Pavilion of Women: A Novel of Life in the Women's Quarters Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Pavilion of Women.
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Tradition vs. Change

This is the book’s primary theme. It is the foundation for the sub-themes listed below, and plays out on a number of levels. The most apparent of these is in the personal lives (emotional, intellectual, spiritual) of the central characters, and most particularly in the life of the novel’s central character, Madame Wu.

As the novel begins, Madame Wu lives her life in ways strictly defined by tradition – ways of being a parent, ways of being a wife, ways of being a landowner, ways of being a citizen, ways of being a friend … all, narration suggests, are defined by the way things have been in the past. This is, the novel suggests lightly, similar to the situation as a whole in the country of China where Madame Wu and her family live.

Over the course of the narrative, Madame Wu is confronted...

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This section contains 2,250 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pavilion of Women: A Novel of Life in the Women's Quarters Study Guide
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