The Dragon King's Daughter

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Though Li Chaowei’s The Dragon King’s Daughter has been translated many times, many of these translations have different representations of the strange. These representations vary with the audience that the author is writing to. In Frances Carpenter’s version, it is evident that the story is directed towards children and intended for storytelling. In John Minford’s version, it is directed towards students of a collegiate level and intended for in depth study. Though these two versions are based off the same Chinese folktale, they each have a different representation of the strange that they must attune to in terms of their intended audience. In the beginning of the children’s version, it starts with a subplot, consisting of a grandmother and her two grandchildren, Ah Shung and Yu Lang. As a reward for doing well in his studies, the grandmother gives Ah Shung their flag of a dragon trying to grasp a pearl. Ah Shung is delighted as is Yu Lang because they love dragons. They have been told of a dragon’s goodness and power, indicating that in this story, the dragons are seen as heroes. Dragons are a national symbol of China and are believed to keep the bad spirits away. Though they are considered to be a national symbol, the dragon is represented in very different ways between these two versions. It keeps the appearance of being a symbol of good luck and upholds the belief of many children that “dragons fighting in the sky made the thunder and shook the rain out of the clouds” (Carpenter 74). Both grandchildren prompt their grandmother to tell them of a story about dragons, indicating to the reader that this story is meant for storytelling. When the Dragon King first makes an appearance in front of Liu Ye, he is described to be “dressed in robes of bright purple and in his hand gleamed a piece of the purest green jade-stone” (Carpenter 77). This

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