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The snake images in the pre Qin literature

Author: KouXuePing
Tutor: LiuWeiPing
School: Northwestern University
Course: Ancient Chinese Literature
Keywords: the Pre-Qin Period The snake image worship appreciation of the beauty
CLC: I206.2
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 183
Quote: 0
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In the early stage of human society, with the development of the contradictions between human beings and nature, people begin to want to get out of the bound of nature, so they begin to examine everything around them with new eyes. Snake is an ancient reptile that has most dealings with human being and people have complex psychological feelings of it, thus these intertwined complex emotions kindle the fire of the faith of our ancestors. They believe that snake is the origin of life and treat snake as the God of nature. Totem culture is an important part of the original Chinese culture and it bears extremely rich cultural connotations. As a large representative totem in the ancient times, snake totem bears the self-evident cultural connotation. Also dragon, as the carrier of culture of China for thousands of years, has close relationship with snake. This paper holds that the image of dragon develops from the image of snake. The evolution from snake to dragon is not only displayed in the evolution of the image of snake totem-dragon totem, but also proved powerfully by the evolution of the legend of the mountain’s image in the ancient times. The original ancestors do not have enough understanding of their own vital signs and unlimited creativity that they own and they need to call for the power of imagination to find a reasonable attribution for the needs at the bottom of their hearts. Snake is the closest and complex natural objects related with people’s daily life at the contemporary time, and people must generate a lot of affirmative emotions towards it, so the emotions of human being’s worship of snake arise spontaneously. Whether it is a contradiction that snake is the typical animal imagery of the lunar culture of which "Yin" occupies the main position, but snake also occupies a very important part of sun culture? The author of the paper does not think so, on the contrary, it is a kind of fusion. From the fusion we can understand the generation and development of "yin and yang" dual culture as well as in which the national cultural psychology implicates. The descriptions on the color of the snake in the ancient books reflect the deep meaning that is embodied in the traditional color concepts in ancient China and the cultural psychology when they highlight national colors.

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