Confucianism In The Book Of Chuang Tzu

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As one of the greatest founding novels of Taoism, Book of Chuang Tzu serves to strengthen Lao Tzu 's arguments in Tao Te Ching and lays the foundation for Taoism 's place in Chinese philosophy. Because Confucianism and Taoism are two competing philosophy schools that share more outstanding differences than similarities, the followers of both schools often refute and evaluate the ideals of the opposite school. However, the constant appearance of Confucius as the main character in more than twenty chapters in Book of Chuang Tzu not only surprises the readers, but also calls for deep analysis of the roles played Confucius in order to understand the true meaning of this ancient literature. While Chuang Tzu criticizes many of the Confucian ideas…show more content…
This is the moment when Confucius ironically switches his roles from a Confucian teacher to a Taoist student as Robber Chih introduces him to the troubles associated with Confucianism. Through the ironic reversal in the roles of the two characters, Chuang Tzu criticizes the use of benevolence and righteousness in forcing people to do things that are not part of their innate intent and devote themselves to proper rituals. The sour mockery functions to imply the similarity between the Confucian principle and Robber Chih 's sin as the former one robs people 's ability to act naturally. In addition, the image of Confucius consistently bowing to Robber Chih in this chapter not only deems the Confucian way of the pursuit of position and fame as a fraud, but also suggests the defeat of Confucianism in competing with the Taoist values. "You will certainly bring sorrow and even death upon yourself. The perfect man of old looked after himself first before looking to help others. If you look to you to yourself and find there are troubles, what use will you be if you try to sort out a dictator?" (Palmer, 26). While the first group of images portrays Confucius as a Confucian student, the second group turns the table and depicts him as

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