or not, we cant force it on you or anything. Its done as an act of love. I have no problem with the idea of tablets, is that so far removed from the Genealogy we do? Its nice to remember and honor your ancestors. I dont have a problem with anyone else's religion including the one of the culture presented here. I am saying for me personally, what I have a problem with is the idea, that if someone doesnt dot my tablet right, or honor me in death, I can be destined to be a "hungry ghost" just as Peony becomes! How horrible is that? And I dont want to think that I could literally be hungry or be in rags once I leave this world if someone here doesnt send me offerings of them to use, so that I roam the earth like an animal searching for food and maybe just getting infested crap once a year! What I am saying is, for me, this is not something I want to think about life after death and to me, its another way of controlling people EVEN after death.
On the flip side too, forget what I believe, just talking here about what I dont like about these ideas, I surely dont like the idea that those who have passed on can bless you or curse you (elevating them to gods or demons, depending on what they do), even well "possess" your body and make you do what they want you to! Good grief I hope they got better things to do where they are and that there is a God in control here, not my ancestors and that I have at least the control of what I do myself and not because of whispers in the ear, which still doesn't bother me as much as the idea of them actually using your body to make you do things!

This is not a romantic story to me at all. It is a story of many kinds of love to me, ranging from obsessional (talk about stalkers!) to man/woman love, to motherly and fatherly love. That I think Lisa shows very well in this story too, but I disagree with those who think this is a romance novel.

It is also about the status of women in a particular culture, tho we can draw parallels to many cultures, ours included. Its about the control of women and the strength of many women to break through those barriers, such as those who wrote and published. And on an even larger scale, its about the control of a people, not just by the invading forces but by the belief systems set up long ago to keep that control. Men are controlled too, in a different way but they are all controlled by the ideas of their ancestors. What any of us believe about the afterlife, will affect what we do here. And in this culture, you can keep anyone in line by warning them that their behavior will anger their ancestors. Also think about this, we know throughout history, men thought that if they could not have a son, it was the woman's fault (ask Henry the VIII's wives!) and how convenient for the male. But here you also have an added excuse for men and possible burden to the women, the idea that well, if the woman is healthy, it must be a demon or angry ancestor who is stopping the blessing of a son and so they do all these things, some very unpleasant to the women to try to appease the ancestors or scare away the demons. Once again letting the men off the hook, unless its a spirit who is mad at him too and then that is usually considered a woman spirit too. This makes for a good story (not saying it wasnt or isnt a valid belief system by saying a good story) and good reading yes, but I am just saying, for me personally, its a very sad story EXCEPT, so dont jump on me for that lol, Except for those moments when the love stories I mentioned above come out. This is the vehicle through which they show this love and its good to know its there, but I'll be darned if i would want that kind of life in hopes of finding that love!

Also, I think Lisa did see what I was saying too about my lack of worth then but as I said before, and like Lisa said about my post, I say, thank God I didnt live then.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Favorite Passages? gods and demons-Spoiler for I really dont know how much, some general ideas.

[ Edited ]

vivico1 wrote:
Also, I think Lisa did see what I was saying too about my lack of worth then but as I said before, and like Lisa said about my post, I say, thank God I didnt live then.



Vivico,

I think you are missing what I am saying; I do not think that you would be without self-worth (then or now no matter what your personal circumstances or limitations). However, your life might have been different than you would have desired. Also, in offering up masses today for folks...people are only remembering or blessing their mothers, fathers, etc. with their thoughts.

I have never heard of any religion where they are acting like gods or goddesses and wishing the departed evil in this day and age. I am sorry that you feel that you would have had a lack of worth during this time period; but since you are not Chinese and are not living during that dynasty, etc...you are safe.

I am continuing my reading of the novel and would like to get back on topic; but did not want to not respond to you since you wrote your long note. Religion and politics are usually two (2) topics that I do not participate in. The ancestral tablets to me were beautiful thoughts and rituals and a way to offer and show reference to those who have departed (and I still like the concept).

Regards,

Bentley

Message Edited by bentley on 09-07-2007 02:14 PM
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Re: Favorite Passages? gods and demons-Spoiler for I really dont know how much, some general ideas.

Bentley, I dont have a problem with the tablets, I think they are beautiful and like I said I have no problem honoring the dead with them or like I said, in the ways I do with geneology. The tablets themself are not so different than me having a "family tree" on the wall showing 8 generations of ancestors. I really think they are cool too, its what not taking care of them properly means, that bothers me. Maybe thats what I wasnt making clear. And I am telling you as far as my worth as a woman then, you will see as you go along, what "value" I would have and it would leave little for me in the afterlife. So yeah, I am very happy I didnt live then LOL. I would use a specific phrase but I dont think you are there yet, so we will leave this at that. :smileywink: OH, one thing, you said : "I think you are missing what I am saying; I do not think that you would be without self-worth (then or now no matter what your personal circumstances or limitations)." Let me be clear too in case i wrote it wrong, I am not talking about SELF-worth, that would be mine. I am talking about as a woman of the times worth. I do not say I wouldnt be "used" or of "value" but I think you will see later on of what worth a single woman who could not bare children and had no family of substance or family at all to take care of her in this life or the next, is worth in this time period. :smileywink: and hey, its all good. I Love good discussions!
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Favorite Passages? gods and demons-Spoiler for I really dont know how much, some general ideas.



