Bai Juyi's (772-846) Poems on Women: A Narratological Approach




Zhong, Qichen

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This thesis aims to explore the image of women in Bai Juyi’s (772-846) poetry with a narratological approach. It selects 108 of Bai’s poems about women as the research objects and divides them into two main categories: the poems written in a male voice and those written in a female voice. A total of 24 poems are examined as examples. Chapter one serves as a general introduction to the research background, providing information about the poet and the tradition of Chinese poetry. Chapter two outlines two narrative concepts, “narrator” and “focalization”. Also, it explores the image of women in the 14 example poems written in a male voice. Chapter three includes 10 example poems written in a female voice, investigating the differences between the image of women created in the male and female voices. This study finds that the use of the female voice presents the female characters’ thoughts and feelings to the reader and allows the reader to empathize with them easily.



Bai Juyi, Narrative theory, Poems about women