Study Guide

A Poem of Changgan Gender

By Li Po (also known as Li Bai)

Gender

"A Song of Changgan" is written by a male poet, but it's spoken by a female speaker. This raises questions about gender as a theme in the poem. How does the poem present gender roles and relationships? Why is the poem narrated by a female speaker? Does this poem affirm or undermine traditional gender roles? These are all interesting questions, of course (if we do say so ourselves). Depending on how we read the poem, we can either see it as a presenting us with a pretty kick-bum assertion of a female perspective, or instead as a poem that simply reinforces traditional gender roles.

Questions About Gender

  1. In what ways does this poem reflect traditional gender roles, when it comes to the speaker's relationship to her husband?
  2. In what ways can this be read as a "feminist" poem? How does it reflect a feminist perspective?
  3. What does this poem suggest about women's power? Is the speaker of this poem in control of her life, or is she not? What parts of the poem give you your ideas?

Chew on This

"A Poem of Changgan" affirms traditional gender roles and hierarchies.

On the contrary, our good Shmooper, "A Poem of Changgan" challenges traditional gender roles and hierarchies.

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