vivico1 wrote:
Bentley, I dont have a problem with the tablets, I think they are beautiful and like I said I have no problem honoring the dead with them or like I said, in the ways I do with geneology. The tablets themself are not so different than me having a "family tree" on the wall showing 8 generations of ancestors. I really think they are cool too, its what not taking care of them properly means, that bothers me. Maybe thats what I wasnt making clear. And I am telling you as far as my worth as a woman then, you will see as you go along, what "value" I would have and it would leave little for me in the afterlife. So yeah, I am very happy I didnt live then LOL. I would use a specific phrase but I dont think you are there yet, so we will leave this at that. :smileywink: OH, one thing, you said : "I think you are missing what I am saying; I do not think that you would be without self-worth (then or now no matter what your personal circumstances or limitations)." Let me be clear too in case i wrote it wrong, I am not talking about SELF-worth, that would be mine. I am talking about as a woman of the times worth. I do not say I wouldnt be "used" or of "value" but I think you will see later on of what worth a single woman who could not bare children and had no family of substance or family at all to take care of her in this life or the next, is worth in this time period. :smileywink: and hey, its all good. I Love good discussions!




Vivico..I can see that this is very personal for you and what I was indicating is that when you have self-worth..no matter what worth someone else puts on you; it won't matter or change the opinion of who you know best: yourself. I do agree that girls and women who could not bear children were thought of differently and even treated very differently; one who had those limitations or not...could become an amah later and be economically independent. These were different times; that is for sure. You are safe; you are not there!

I also love good discussions; but like I said I am going back to topic and want to enjoy the time period and cultural differences for what they were.

Bentley
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Wrighty
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saving others - Potential Spoiler


LisaSee wrote:
I have a few thoughts here:

I also love what Tang Xianzu wrote. In fact, it inspired me almost everyday when I was writing the book.

I once read a study that said that men will always save their wives and women will always save their children in life-saving situations.

Finally, to me Peony in Love is about all facets of love, not just that between a man and woman. Peony learns a lot about love for and from her grandmother, mother, and father. She also comes to experience the love of a mother with Yi, but that comes much later in the story.




bentley wrote:
If you have not read any part of Peony in Love: please do not read further - SPOILER.

Epigram:

The epigram to the book was very moving to me. I wonder who would you die for in the name of love? For your children, your spouse, your parents? Who would you rather save and who would be more important than life itself for you. Whose love makes your life worth living or more alive? Of course, we must also have self love...but when I think of my children,,I believe I would do anything to save them if I had to and/or could and most mothers I believe would feel the same way. Of course, in this case, the love discussed most likely deals with the love for a spouse or lover.

The preface to The Peony Pavillion by Tang Xianzu (1598) moved me tremendously especially these lines:

"Love is of source unknown, yet it grows ever deeper. The living may die of it, by its power the dead live again. Love is not love at its fullest if one who lives is unwilling to die for it, or if it cannot restore to life one who has died."

Very beautiful!






This is more of a general idea here but we've mentioned giving your life for other's. I think most people have maternal or paternal feelings for others regardless if they are a parent. I think it's based more on instinct, protecting those who are weaker - usually our children and our elderly and sometimes women as compared to men (although I think that's changing). And it's not even just about giving your life but that also pertains to protecting and helping others who need it. I would give my life for my children without hesitation or thought because I love them but also because I am responsible for them. I brought them into this world and it is up to me to take care of them. There are other people I love and would give my life for as well, family and friends, but they can also be responsible for themselves so it's somewhat different. Giving your life is the ultimate sacrifice but not everyone is called upon to go to such extremes, fortunately. Often it's so important to just help each other out in times of need. To be a good friend, neighbor, family member or even stranger can mean the world to another person. And it doesn't have to be life threatening. Mowing the lawn, watching their kids, picking up groceries, being a good listener all make a difference. I've mentioned before that I live in a small community where everyone knows each other and most people will help you no questions asked. My brain cannot comprehend how some people can be abusive or even kill another person when there are so many options available although I realize not everyone gets that or even cares.
I guess I'm starting to drift off the topic so I'd better wrap it up. Who knows where this could go?! :smileywink:
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LisaSee
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Registered: ‎08-24-2007
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Re: saving others - Potential Spoiler



Wrighty wrote:

LisaSee wrote:
I have a few thoughts here:

I also love what Tang Xianzu wrote. In fact, it inspired me almost everyday when I was writing the book.

I once read a study that said that men will always save their wives and women will always save their children in life-saving situations.

