Bacchism in Chinese Love Stories

Essay by tdanw25University, Bachelor's November 2004

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"Ren's Story", "Ying-Ying's Story", and "Du Tenth" are Chinese love stories that show the relationship between passionate love and conformation to social norms. These stories show the traditional roles of men and women from the past of China and how love is sometimes blinded by things such as money, control, and the want to be accepted in society. Although from a different time and culture, the moral lessons and themes from these stories can be compared to the Greek story "Bacchae", where a half-man, half-god gives the power to the women of the village to unite and fight against the oppressions that tradition has placed upon the role of women. It is found that the women in each of the Chinese love stories have the power and influence of "Bacchism".

"Bacchae" is a story that blurs the hierarchy of gender and shows the power of women that unite and fight against the barriers in their way.

In this story, Dionysus is a half-man, half-god from the Greek era that brings changes of liberation to the women of Greece. All of the women from Thebes vanish and flock to Dionysus to engage in drinking, ecstasy, and liberating themselves against their social norms, calling this new-found culture/religion "Bacchism". The men of Greece see Dionysus as a threat and want to defend that old system of women serving a domesticated role. Pensius, the king, plays the role of honor and defender of discipline. He wants to fight and maintain the traditional hierarchy of society and sees the change of the woman's role as danger, especially since his own mother has joined with the other women and Dionysus. With this, he sends his messenger men to capture his mother and jail the rest of the women. This proves to...