Zhuangzi, Doaism, Doa, disabilities in literature, literary depictions
This thesis analyzes how persons with disability are portrayed by the philosopher Zhuangzi in the canonical Daoist text which bears his name. In his elucidation of Daoist thought, Zhuangzi draws upon examples of a physically-deformed man, men who are missing feet due to criminal punishment, and a hunchback. While disability carried a stigma in ancient China (be it congenital or through mutilating impairment), Zhuangzi breaks from conventional attitude by depicting disability as an enabling quality for one to harmonize with the universal force known as the dao, or “The Way.” Zhuangzi also uses irony to show how disability endows one with greater insight and acuity, such that the disabled person outwits the able-bodied in their understanding and awareness of the dao and obtains de, which is “virtue” or “power.”
The Library Student Research Grant program encourages outstanding student achievement in research, fosters information literacy, and stimulates original scholarship.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Lewis, Crismon, ""Use of the Useless": Assessing Depictions of Disability in the Zhuangzi" (2014). Library Research Grants. 11.
Harold B. Lee Library
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