Essay on Cultures and Contexts in Ancient China

Published: 2021/11/08
Number of words: 1579

Texts are important forms of art that have been used for ages to communicate important information or represent cultural practices in most communities. For instance, Chinese society used historiography, poetry, and Chinese moral philosophy to offer guidance to society’s ethical values (Confucius 70). It is vital to examine the role of texts in ancient China in advancing cultural perspectives as understood in the Chinese context. Chinese ancient texts have long maintained values and practices through songs, books, and other important writings. There are several instances that authors have translated ancient texts from the past to help cultivate and propagate moral behavior (Sung et al.,143). In essence, the paper will use two ancient texts from ancient China and find a connection between the two. Studying the “Book of Songs” and “The Analects” from ancient China can help establish a connection between cultural perspectives and how important they have been in shaping moral behavior. It is vital to note that the study focuses on how the texts remain relevant in propagating good society’s morals (Yuan 253). An examination of two books will help gather important information on the significance of texts in advancing important moral philosophy among individuals. The paper aims to explore the connection between the Book of Songs and the Analects, which are both influential and popular since ancient China.

The moral-political use of songs in ancient China is well illustrated in the Analects and Book of Songs. For instance, the poetic aesthetic used in the texts is an indication of arousing political morality (Xiao 473). It is important to note that ancient China believed in propagating political frustrations through such texts. The poems in the past could be used to explain the kind of operations that took place in the political arena in a bid to find a solution to various problems. Notably, politics is a matter that affects each perspective or sector in a society, which is why its attributes have been captured in ancient Chinese texts. Such texts have proved important in shaping morality in the field (Constantinou 167). Society has to participate in politics and ensure that the right strategy is used toward policymaking. It is vital to note that an individual’s social-moral-emotional perspectives can be advanced by criticizing different approaches to leadership. It is through songs that ancient Chinese society communicated important political content and ideas (Abdul Latif 42). As such, Analects by Confucius and the Book of Songs are connected in the sense that they propagate moral-political tendencies in modern China.

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The book of songs has many poems and songs from ancient China that are used as moral teachings and the way people should relate in a typical Chinese perspective. The songs captured in the book discuss various issues and values or virtues upheld (Yuan 273). The Analects by Confucius presents a collection of sayings and other statements that carry heavy moral meaning in ancient China. It is important to establish a connection between the two texts in a bid to understand why they are still relevant in modern China. For instance, the texts highlight important aspects of marriage and what should be done in society (Sung et al., 148). In ancient times, most societies valued the act of marriage as it marked the beginning of new life for a couple. However, there are important aspects that both texts present on marriage as a way of maintaining a cultural perspective on the matter. Both texts have highlighted through poems and songs that marriage is an eternal union that should be protected by involved parties (Confucius 125). The first aspect that connects the two ancient Chinese texts is the idea of marriage and the way it has been presented. The two are relevant in modern China as new generations seek guidance before getting into marriage.

It is important to know that the texts have presented the issue of character within Chinese society as an important factor. According to teachings from the Book of Songs, it is evident that the Chinese society valued an individual’s character (Constantinou 198). The songs are illustrative of the need to behave in an upright manner and embrace mutual co-existence. According to the Analects by Confucius, one’s mistake and behavior can help discover their character. As such, when one wants to examine character, they have to observe mistakes made and behavior displayed. The type of mistake that people make in society describes the kind of person or character they possess (Lai, Benitez and Kim 193). The two texts can be used in modern times to explain to new generations how to examine one’s character in different situations. Character is an important aspect in each society, and the Book of Songs presents poems that allude to the character and how people should behave in different settings. Morality is highly based on character, which is why both the Analects and the Book of Songs remain very instrumental in propagating moral teachings in society (Xiao 484). The two texts are connected and provide important teachings on character in ancient China.

The theme of love presents another important aspect that can be examined from the two ancient Chinese texts. Love is an important aspect for every individual in each society, which is why ancient artists took time to write romantic songs and poems (Abdul Latif 56). Such texts carried important information on love and how people should go about love in society. The Book of Songs and the Analects of Confucius illustrate the need to show love for kids, partners, and society at large. From the texts, loving someone is described as the act of wanting the best for someone and aligning behavior in defense of the value (Constantinou 200). It is important to note that the texts highlight the need to show love and care to each individual as people are equal. Human morals call for equal treatment of all individuals, which is why the philosophical perspective has been captured in ancient China. It is vital to note that when one loves a person, they support them in whatever quest that matters most to them. The Book of Songs is elaborate on love as a virtue that promotes understanding and wellbeing in society (Lai, Benitez and Kim 198). It is each member’s duty in the ancient Chinese society to show love and value for others in the community. The two readings provide a detailed and important cultural perspective of love in the Chinese context.

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Chinese ancient society valued wisdom as an important factor or weapon that can promote development. The two text pieces illustrate the essence of one being wise in every activity that they undertake in life (Xiang 10). Wisdom is important as it helps individuals make important decisions in their lives. For instance, accepting things that one can change and those that they cannot is an illustration of wisdom. Through wisdom, one can weigh the consequences of an action and determine whether it is best for them or not (Xiang 11). Confucius captured many wise saying in the Analects, which is why the text has been used for ages as teachings for generations. Wisdom is highly valued in most societies, and texts have been instrumental in communicating the same. Wisdom should be used constructively and not destructively as some might not get the sense. The ancient Chinese society has many wise sayings that were collected by Confucius, which are still widely applied in modern China to communicate important information (Abdul Latif 75). Some wise sayings that propagate wisdom act as a warning to an individual who might want to act immorally.


To sum it up, it is important to echo the role of texts in ancient China in promoting moral behavior within society. The study examines the connection between the Book of Songs and the Analects in consideration with a cultural perspective in ancient China. Texts in the past were used to propagate moral-political tendencies, love, wisdom, and education. It is through such teachings that generations have kept a connection with ancient Chinese society. Marriage and love are other important perspectives discussed in the texts, which is why they form an important part of the Chinese cultural perspective. In essence, the paper establishes a connection between the Book of Songs and Analects by Confucius in consideration of ancient Chinese practices. Examining the two texts has helped learn many facts on the historical development of writings and their role in shaping different perspectives in the community. New generations should ensure that they have the content of ancient texts, which act as a learning point for their daily activities.


Abdul Latif, M. Singing and Emotions; Data Mining the Book of Songs. MS thesis. 2017.

Confucius, Confucius. The analects of Confucius. BoD–Books on Demand, 2019.

Constantinou, Stace. “From The Book Of Songs.” Colourscape 25th Birthday Concert: Saturday 20 September. 2016.

Lai, Karyn, Rick Benitez, and Hyun Jin Kim. “Learning to Be Reliable: Confucius’ Analects.” Cultivating a Good Life in Early Chinese and Ancient Greek Philosophy: Perspectives and Reverberations (2018): 193-207.

Sung, Han-Yu, et al. “Experiencing the Analects of Confucius: An experiential game-based learning approach to promoting students’ motivation and conception of learning.” Computers & Education 110 (2017): 143-153.

Xiang, Lin. “Brief Analysis of the Theme of Book of Songs Jian Xi.” Journal of Baoshan University 1 (2019): 10.

Xiao, Yang. “Reading the Analects with Davidson: Mood, Force, and Communicative Practice in Early China1.” Philosophy of Language, Chinese Language, Chinese Philosophy. Brill, 2018. 473-494.

Yuan, Ying. “The argumentative litotes in The Analects.” Argument & Computation 8.3 (2017): 253-266.

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