chapter  2
12 Pages

Identifying the “Motif ” in a Country’s Image of Children: Research on Children’s Issues in the Ming Dynasty, a Cultural Critique and Interpretation of Formulated Developmental Strategies

Scholars of contemporary literature regard Zhou Zuoren primarily as a writer. Despite his importance to literature, however, scholars have failed to make a meticulous study of Zhou Zuoren's "Humane Literature", and for this reason their understanding of what is meant by "humans". Zhou Zuoren outlines the West's concept of people as "human beings", pointing out that this idea has encouraged child study and research on women's issues and that one can hope that results will be of the best. Thus in making moral judgments, Zhou Zuoren pays special attention to cultural attitudes towards women and children, assessing whether "children are cherished and women are pitied", a line identified as part of the dialogue between Emperor Yao and Emperor Shun, the two ancestors of the Chinese nation. In other words, the literature proposed by Zhou Zuoren in "Humane Literature" is first and foremost literature that is meant to further children's and women's right to be human.