Among the rich, enormous and abundant images in literature, fox spirit was one of the most famous and frequent spirits depicted in Chinese imperial history. Fox is regarded as one of the important Chinese folk beliefs and fox story is one of the popular subjects of Chinese classical novels. Most of fox-inspirited characters take the form of female character, female fox spirit such as Daji in the Fengshen Yanyi and Ren in Ren’s Story became engraved in Chinese culture that became a famous image. In the first place the sex of the fox spirit was a bit arbitrary, neither female nor male was assigned to the incarnation of the fox spirit. In literature, legend and folk tales, it then became more exclusively on female fox spirit instead of male, probably due to the developing feudalism and the emerging patriarchal dominance.
There are typically two types of female fox spirit incarnations depicted in early and imperial Chinese literature. One is the evil, seductive, wicked female character who often acquires power and strength through manipulating or draining men. The other is the good-hearted, kind, virtuous and loyal female character who often sacrifices herself for the good of her lover. Regardless of the two contradictory images of female fox spirit, they all reflect men’s paradoxical view of women early times in China. Or in other words, these two distinctive portrayals of fox women can reveal men’s contradictory views regarding women (Huang 143).
On the one hand, as represented by the latter image of fox spirit that possesses good nature, men love and admire women. On the other hand, as represented by the former image of fox spirit that engages in e...
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...g Zhou, who was initially an intelligent and worthy ruler, cannot escape the vital attraction of Daji’s extraordinary beauty and beguiling body. Through creation of the image, people can be warmed and reminded of the potential great influence that women could have on men (Huang, 144).
Moreover, the responsibility of the deterioration of a country is attributed to the fox spirited women since they are the ones bewitched the king to inappropriate ruling practices and bring the turmoil. In the Fengshen Yanyi, King Zhou only deviates and corrupts after Daji’s arrival. Even this is only a historical romance that composed of great fantasy so that plots can be a bit less reasonable, it still demonstrate the tendency of powerful male externalizing failure to females. The downfall of the country is not due to the ruler’s improper governing but beautiful women’s evil deeds.
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