What do the symbols of tiger and dragon mean in Chinese mythology? Discuss and evaluate with respect to class discussions, readings and films.

Essay by renren July 2005

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Every place has something they believe in. They are often called a myth or legend. To a majority of ethnic groups they are in believe of a god and myths on animals. In this case for China they have a big thing for animals like tiger, dragons, serpents, snakes and so forth. They each have a myth or legend on the animal. It is a story of respecting the animal and showing that an animal is useful.

The Chinese dragon is a good-natured and gentle creature; a symbol of natural male vigor and fertility, the dragon is also the symbol of the emperor, the Son of Heaven. In the movie Spirited Away, there is a character, he is cast under a spell, and turned into a dragon. He is pure at hearth, but as a dragon and under the spells harms others. This is very interesting because dragons are good natured, and are not seen as feared animals, as the western culture portrays them.

As a magical animal, the dragon is able to shrink to the size of a silk worm, and then again it can swell up till it fills the space between heaven and earth. This reminds me of the movie we watched in class, Princess Mononoke, and how the Great Forrest Spirit was able to change in size. In the day he would be a small creature, and during the night he would rise to the skies. Also the Great Forrest Spirit was gentle and kind at heart, but when you first saw the creature, especially at night, one would be scared. Just like a dragon, the Great Forrest Spirit, was powerful, and full of energy, but was gentle and kind. Also the fact that there are four kinds of dragons and one of the dragons are...