Finally, to me Peony in Love is about all facets of love, not just that between a man and woman. Peony learns a lot about love for and from her grandmother, mother, and father. She also comes to experience the love of a mother with Yi, but that comes much later in the story.




bentley wrote:
If you have not read any part of Peony in Love: please do not read further - SPOILER.

Epigram:

The epigram to the book was very moving to me. I wonder who would you die for in the name of love? For your children, your spouse, your parents? Who would you rather save and who would be more important than life itself for you. Whose love makes your life worth living or more alive? Of course, we must also have self love...but when I think of my children,,I believe I would do anything to save them if I had to and/or could and most mothers I believe would feel the same way. Of course, in this case, the love discussed most likely deals with the love for a spouse or lover.

The preface to The Peony Pavillion by Tang Xianzu (1598) moved me tremendously especially these lines:

"Love is of source unknown, yet it grows ever deeper. The living may die of it, by its power the dead live again. Love is not love at its fullest if one who lives is unwilling to die for it, or if it cannot restore to life one who has died."

Very beautiful!






This is more of a general idea here but we've mentioned giving your life for other's. I think most people have maternal or paternal feelings for others regardless if they are a parent. I think it's based more on instinct, protecting those who are weaker - usually our children and our elderly and sometimes women as compared to men (although I think that's changing). And it's not even just about giving your life but that also pertains to protecting and helping others who need it. I would give my life for my children without hesitation or thought because I love them but also because I am responsible for them. I brought them into this world and it is up to me to take care of them. There are other people I love and would give my life for as well, family and friends, but they can also be responsible for themselves so it's somewhat different. Giving your life is the ultimate sacrifice but not everyone is called upon to go to such extremes, fortunately. Often it's so important to just help each other out in times of need. To be a good friend, neighbor, family member or even stranger can mean the world to another person. And it doesn't have to be life threatening. Mowing the lawn, watching their kids, picking up groceries, being a good listener all make a difference. I've mentioned before that I live in a small community where everyone knows each other and most people will help you no questions asked. My brain cannot comprehend how some people can be abusive or even kill another person when there are so many options available although I realize not everyone gets that or even cares.
I guess I'm starting to drift off the topic so I'd better wrap it up. Who knows where this could go?! :smileywink:




Who would we give our lives for? Most people would do anything for their own children or a spouse. But I think people probably acrafice themselves to save others far more than we're aware of. I think of the person who impulsively dashes into traffic to save a total stranger, or someone who jumps into a river to save someone -- again a stranger. (Think of all the natural disasters, Katrina, for example, or the tsunami, where people did very heroic (and sometimes stupid) things to save others. We may never know what moved that person in the moment, but they did it nevertheless.
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Fozzie
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Re: Actual Experience in China



bentley wrote:


There are just so many people and maybe that in itself does not put a high value on their fellow citizens...I am not sure. When I was in China just recently, a bus hit a young man on a bicycle and killed him and nobody came. The bus kept going and people just walked over him It was very upsetting.

Bentley



This is horrifying!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Favorite Passages - Page 164 - SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK

SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK

"Ghosts, like living people, do not like to accept the truth. We delude ourselves to save face, maintain a measure of optimism, and keep going forward in truly untenable situations."

I marked this quote as a special one during my reading, but looking back on it after having completed the book, I realize how much it has to do with the book as a whole and many of the characters, not just Peony.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Favorite Passages - Page 219 SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK

SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK

"Now when I look at you I know that as much as a mother tries there's no way to protect a daughter. I kept you locked inside from birth, but that didn't keep you from dying too soon."

This is a powerful quote for all parents, all adults who interact with children; there is a fine line between protection and squelching.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Favorite Passages - Page 263

"The only permanent thing is impermanence."

If only it were so easy to live life with this in mind as it is to type it, read it, or say it.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Wrighty
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Re: Favorite Passages - Page 219 SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK


Fozzie wrote:
SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK

"Now when I look at you I know that as much as a mother tries there's no way to protect a daughter. I kept you locked inside from birth, but that didn't keep you from dying too soon."

This is a powerful quote for all parents, all adults who interact with children; there is a fine line between protection and squelching.



That's so true Laura. I think that's why there are so many parents that are overprotective. They think they can save their children from all the pain in the world instead of teaching them to live in spite of it. No one wants their children to hurt or suffer but it happens regardless.
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vivico1
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Re: Favorite Passages - Page 164 - SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK


Fozzie wrote:
SPOILER FOR END OF BOOK

"Ghosts, like living people, do not like to accept the truth. We delude ourselves to save face, maintain a measure of optimism, and keep going forward in truly untenable situations."

I marked this quote as a special one during my reading, but looking back on it after having completed the book, I realize how much it has to do with the book as a whole and many of the characters, not just Peony.


Boy thats true and look at the whole thing about the Cataclysm. Living ghosts, men and women came out of that. Was that quote about the Cataclysm or where Fozzie, I dont remember?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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