This was a central theme to the Yuang and Ming dynasty based on ideas of political expansion and social diversity that was beginning to influence different regions and is portrayed throughout this work.
“Only this place is paramount….At heaven’s edge autumn clouds furl; / bamboo hawsers cable together the floating bridge, / On the water a steel blue dragon reclines. / East and west it breaches into the rune regions / north and south it threads together a hundred streams” (118).
While Wang is speaking about the place that Student Zhang is going to, it also shows that this is a central point for unification of east, west, north and south. The politics that relate to this and the influence of the environment at the time influence this specific concept and theme.
This one rhetorical passage not only defines the idea of expansion and unification of political territories. This is also seen through the symbol of the characters that reflect this passage, as well as the metaphor of the entire work. The Student Zhang is located in the western wing of the monastery and Oriole, his lover, is in the east wing. Their love is seen by each when they go to different sides of the monastery to visit each other. This is representative of the theme of unification of north and south. The two characters and monastery become symbolic of the division of each side that is brought together through the actions and expressions of both characters. This is able to intertwine with the passage given that shows the meeting point of all sides.
Another relationship to this main theme is based on the actions taken throughout the book. The plot line follows the Yuan and Ming dynasties and what was politically occurring during this time. This is specifically represented by Oriole’s mother and the actions she takes after the monastery is invaded, specifically by offering her daughter’s hand in marriage for defeating the opposing side. Putting this conflict into