The Pillow Book of Sei Sh¯onagon, Translated [from the Japanese] and Edited by Ivan Morris Themes

Sei Shōnagon
This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, Translated [from the Japanese] and Edited by Ivan Morris.
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Beauty

The theme of beauty runs throughout The Pillow Book. There are stories, lists, and characters that all revolve around this theme. Shonagon is clearly very attuned to aesthetics. She has opinions about everything from the length of sleeves to which flowers and insects are most beautiful and therefore most acceptable. She has little patience for ugly people and ugly things. They do not fit into her world.

Because she is a lady-in-waiting to the Empress, she is constantly surrounded by beautiful, elegant things. Every time there is a festival, the palace is decorated beautifully. She spends her time helping the Empress to look beautiful, and she appreciates beauty in everything. Because she is constantly surrounded by such beauty, she seems to judge things and people based on their looks more than she judges them based on their usefulness or virtue. When she comments on a man, she first...

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This section contains 712 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, Translated [from the Japanese] and Edited by Ivan Morris Study Guide
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