How does the poem establish the conflicting loyalties

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Paper Topic

Below is a passage from the Confucian Analects:

The Duke of She said to Confucius, "In my land there is an upright man. His father stole a sheep, and the man turned him in to the authorities." Confucius replied, "The upright man in my land is different. The father will shelter the son and the son willshelter the father. Righteousness lies in this."

As this anecdote suggests, a society which takes filial piety (xiào?) as its cardinal virtue is sure to encounter contradictions in the application of this virtue-conflicts in which one form of obedience enters into conflict with another.

With this issue in mind, examine the narrative poem "A Peacock Southeast Flew"(Mair, 255-265) How does the poem establish the conflicting loyalties it depicts--say, the relation of parent and child, the relation of husband and wife, and so on? How does it weigh the legitimacy of each bond? Does it aim for a solution, and if so, how successfully is the resolution achieved?

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