Tale Of Genji Analysis

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The Tale of Genji is considered the prototype of classical Japanese literature, written by noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu. This Heian literature classic revolves around the story of a male samurai protagonist while depicting the lifestyles of high courtiers. To some extent, Tale of Genji portrays the Heian period of Japan, but ultimately, Murasaki drafted this classic piece as a way to destroy the social norms at the time. If one examines the list of characters listed on the story, one can conclude that no explicit names were given to each character. This makes it difficult for a reader to keep track of the characters because as events unfold, the numerous characters grow older simultaneously. Though plot was non-existent,…show more content…
By writing Tale of Genji, Murasaki showed her precocious aptitude for Chinese classics and her fluent abilities in poetry. She was able to promote the upcoming strength of women and managed to be on-par with her male counterparts. Women lived in seclusion and contact with men were limited. This story possessed open conversation between men and women, and how both genders live together in the Imperial Court. Doing so, she rebuked the misconception that men and women should live separately. The same happened with exchanges in poetry: poetry were only exchanged between women and never with men. In the story, it was transmitted between Genji and some female character. By creating a story that includes normal conversation and poetry exchanges between genders, Murasaki was successful in removing barriers between the high-ranked males with the house-entrapped females, thereby breaking the social norms. Females marrying upon reaching puberty was a prevalent occurrence in the Heian society. Once again, Murasaki went against this stereotype in the form of Princess Asagao. Genji kept courting Princess Asagao but she didn’t let him conquer her. Normally, females were obligated to marry men that has interest on them, but Murasaki went the opposite direction in the story. Murasaki created a female character strong enough to reject Genji but still delicate to fit the Heian female description. The powerful depiction of women in Tale of Genji mirrored the persona of Murasaki herself. Murasaki did many things not common during the Heian period. Instead of marrying upon reaching puberty, she stayed with her father until she was ready to get married. She also hated men in general due to their consistent drunkenness and somberness. She acquired fluency in Chinese classics while most females spent their time serving the men. Even if Murasaki decided to diverge from the
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